Discover the 10 unsuspected health benefits of tomatoes.
The tomato, we all know that it is a light fruit, rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc and even magnesium. But concretely, what can all this bring us from a “health” point of view? HBO tells us everything and reveals the 10 unexpected health benefits of tomatoes.
1. Tomato, an anti-cancer food
The tomato is a fruit very rich in lycopene; a compound which gives it its red color, and which, according to numerous studies, helps prevent the appearance of certain cancers such as breast, prostate, stomach or colon cancer.
2. The tomato gives a good heart
Indeed, recent studies have shown that thanks to its components, people who regularly put tomato in their menus had a chance of seeing their bad cholesterol (LDL) level drop; frequent consumption of tomatoes also reduces the risk of stroke in individuals.
3. Tomatoes to stay young
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene and lycopene, all of which have strong antioxidant power. It is therefore a perfect fruit to fight against free radicals, compounds responsible for the premature aging of our cells …
4. Tomato to stimulate transit
Yes: thanks to its high fiber content, the tomato is ideal for gently relaunching a little lazy intestinal transits, and helping us to find a flat stomach. But be careful: to make the most of the fibers of the tomato, do not forget to eat it with the skin, without peeling it.
5. Tomato for a healthy glow
Even if it does not have the orange color of the carrot, the tomato is a fruit rich in beta-carotene, a pigment that promotes the creation of melanin and is ideal for giving us a nice tanned complexion without having to go through the box. ” Sun ” !
6. Tomatoes to protect our skin
In summer, to avoid turning red like a tomato when exposed to the sun, do not forget to stock up on tomatoes on our plates before going on vacation! Indeed, lycopene is a pigment created by the tomato to protect itself from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and which has the same effect on us! Perfect for keeping an apricot complexion all summer, and preserving our solar capital at the same time …
7. The tomato to keep the line
In summer, when it has reached its peak season, do not hesitate to use and overuse tomatoes at mealtimes: with barely 18 calories per 100 grams and a water content of around 95%, it is is an ultra-light, ultra-digestible and ultra-hydrating food that should not be overlooked!
8. Tomato for high blood pressure
Thanks to its richness in vitamins A, C and E, but also in calcium, potassium and lycopene, the tomato prevents bad cholesterol from attaching to the walls of blood vessels, which leads to their hypertrophy, and the increase of blood pressure.
9. Tomatoes to fight diabetes
Due to its richness in lycopene (again!) And chromium (a very important trace element in the process of metabolizing glucose), tomatoes could improve blood sugar control and prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. .
10. The tomato, an anti-acne weapon
Last health benefit that we can recognize in tomatoes? The lycopene (always him!) That it contains is a substance which has been recognized to be very effective in the fight against acne and the small buttons which sometimes come to strike the encrustation on our face. But beware: to enjoy it, you must consume products derived from tomatoes.
Choosing the right tomato
The best tomatoes are found in season, preferably at the public market, or even at a farmer’s home. Look for old varieties, often less beautiful, but generally tastier.
Do not confuse unripe green tomato with mature green tomato. In the first case, it is a tomato which will turn red, orange or yellow when it reaches maturity; in the second, a fruit which remains green when ripe. Both can be eaten, but the first one is cooked or marinated, while the second, sweeter, can be eaten fresh.
The different varieties
There are hundreds of varieties across the world that are distinguished by their shape, color, size and flavor. The most common among us are the cherry tomato, the cluster tomato, the elongated tomato, the beef heart and the round tomato.
Store tomatoes preferably out of the refrigerator. Their flavor and texture deteriorate when exposed to temperatures below 15 ºC. Put tomatoes that are not perfectly ready to ripen in a paper bag or in a fruit bowl.
Freezer. Freeze whole tomatoes on a baking sheet. Once frozen, put them in freezer bags. Or, blanch them, peel them, and let them drain for an hour or two before freezing.
History of the tomato
The term “tomato” comes from the Spanish tomato, itself derived from xitomatl, from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs of Mexico. It appeared in the French language in 1598 in the translation of the work of the Spanish Jesuit Jose de Acosta, Natural and Moral History of the West Indies. In France, until the middle of the 18th century, the fruit was referred to as the “love apple”. Some say that its red color inspired passion or that it was believed to be an aphrodisiac. Others say that it is rather a literal translation of the Italian pomo d’amore, that term being a corruption of pomi di mori (apple of the Moors). At the time, we didn’t know that the tomato came from America; The Arabs were usually credited with bringing any new vegetable or fruit into Europe.
The tomato is native to the Andes, South America, where wild forms are still found today. The ancestor of the cultivated species could be the cherry tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum var. cerasiform. It would have been introduced in Central America and Mexico in prehistoric times, that is, more than 2000 years ago. The wind, the rivers, the birds or the Indians migrating north would have transported her and she found fertile ground there for her settlement.
It does not seem to have been consumed by the natives of its area of origin. On the contrary, it was adopted in the diet of Mexicans who, by selection, obtained many varieties. Indeed, during the conquest, the Spaniards discovered at the market in the city of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, several types of tomatoes of various colors, flavors and shapes.
Like all plants of American origin discovered at this time, the tomato was first introduced to Spain in the 16th century. The Spaniards and Italians were the first to adopt it as a food. It will still be two centuries before seeing it appear in a cookbook. This is because the uninviting smell of its leaves and stems, as well as its resemblance to the poisonous plants of the nightshade family (henbane, datura, mandrake, etc.) then inspire mistrust. It will therefore be cultivated first as an object of curiosity, in botanical or private gardens.
We hope the article on the 10 unsuspected health benefits of tomatoes has been of help.