Nutrition and DietTomatoes: most important benefits and properties

Tomatoes: most important benefits and properties

Tomato is a delicious food, with juicy pulp, slightly sweet and acid at the same time, and very nutritious.

The tomatoes are, without doubt, one of the key ingredients in almost the vast majority of households, especially for important benefits and properties. They can be eaten in salads, but also alone, boiled, in sauce … In fact, they become extremely versatile vegetables in the kitchen, inviting them to be included in a wide variety of recipes and very diverse dishes.

It is an extremely healthy food, and also delicious, which together with its ease of preparation makes it an indispensable ingredient in many recipes. In addition, due to its low caloric content and low fat content, it is easy to find it as a food on the menu of many weight loss diets.

The main qualities that tomato offers us

Not surprisingly, as we can see throughout this post, it stands out for the amount of mineralsvitamins and water (around 94%) it contains. Its intense red color, for example, is due to its content of lycopene, an antioxidant substance that does not convert into vitamin A, and which exerts a protective effect against a large number of heart problems.

It has a large amount of vitamins (B, C and A), and in addition to having few calories and fat, it is ideal in weight loss diets. In turn, important is its mineral content, of which potassium stands out, although it also has phosphorus, magnesium and calcium, among many others.

The tomato is a low sodium vegetable, so, too, it is highly recommended in hypertensive.  It is very good to aid digestion, as it contains acidic organic salts, specifically malates and citrates. Precisely for this matter, however, it is not recommended in people who have kidney stones.

If, for example, we want to take advantage of all the fiber in tomatoes (which, as you know, helps us maintain a healthy digestive system), we should always choose to eat the tomato with its skin, without peeling it.

In short, the tomato offers us the following properties:

  • High in lycopene, an antioxidant that helps prevent prostate cancer in men.
  • Being low in sodium, it is recommended in the diet of people with high blood pressure.
  • It is rich in fiber, especially if it is eaten with its skin.
  • It provides vitamins (especially vitamins of the complex B, C, A and E), as well as minerals (such as potassium, phosphorus and magnesium).
  • Helps to do digestion well.

Tomato nutritional information

100 grams of tomato provide:

Calories 17 kcal
Protein 1.1 g
Carbohydrates 2.9 g
Total fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamins Minerals
Vitamin A 133 ug Potassium 297 mg
Vitamin B1 0.06 mg Calcium 13 mg
Vitamin B2 0.04 mg Match 27 mg
Vitamin C 24 mg Magnesium 20 mg
Vitamin E 0.8 mg Iron 0.5 mg

What is tomato?

It is a species belonging to the genus Solanum (of the Solanaceae family), scientifically known by the name of Solanum lycopersicum and is native to South America. In fact, it is historically known that it was consumed as food in Mexico some 2,500 years ago.

It basically consists of the fruit of the tomato plant, characterized by having a smooth and very bright pink skin, with flat, yellow seeds inside, and a really juicy pulp or flesh.

Do you know how many varieties of tomato there are?

There is a very wide variety of tomatoes. In fact, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Introduction Service has a huge list of over 10,000 different varieties of tomatoes.  Unfortunately, around 80% are not available in seed banks, so few are actually the varieties that originally reach the final consumer.

However, there are a total of 6 varieties that stand out precisely for being the most popular and well-known (in addition to the one known as common tomato, of course):

  • Cherry tomato:  Also known as cherry tomato, it is an essential ingredient in salads, due to its small size, thus making it an ideal appetizer for garnishes. It has a diameter that ranges between 1 to 3 centimeters, and its flavor is somewhat acidic and slightly sweet.
  • Pear tomato:  It is also known by the names of tear tomato or Roman tomato, it has a shape similar to the pear (hence its name). It has a mild and somewhat sweet taste (it is not acidic at all), which makes it an ideal ingredient in salads. In turn, within the pear tomato we can find different variants such as Canario, Breton, Daniela, Magda, Muchamiel or Alboran, among others.
  • Kumato (black tomato):  It has become tremendously popular in recent years. It is meaty and its pulp is really wonderful. In addition, it has a really characteristic appearance, thanks to its rounded shape and its slightly dark color.
  • Tomato RAF:  It is a very curious variety, which is the result of crossing different varieties of traditional tomatoes. It is equally characteristic, since it has an irregular shape, with grooves that are located on both sides. In addition, its color tends to vary between reddish orange and deep green, with dark green stripes on its upper part.

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