I overheard my little cousins arguing whether tomato is a fruit or vegetables.
Tomato is a fruit or vegetables?
Doesn’t matter. Let’s look at what nutrition values we can get from tomato.
Tomato Health Benefits:
- Tomato contains following nutrients:
- Vitamin A, B, C and K
- Lycopene (an antioxidant)
- Some amounts of iron, phosphorus, protein
- The red pigment in tomatoes is called lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant which can neutralize free radicals that can damage cells in the body. Laboratory tests have shown that men who have eaten tomatoes regularly have lower risk in developing prostate cancer. Other studies also shows that tomato is a powerful inhibitor of lung, breast, stomach and colon cancer cells.
- People who eat tomato also reported to have better skin texture and color.
- Researches have also suggested that nicotinic acid in tomatoes can help to reduce blood cholesterol and therefore prevent heart disease.
How To Choose Tomatoes
- Pick those with most brilliant shades of red because the red color shows high amount of lycopene.
- Go for the ripest, but watch out for bruises or blemishes.
- Do not have to go for the biggest tomato as size is not an indicator of quality.
- Those stored under refrigerated section will not taste as good as hose store normally at room temperature.
Raw tomatoes are good. But, cooked tomatoes are even better. After being cooked, lycopene, which located in the cell wall of the tomato, will be released fully. Add a bit of olive oil, your body will absorb the lycopene more. Unlike other fruits and vegetables, tomatoes do not lose their nutritional value in the high heat processing. Canned tomatoes or tomato sauce (ketchup) are beneficial as fresh tomatoes. For your information, it takes about 80 raw tomatoes to equal 5 tablespoons of tomato sauce. So, it is easier to have the sauce.
I like tomato, not because I know that it help in fighting against cancerous call formation, but because it taste good. Now, after knowing tomato has natural lycopene, I will love tomato even more. While other fruits and vegetables do contain lycopene too, they do not have the high concentration of lycopene that the tomato takes pride in.
Last but not least, not only tomatoes can be eaten, they can used for “entertainment” too as seen in La Tomatina in Spain.
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