Is it a fruit or a vegetable? This question has always been debatable for tomatoes especially when it comes to Indian cuisine. The reason being, tomatoes are used in almost every preparation irrespective of any cuisine or course. No dish is complete without juicy plump tomatoes. Scientifically, tomatoes are known as “Solanum Lycopersicum” and are commonly known as “tamatar” or”tamaatar”.
It was native to Southern and Central America, but now India is the largest producer of tomatoes. Tomatoes are used for various purposes in a salad, juices, subzis or soups, etc. Tomatoes are wealthy in natural nutrients and minerals, such as Vitamin A, K, B1, B3, B5, B6, B7, and vitamin C. It additionally has folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, chromium, choline, zinc, and phosphorus. Daily intake of tomatoes can provide a great lift to wellbeing, along with improving the flavor of food.
Did you know? Initially, when tomatoes were introduced to Europeans, they thought to be a poisonous berry! And now, tomatoes are a basic ingredient of Italian preparation.
Nutritional Value of Tomatoes:
Every bite of ripe tomatoes would provide an ample amount of nutrients without adding many calories to your diet. As per NIN, 100 gms of ripe tomatoes provide:
- Energy: 19 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 2.7 gms
- Total Fat: 0.5 gms
- Potassium: 204 mg
- Vitamin C: 28 mg
- Folic Acid: 20 mcg
- Beta – Carotene: 905 mg
- Vitamin A: 151 mcg
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
There are many benefits that plump tomatoes hold, but few of them are not discussed often, let’s cover those benefits today in the article.
According to reports, the lycopene in tomatoes can control the growth of cancer cells, especially prostate cancer, stomach cancer, and colon cancer. It is very interesting to know that as compared to raw tomatoes, cooked tomatoes increase the production of lycopene, so you can make as many curries as you want.
Rich source of Vitamins and Minerals:
A single tomato gives an extraordinary amount of everyday vitamin C. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that may save you from free radicals from affecting the body’s systems. It additionally includes vitamin A, iron, and potassium. Potassium can play a crucial function in keeping nerves healthy, and iron is important for keeping ordinary blood circulation. Vitamin K also can be abundantly discovered in tomatoes, which is important for blood clotting.
Provides Skin Care:
Tomatoes when applied to the skin in the form of juice can help cure sunburn. And daily consumption can also keep your skin healthy and glowing. This function is attributed to the presence of innumerable vitamins and minerals present in the tomato.
May Help Manage Diabetes:
A study published in a respected journal indicates that daily consumption of tomatoes can help reduce the oxidative stress of type-2 diabetes. They are also known to reduce inflammation, tissue damage, etc. which are all complications of type-2 diabetes. A direct correlation has been shown in the rat study, but more human studies are needed to confirm this benefit.
Can Help Repair Damage Caused By Smoking:
No, tomatoes are not the latest way to quit smoking. However, tomatoes can reduce the damage caused by smoking to your body. Tomatoes contain coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid, which can protect the human body from carcinogens caused by cigarette smoke.
Supports Heart Health:
Lycopene is the main hero to support the health of your heart in tomatoes. It works well with the other antioxidants present in the tomatoes like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E to provide compounding benefits to your precious organ. A few studies are being conducted on lycopene and its beneficial effect in reducing bad cholesterol i.e. LDL cholesterol and arterial plaque. We also know that tomatoes are a rich source of potassium, which can reduce high blood pressure, thus providing complete protection to your heart.
How To Buy Or Use The Tomatoes?
You will mainly find two types of tomatoes in the Indian market; green and red variety. The acidity varies with growth conditions and maturity at harvest. Some tomatoes have very few seeds, such as plums, while others have a lot of seeds.
In addition to fresh tomatoes, you can also find canned, diced, chopped, or pureed tomato chunks, which usually have other ingredients, such as added sodium. This can be detrimental to your health and should be avoided as much as possible.
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Well, every Indian knows the secret of using tomatoes in a variety of dishes, but try incorporating them as much as you can in your daily diet. Have it in the form of juice every morning, or include it as a dinner soup or as a salad. Or plainly, cut it into dices or slice it and enjoy it raw. You may also find small tomatoes commonly known as cherry tomatoes, consume those with pasta or cook it with olive oil and relish the juiciness of these fleshy tomatoes.
Thus, tomatoes do just not add flavor to your dishes but play an important role in your health. So, go ahead and play with these juicy plump tomatoes. But, the question yet remains, is it a fruit or a vegetable?
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Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.