The tomato plant is native to South America, the tomato was eaten as a wild fruit until its cultivation began to be realized by the Aztecs in Mexico; the writings found in the culture in which recipes are referring to an ingredient in “tomatil” name.
There are different varieties of tomatoes, fruit color can be yellow, brown, purple, green and red. The tree tomato, which is actually not a tree but a perennial herb belonging to the family Solanaceae, in which the peppers and potatoes are included, and its scientific name Lycopersicon lycopersicum.
It is curious that the word Lycopersicon is a Latin word which means “wolf peach”, intended to make some sort of analogy between this result and the wolf, since it was thought that both were equally dangerous. Tomatoes, far from being toxic, are full of beneficial properties and have a pleasant taste. This is a truly health food.
The Spanish brought the fruit to Europe after the conquest and a little less than a century later, having discovered that it was not a harmful fruit, the tomato became popular as an ingredient in various foods.
Benefits of Tomato
The tomato fruit contains a good dose of vitamins and minerals that the body needs most. It is a very versatile fruit, there are different shapes, flavors, sizes and uses tomato. It can be eaten raw, added to soups, pastas, salads, can be taken in juice and in many other ways. It is certainly an exceptional fruit.
- Among the properties of tomato are a variety of vitamins like vitamin A, C, E, B2 (riboflavin) B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid) and vitamin K.
- It contains minerals such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus and chromium.
- One of the benefits of the tomato is its fiber content, helps digestion; well as a high content of water is a good diuretic.
- Tomatoes contain a carotenoid called lycopene, which gives it the red color, and is a potent antioxidant.
The benefits of lycopene
Lycopene is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals that damage the cells of the body that can trigger cancer. Recent studies have shown that lycopene containing tomato helps decrease the risk of developing colon cancer, stomach, prostate, breast, lung and endometrium. In addition, it has also become a link between lycopene consumption and heart health. 90 gm tomato containing approximately 18% of the recommended daily intake of this antioxidant.
The power of vitamins tomato
Vitamin A is present in the form of beta-carotene. This vitamin helps the cells to normal growth, maintains healthy hair and skin, makes it has a good vision and promotes the development of bones and teeth.
Only half of a tomato provides 50% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which is one of the key vitamins for our health and acts as an antioxidant; helps maintain healthy gums and helps form connective tissue, which has the function to integrate and support all body organs.
Vitamin B6 helps metabolize harmful chemical compound called homocysteine, which causes cardiovascular diseases such as heart and cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke. Vitamin B2 reduces the suffering of migraines or headaches.
Vitamin K helps strengthen bones because it helps our body absorb calcium and prevents bleeding.
Properties that complement
The set of vitamin B6, B3, B2, K, and potassium helps reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure, provides health to the bones and strengthens the skills of healing our body when wounded, also decreases the risk of kidney stones and heart disease present. Chromium in tomatoes can help diabetics control their blood sugar levels.
In general, tomato poses no risk to health. Although, pregnant and lactating women should be cautious if they think tomato consume in large quantities.
However, the leaves of the tomato plant may be toxic; Symptoms of poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, irritability, headache, dizziness, muscle contractions and in severe cases, death