Fascinating Facts About Tomatoes

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Today, cooking a special dish without tomatoes is unthinkable. These exclusive fruits which are generally known as a vegetable is one of the most common foods that is available in plenty worldwide and these red and green tomatoes are packed with amazing nutrients for good health.

Fact 1 History of tomatoes

Can you believe that this amazing vegetable was once considered as poisonous? Actually, in the 3rd century, Galen referred to it as a poison used to destroy wolves in his writings. Europeans too were doubtful about tomatoes and thought them to be poisonous because of their shiny, bright color and were planted for decorative purposes. It was only in 1897 that Joseph Campbell used them to make condensed soup and the first recipe was offered by Maria Parloa in 1872 in her The Appledore Cook Book.

Fact 2 Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?

A question has always been asked about tomatoes – whether they are fruits or vegetables. Although various facts put them under the category of fruits, they are commonly used as a vegetable. The ripe, red tomatoes with fine skin and juicy inside add an exotic flavor to many cuisines. The versatility of tomatoes lies in the fact that they can be eaten in all forms – raw in salads, in liquid form in soups or as juice and also used in foods. Whether fresh or canned, summer or winter, tomatoes are simply the best in all forms.

Fact 3 Properties of Tomatoes

The scientific name for tomatoes is Lycopersicon esculentum. According to Botanists, tomatoes belong to the Solanaceae or Nightshade group of vegetables along with potato, eggplant, chilli peppers and others. They have unbelievable phyto-chemical properties and are fortified with endless compounds that take care of health in various ways.  Tomatoes are very low in calories, fat contents and cholesterol levels too are nearly zero. But they are rich in anti-oxidants, minerals, dietary fibers and vitamins. Hence dieticians recommend the consumption of tomatoes to all kinds of patients.

Fact 4 The Advantages and Healing Powers acquired by consuming Tomatoes

Tomatoes, as has already been said, can be eaten in all forms. But doctors prefer the cooked tomatoes (not the spicy ones) for deriving maximum benefits of these marvelous fruits/vegetables. Some of the greatest advantages of consuming tomatoes are namely:

  • Anti-oxidants are required by every individual to maintain good health. The anti-oxidants available from tomatoes are scientifically proved to fight against some of the deadly diseases like colon cancer, prostate cancer, lung, endometrial and breast cancer too. They help to protect against pancreatic tumors as well.
  • Tomatoes contain a unique phyto-chemical compound namely the Lycopene a flavonoid anti-oxidant and since they are red in color they have more of these anti-oxidants. This Lycopene and Cartenoids protect the various structures and cells of the body from oxygen-free radicals that are extremely harmful. They offer protection from the ultra-violet rays of the sun thereby shielding skin cancer.
  • Another unknown advantage that everybody can enjoy by having tomatoes is protection of the eyes especially for elderly people from age-related macular disease. They help to filter the U-V rays of the sun because they contain Zea-xanthin flavonoid compound.
  • The presence of various types of Vitamins and other pigment compounds possess anti-oxidant properties thereby maintaining night-vision, healthy mucosa, strong bones and flawless skin. They also protect from oral cavity and lung cancers.
  • Presence of the essential nutrients in tomatoes helps in controlling blood pressure, heart rate and enhances the immunity system.

Fact 5

More than 10,000 varieties are grown and due to their unending protective characteristics the French called them “the apple of love” while the Germans referred to tomatoes as “the apple of paradise”.

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