Everyone’s favorite fruit. Its origin can be traced back 700 A.D, to the times of the early Aztecs. Tomato was native to Central and South America. And it was only in the 16th century that the fruit was introduced to Europe by a Spanish conquistador named Cortez, who in 1519 discovered the fruit in Montezuma’s garden and brought the seed with him back to Spain.
Its Latin name, Lycopersicon esculentum was given by a French botanist Tournefort which translate to “wolfpeach”. The name tomato was derived from the Spanish word tomate and the fruit was earlier thought to be poisonous being a member of the deadly nightshade family. The fruit has a fleshy internal segment and are filled with slippery seeds. They come in a variety of sizes and colors like yellow, red, pink, orange, brown, green and even black.
Tomato is a superfood that provides you with a remarkable supply of nutritional and health benefits. They are your excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and vitamin A (beta-carotene) including vital minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, chromium, zinc and iron. This fruit is also loaded with dietary fiber, pantothenic acid, protein, and choline as well as a variety of phytonutrients consisting of flavonoids, carotenoids, glycosides, hyroxycinnamic acids and fatty acid derivatives. Regular intake of tomato has been associated with antioxidant protection.
What is so fascinating about this superfood is its richness in Lycopene, a carotenoid pigment and phytochemical that gives tomatoes its wonderful red color. It also has the ability to remain constant even during processing and in fact makes it more bioavailable.
Lets’ have more about the amazing benefits of lycopene. Carotenoid lycopene is a nutrient that help support good heart health with its ability in lowering the risk of lipid peroxidation in the blood stream. It has also been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and improve bone health. This micronutrient provides protection against a wide range of cancers. And just like other antioxidants, it binds itself onto free radicals present in your body, thereby inhibiting its damaging effects to body cells that could result in cancer and other diseases. It has also been found to be very effective in the treatment of eye diseases, osteoporosis, male infertility, asthma, inflammation and human papilloma virus (HPV) which is the main cause of uterine cancer.
Tomato is totally safe when taken as food, even by pregnant and nursing mothers. Take note that tomato leaves can be very poisonous. Most commercially grown tomatoes are genetically modified and heavily treated with pesticides and preservatives so it’s best to get organic tomatoes from your local market.
Tomato fun facts: It was in 1897 that a soup mogul named Joseph Campbell introduced the first condensed tomato soup in can.
Eat clean. Stay fit. Go organic
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