Lycopersicon esculentum also known as tomato is ordinarily used as vegetable and traces its origin from South of America. The fruit remains as one of the spicy produce that is typically bright-red in pigment when ripe. Tomatoes may be consumed when garden-fresh, broiled, or incorporated in lots of diverse types of diets. Health-wise, tomatoes comprise of several valuable nutrients having different qualities and purposes.
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The unrelenting significance of Lycopersicon esculentum as a salad or vegetable product is echoed by dimensional studies on almost all features in the yield. More than 1,000 scientific researches involving studies of tomatoes have been printed since the fiscal 2000. These do not consist of researches that fall under workshop reports, seminars, and other read collected works. Therefore, this paper examines the topical discoveries on the expanses of tomato nutrition.
The paper scrutinizes the antioxidants, essential vitamins, health benefits, storage and selection, methods of preparation and serving, as well as the side effects of tomato. The consumption of tomatoes is an excellent source of essential elements and nutrients such as vitamins A and C necessary for keeping the body healthy and prevents a variety of diseases.
Nutrition realities regarding tomatoes
Tomato is one of the nourishing drupes that are normally regarded as vegetable. The unbelievable phyto-chemical features in this self-effacing vegetable have grasped the consideration of masses of health pursuers. Tomato has numerous health advantageous properties compared to the benefits of an apple fruit. Botanically, tomato falls in the family of common vegetable named nightshade or Solanaceae.
The family also contains eggplants, potatoes, and chili peppers. Tomato was found in the central parts of USA as it was produced during the periods of Aztecs. This was prior to its exploration by the Spaniards who spread it to other parts of the globe. Several cultivars produce varieties of tomatoes that are used for consumption. Such varieties appear in diverse sizes or types and are either hybrid, organic, or genetically mutilated (Spencer & Kuhnle, 2005).
On the other hand, several producers harvest the red fruitlet yet others in corporate prospects produce tomatoes that are silvery, lime, florid, glowing, carroty, or blonde in pigment. The Heirloom tomatoes are gradually becoming prevalent mainly amongst organic manufacturers. These varieties tend to generate more appetizing and natural tomato fruitlets.
The Heirloom variety is currently produced on global basis as the leading vegetable along the lines of potatoes, chili and onions. However, Cherry tomatoes that fall in the same family (Solanaceae) appear to be cherry-sized, rotund, and small (Spencer & Kuhnle, 2005).
The richest source of frolic acid as well as vitamins C and A is tomatoes. Actually, tomatoes encompass a wide assortment of advantageous antioxidants and nutrients. These include lutein, beta-carotene, folic acid, choline, lycopene, and alpha-lipoic acid. The acid (Alpha-lipoic) assists the body in converting glucose to energy (Jacob, 2010, p. 195). Certain signal advocates that the acid (alpha-lipoic) helps in stabilizing the nerve and brain influences, develops vasodilation, and helps in the regulation of blood sugar.
Likewise, the acid defends the body against retinopathy in patients suffering from diabetes. The other antioxidant is lycopene that provides the tomato with rich and bright color. Tomatoes cater for nearly eighty percent (80%) of lycopene ingestion. Equally, choline is another essential nutrient that is set up in tomatoes.
The antioxidant boosts personal memory, learning, movement of the muscle, as well as sleep. The available choline in tomatoes moreover moderates the chronic infections, helps in fat immersion, influences the nerve compulsion and diffusion, as well as assisting in preserving the configuration of cellular membranes.
Conversely, diverse assortments of tomato have the potency to hold different nutrients. In general, ripe and red tomatoes comprise of extraordinary concentrations of lycopene. The antioxidant is an effective and beneficial nutrient as it averts the endometrial wall, membrane, gastric, lung, and prostate cancer.
The nutrient assists in lessening the peril of heart ailment caused due to old age and inhibit suntan. Research discovered that the consumption of tomatoes with broccoli generates the properties for combating cancer. Regular ingestion of lime tea and consumption of tomatoes produces the same outcome. In order to acquire excess lycopene from tomatoes, it is appropriate to boil tomatoes since cooking releases supplementary antioxidants (Fielding, 2005).
The essential Vitamins
Nutrition is a compound procedure that comprises of nearly sixteen necessary nutrients along with other biological elements that are helpful or unsafe to the metabolism of plant. The reaction of any crop including tomatoes to certain nutrients can fluctuate with exogenous and cultivar aspects (Aldrich, 2010, p. 2553). Such factors may include ecological circumstances, substrate conditions, as well as social performance.
