THAT’S WHY TOMATO SAUCE IS LIFE
The vegetable, that is actually a fruit, is one of the most loved all over the world. From raw to cooked, almost everyone likes tomatoes or recipes made with this juicy and unique fruit!
“The tomato (lycopersicon esculentum) is an American plant with an American name. In Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, tomatl indicates something round and plump,…”
It’s interesting to know that tomatoes only arrived in Europe in the 16th century and in the beginning they were considered poisonous, and for that reason they were grown as “botanical curiosities” or as an ornamental fruit/plant and not as food.
It was only in the 17th century that it began to be used in dishes, particularly in Spain and Italy because this fruit grow easily in their soils, and that’s why these two countries are widely recognized for their traditional recipes with tomatoes!
Now that we know some interesting historical facts about tomatoes, it´s time to dig in in some nutritional facts that make tomatoes such a rich and important food!
Botanically known as lycopersicon esculentum, tomatoes have lots of varieties, from big to really small, from perfectly round to oval shaped, they can also come in many different colors, including yellow, orange, green, and purple and all of them have a different level of sweetness and acidity, which depends on the conditions of growth and maturity when harvesting. But they all have in common the nutritional richness.
“Rich in a group of phytochemicals called carotenoids, tomatoes may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and provide protection against cancer. Tomatoes are also a good source of immune-boosting Vitamin C.”
As it name says, tomatoes are rich in Lycopene (not just rich, it´s actually the best source of lycopene), a red carotenoid that can help us to protect our heart and also helps to prevent from cancer. This phytochemical it´s better absorbed by our body when we cook it. “Cooked tomatoes provide 4 times more lycopene than raw tomatoes”
That´s why tomato sauce is life! Lycopene also has antioxidant action which slows down the aging cells process and also repair cell damage caused by the free radicals (those free radicals are molecules that can damage healthy cells in our body and also weakening of the immune system and accelerate aging) so eating tomatoes regularly it’s a good way to stay healthy, strong and young for longer.
“Consumption of tomato products has been found to be inversely correlated with incidence of acute coronary events, development of early atherosclerosis, and mortality from heart disease.”
Tomatoes are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Did you know that one medium-sized tomato can provide about 28% of the Reference Daily Intake of Vitamin C? And for those who say you shouldn’t eat the tomato seeds, Dr.Michael Greger has the answer: “The yellow fluid around tomato seeds appears to suppress platelet activation without affecting blood clotting. This anti-inflammatory effect may explain why eating tomato products is associated with lower cardiac mortality.”
So guys, eat the seeds, eat the skin, eat the whole fruit! Tomatoes are not only delicious but also highly nutritious and should definitely be part of our daily meals.
Inhibiting platelet activation with tomato seeds
Lycopene benefits, raw vs cooked tomatoes
Food Time Line – Tomatoes
HUNTER, Fiona; BRETHERTON, Caroline. Super clean Super Foods. Geat Britain. London: Dorling Kindersley, 2017