Not only does the tomato present itself in a red, as it can hardly be more beautiful, it also has a very vitamin-rich inner life. The nightshade plant was cultivated in South America, where it also served the Aztecs as a medicinal plant in Mexico. We owe their cultivation in our latitudes to the Spanish conquerors who brought the tomato and the potato to Europe.
Tomato, gold apple, love apple
Not only their species but also their names are numerous: their discoverers, the Native Americans, called them "tumatle". In Italy they are called because of their original yellow color because of "pomodoro", which means auspiciously "gold apple". But love, paradise apple and Paradeiser are names that bring the fruit already advance laurels.
Through centuries of breeding, the estimated 2, 500 varieties of tomatoes have become subtle red fruits and versatile favorite vegetables in almost every kitchen in the world.
Lycopene is designed to protect cell membranes
The tomato is considered a protection against coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis attributed. The reason for this is the substance lycopene, a special carotenoid with antioxidant properties. This phytochemical, which is said to protect the cell membranes and has been said to alter damaged cells in cancer cells for a while, is found mainly in red fruits and vegetables, such as not only tomatoes, but also watermelons, pink grapefruits, and guavas,
Carotenoids are so important to our body because they help combat the so-called "free radicals". Since carotenoids are fat-soluble, this should be taken into account when preparing food. A few drops of olive oil can already be enough here.
Lycopene in tomato products
The recommended daily dose of lycopene by experts is 6 mg. It is interesting that lycopene from tomato puree or tomato juice is absorbed several times better by the body than from fresh tomatoes. This is not a paradox, but is explained by the fact that the relatively heat-resistant lycopene unfolds only at higher temperatures (which are achieved in the production of juice or puree) and then absorbed much better by the body.
|tomato product||Lycopene content (in mg per 100g)|
Tomatoes: healthy and low in calories
Tomatoes are not only very healthy, but also very low in calories. In addition to lycopene, they have a high content of vitamin C, minerals (such as potassium) and important trace elements. The rest is water - and this to a share of 95 percent. The best taste of the bush of mature tomatoes - who has its own garden, can be lucky.
Surely, each of us has already made the acquaintance of aqueous tomatoes that have been picked green or ripened in greenhouses.
5 facts about tomatoes - © Silke Hamann
Unripe tomatoes are poisonous
Incidentally, unripe green tomatoes should not be consumed in raw or unprocessed state, as they contain the toxic alkaloid tomatidine (which corresponds to the solanine of the potato). This can cause headache, nausea, gastric mucosal inflammation or cramping.
In very high doses, solanine can be deadly. But here too, "the dose alone makes a thing not a poison".
4 tips for proper storage of tomatoes
- Tomatoes are sensitive to cold and therefore do not belong in the fridge or in the vegetable compartment. They should be kept in a dark place at room temperature. This is how they unfold their full aroma.
- Do not store tomatoes with other ripe vegetables such as cucumbers. The red fruits give off a natural ripening gas (ethylene), which makes cucumber soften slightly.
- Apples, which also produce ethylene, are the other way round for tomato ripening. It also helps to put them in the sunlight.
- Consume fresh fruits within four to five days. Light, heat and oxygen otherwise reduce the content of nutrients.