You may have reread the title twice, but it is quite accurate and while many of us consider tomatoes to be vegetables, botanically it belongs to the group of fruits, and we will place it in the group of “wonderful” fruits because of its nutritional values.
Originally cultivated by the Aztecs, who named it “xitomatl”, which later became “tomatl”, which literally means “swollen fruit”, it was spread to Europe and around the world through the Spanish colonies. Since then it has been grown and consumed all over the world regardless of its form, as fresh, as an ingredient in a sauce or dish or even as a drink. And all right, because the tomato is delicious and infinitely good for the health.
The low caloric value combined with the high values of anti-oxidants including lycopene make this product simply perfect and it is interesting that it has more health benefits than the apple.
Lycopene is a vital anti-oxidant that is not created in the human body, so it must be ingested through the diet to use its anti-oxidant powers.
Tomato is literally overloaded with this substance, which is where its red color comes from, thus helping the body fight free radicals. It is also rich in other essential substances such as vitamin A, beta-carotene, xanthine and lutein, a good dose of vitamin C and potassium versus low sodium.
Suggested recipe: DRIED CHERRY TOMATOES IN OLIVE OIL
This whole combination and source of anti-oxidants and vitamins helps prevent prostate cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer as well as malignant formations in the mouth, throat and esophagus. Tomato also helps prevent the further spread of side effects.
It also helps prevent heart disease, lowers blood cholesterol, and new research shows that intake of this product can reduce the risk of macular degeneration or age-related vision loss.
What kind of tomato?
Usually, does not matter. Although tomatoes are equally rich in all of their ingredients in their fresh form, it is interesting to note that lycopene values increase with its heat treatment contrary to popular belief that they are destroyed. This means: consume tomatoes, tomato puree, ketchup and all other tomato forms (bloody marry less) as much as possible for a healthier life.
It takes about 500ml of tomato juice a day to get the benefits of lycopene, which means that one glass a day or regular consumption of this phenomenal fruit has a huge potential to make us healthier.