Tomatoes – Highly Nutritive Fruits for Good Health
Morphology, Distribution and Cultivation of Tomatoes:
Tomatoes belong to family solanales and the botanical name is Solanum lycopersicum. The plants grow to a height of about 3 meters and the stem is weak and cannot bear weight of the fruits and therefore they drop down to the ground and forms as a creeper.
Tomatoes as a vegetable are grown through out the world. Tomato is grown in many countries China being the major county in cultivation. India stands in fourth place in cultivating this crop.
Several varieties of fruits have been developed by hybridization which is made to with stand against diseases and long storage. Tomatoes has got high nutritive value and protects against several serious diseases like cancer. Tomato is actually a fruit but it is mostly used as a vegetable.
Uses of Tomatoes:
It is eaten as a raw fruit in salads, and made into soups, ketchups, drinks, and as purees.
In Indian cuisine it is used to make several dishes with other vegetables and also in making non vegetarian foods for a good taste. The fruit contain many vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants.
Properties of Tomatoes:
Tomatoes are acidic in nature, therefore causes heart burn, and acidity in some people. Because of the acidic nature they should be avoided by persons suffering with joint problems like gout and rheumatism.
Nutritive Values of Tomatoes:
Tomatoes have high nutritive value contain Carbohydrates, Proteins, fats, fiber, and other minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and vitamins (Vitamins A, C, E, K Riboflavin, Thiamine, Niacin.
Tomatoes are rich sources of anti oxidants such as carotenoids like lycopene which is a powerful anti oxidant and prevents cancers of various organs in the body.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes:
- Tomatoes contain powerful antioxidant lycopene which help in preventing cancers of the prostate, oral, esophageal, rectal and breast. It also protects from the free radicals in the body and thereby increasing the resistance against diseases.
- Improve skin texture and complexion.
- Tomatoes are powerful blood purifiers.
- They protect the liver from cirrhosis by removing the toxic wastes. A tomato a day keeps the liver in healthy condition.
- Tomatoes are a natural source of antiseptics and hence they control infection.
- Tomatoes help in reducing the blood cholesterol since they help in dissolving the animal fats in the foods we eat like eggs, beef etc.
- Tomatoes help in reducing the blood clotting tendency.
- Research made on tomatoes revealed that they are anti inflammatory by lowering the cells of inflammation.
- Tomatoes help in the formation of bone mass as it is a good source of vitamin K1 which helps in the activation of osteocalcin.
- A cup of tomato soup with pepper relieves stress and refreshing drink in cold weather.
- Red tomatoes contain more lycopene hence choose only red ones to get more benefit.
- Research has shown that eating one or two tomatoes in the morning on an empty stomach reduces the inflammation of the eyes by strengthening the blood vessels.
- Tomatoes are good in rebuilding the lost strength thereby relieving the stress.
- In Indian cuisine tomatoes are regular food stuff used as combination with several vegetables and non vegetarian foods to increase the taste and nutritive value.
- Some studies have shown that consuming tomatoes with out seeds can lessen the occurrence of kidney and gall stones.