Known for its scientific name Solanum lycopersicum , tomatoes are berries of the Solanaceae family, native to North America.
In nature, tomatoes are fruits, but they are often listed as vegetables.
Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene antioxidants that offer many health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
It is also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K.
Pictures of tomatoes:
Tomato when ripe is red, but this fruit has many different colors such as yellow, orange, green and purple.
Tomatoes come in many varieties with different shapes and flavors.
Water accounts for about 95% of tomatoes. The remaining 5% is mainly carbon hydrate and fiber.
A medium sized tomato (123 grams) contains only 22 calories.
The following table is detailed information on the nutrients contained in tomatoes .
|The protein||0.9 g|
|Carbon hydrate||3.9 g|
|Unsaturated single||0.03 g|
Carbohydrate (carb) accounts for 4% in fresh tomatoes, equivalent to 5 grams of carb in a medium sized tomato (123 grams).
Simple sugars like 70% glucose and fructose are carb.
Tomato is a good source of fiber, in a medium-sized tomato provides about 1.5 grams of fiber.
Most fiber (87%) in tomatoes is insoluble fiber in the form of hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin .
Conclude: Fresh tomatoes contain very few carb (4%). Carb is mainly single sugar and insoluble fiber.
Vitamins and minerals
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamin C: are essential nutrients and antioxidants. An average tomato can provide about 28% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
- Potassium: an essential mineral, beneficial for controlling blood pressure and preventing cardiovascular disease .
- Vitamin K1: Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K plays an important role in clotting and bone health .
- Folate (B9): A group B vitamin is essential for tissue growth and normal cellular activities . This substance is especially important for pregnant women .
Conclude: Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K and folate.
The amount of vitamins and plant compounds of tomatoes may vary depending on the variety and time of sampling .
Below is a list of the main plant compounds in tomatoes.
- Lycopene: Red and antioxidant substances, have been introduced and studied in depth for its health benefits .
- Beta-Carotene: Yellow antioxidants, are converted into vitamin A in the body.
- Naringenin: Found in tomato peels, this flavonoid has been shown to reduce inflammation and combat various diseases in mice .
- Chlorogenic acid: A powerful antioxidant compound, it can help lower blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure .
Chlorophyll and carotenoid play a role in coloring tomatoes.
When the ripening process begins, chlorophyll (green) decomposes and carotenoids (red) are synthesized .
Conclude: The main plant compound in tomatoes is lycopene. This fruit also contains beta-carotene, naringenin and chlorogenic acid.
Of all the plant compounds found in tomatoes, lycopene is the most remarkable.
Lycopene is the most abundant carotenoid in ripe tomatoes, concentrated mainly on the crust .
The more red tomatoes contain more lycopene .
Tomato products such as tomato sauce, tomato juice, and tomato sauces provide up to 80% of lycopene in the American diet .
The amount of lycopene in processed tomato products is often much higher than that of fresh tomatoes . For example, tomato sauce contains 10-14 mg of lycopene / 100 g of sauce, but only 1-8 mg of lycopene / 100 g of fresh tomatoes .
Other foods in the diet may have a major effect on the absorption of lycopene from the digestive system. Combining lycopene with fat can increase the ability to absorb this substance up to 4 times .
However, not everyone absorbs the same amount of lycopene .
Although processed tomato products have higher lycopene content, we are still encouraged to eat fresh tomatoes whenever possible.
Conclude: Lycopene is the most plant compound found in tomatoes. Products such as tomato sauce, tomato juice, and tomato sauces contain the highest levels of lycopene.
Health benefits of tomatoes
Eating tomatoes and products from this fruit has many benefits related to heart disease, cancer prevention and good for the skin.
Cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and strokes, is the leading cause of death in the world.
A study in middle-aged men found that low levels of lycopene and beta-carotene in the blood could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke .
There is growing evidence from clinical trials that lycopene supplementation is effective in lowering LDL cholesterol .
Clinical trials of tomato products have also been shown to be effective against inflammation and signs of oxidative imbalance .
Tomatoes also have the ability to protect the inner layer of blood vessels and reduce the risk of blood clots .
Prevention of cancer
Cancer is a term for development that is out of control and exceeds the boundaries of abnormal cells. Usually, these cells will enter other parts of the body.
Observational studies have found that tomatoes and tomato products may support a few cases of prostate, lung and stomach cancer .
High lycopene content is thought to be responsible for this effect, however, we still need to do a lot of human tests to make a firm assertion .
Research in women shows that high levels of carotenoids in tomatoes can counteract the development of breast cancer .
Tomatoes are considered very good for the skin.
Foods from tomatoes contain lots of lycopene and other plant compounds that help protect against sunburn .
According to one study, sunburn will be reduced to 40% after eating 40 grams of tomato sauce (providing 16 mg of lycopene) with olive oil every day for 10 weeks .
Conclude: Research shows that products from tomatoes and tomatoes may reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers. Tomatoes are also very good for the skin, as it can protect the skin against sunburn.
From harvest to market
When tomatoes ripen, they start creating a gas-type hormone called .
Tomatoes produced by traditional methods are harvested and transported while still green. To make tomatoes ripen before selling, artificial ethylene gas is used.
The disadvantage of this way is that ripe tomatoes will not have a natural flavor, can even make tomatoes lose their flavor .
Therefore, locally grown tomatoes may be more delicious, because they are left to ripen naturally.
Conclude: Tomatoes are often harvested and transported while still unripe, after which they are artificially made with ethylene gas. This may cause the tomato to lose its taste.
Tomatoes are usually easily tolerated by the body and tomato allergies are rare .
Although the allergy to tomatoes is rare, they often react to people who are allergic to pollen.
This condition is called pollen allergy food syndrome or .
In oral allergy syndrome, the immune system attacks the fruit and plant-like pollen proteins, leading to allergic reactions such as itching in the mouth, throat, swelling of the mouth or throat .
People who are allergic to fruit plastic may also cross-react with tomatoes .
Contamination with chemicals
Tomatoes may contain higher levels of fluoride if they are exposed to fluoride or fluoride in the soil .
Conclude: Tomatoes are often tolerated easily, but they can cause allergies in people allergic to pollen. Tomatoes grown in contaminated soil may contain higher levels of fluoride.
Tomato is a succulent and sweet fruit. This fruit contains many antioxidants that help fight some diseases.
In tomatoes contains a lot of lycopene, a plant compound that helps improve cardiovascular health, prevent cancer and prevent sunburn.
Tomato is a nutritious food in a healthy diet.