Tomatoes are well-known to comprise of Vitamin A that is significant health-wise in terms of metabolic, skin, and eyes purposes. Besides, tomatoes possess unlimited amount of vitamin C. The deficiency of Vitamin C causes scurvy in most cases. Thus, vitamin C as an element is essential for the vigorous working of personal immune structure. Vitamin K which is essential for the upkeep of healthy bones is also present in tomatoes.
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In addition, the fruity vegetable is rich in potassium that assists in the protection of stroke and heart failure disorder. In general, tomato is a very important fruit that can be regarded as a source of several minerals including folate, calcium, and iron. It is evident from research that all these elements are essential for nutritional processes (Palozza, 2010, p. 2558).
Health benefits of tomatoes
Tomatoes are known to contain nutritional fiber that relates to diet. The fiber can benefit individuals and make them sense stomach satisfaction for a longer period besides being vital for duodenal health. The study has revealed that tomatoes are anti-inflammatory. Therefore, consuming a tumbler of tomato juice on a daily basis may perhaps assist an individual to protect his/her body against progressive ailments like osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s.
Tomatoes may be helpful in depressing the intensities of body and fatty acids. In addition to the health benefits such as antioxidants, tomatoes have the ability to regulate sugar levels in blood as claimed by health practitioners (Waterlow, 2008). This aids in the defense against kidney stones and gall, cures headache, and leads to the decline in the effects of pressure. The study relays that the consumption of tomato has infinite benefits in the lives of individuals.
It reduces the chances of cancers, blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin diseases, constipations, pregnancy complications, and depression (Lippi & Targher, 2011, p. 1235). The nutritional value of tomatoes is high since a single tomato accounts for 0.30 grams of fat and fifteen calories.
Storage and selection of tomatoes
Ripe and fresh tomato berries contain fruity savor that is rich and features an attractive red pigment that is conspicuous. It is advisable that one ought to purchase uniform-sized, firm, and fresh tomatoes in marketplace (Cao & Popovic, 2010, p. 1087). Basically, mushy, soft, and scratched tomatoes or those that have stained spots and wrinkles are not fit for nutrition at all costs.
Tomato fruits that are yellow and firm might be positioned in a dark and cool position having room temperature and pressure for nearly two to three days. Nevertheless, ripe fruits originating from tomatoes have to be stored in fridges as they are vegetables that can easily rot. In order to acquire the advantages of antioxidants and vitamins in tomatoes, they should be used when still fresh.
Means of serving and preparing tomatoes
It is true that tomatoes are prone to pest infestation. This has rendered the hybrid varieties of tomatoes to be regularly exposed to insect repellent spraying. Thus, with the intention of getting rid of the remains of fungicides or pesticides, soil and dust tomatoes should be thoroughly rinsed in cold and moving water. In order to get tomatoes ready, dispose the stem and top end calyx before cutting it into the anticipated slices, cubes, or halves. Similarly, peel off the tomato membrane and pulverize the juicy and fleshy tissue.
Interestingly, one might de-seed the tomato berry before using it for cooking purposes depending on individual preference. Tomatoes are widely utilized during food preparation to impede the development of human stomach, liver, colon, and breast cancer cells (Friedman, 2009, p.5730). Actually, there are superfluous sour palate in fresh tomatoes which when combined with additional elements will give a magnificent, rich savor and aroma in cuisine.
During the preparation of fruit salads, cherry or regular tomatoes prove to be the best ingredients. In the contemporary world, fresh tomato soups and juices are extent becoming the most pervasive drinks in regard to health. The biological tomato variations comprise of extra lycopene compared to tomatoes that are not organic (Wood, 2011, p. 15).
The green and young tomatoes are utilized in several purposes akin to raw vegetables. For instance, they can be utilized in preparing chutney, making simmers, and general food preparation in certain sub-continents or states in Indian communities.
Other impacts of tomato nutrition
Despite the associated nutritional health benefits, tomatoes emanated from a group of nightshade plants that encompass several harmful adherents. In fact, tomato fruits are not poisonous, yet the leaves are actually toxic. Individuals who suffer from ulcers ought to totally evade tomatoes that are highly acidic and should only depend on the acid-free tomatoes. It is better to balance the consumption of both fresh and cooked tomatoes since fresh tomatoes tend to be less acidic compared to the cooked ones (Spencer & Kuhnle, 2005).
Moreover, dispensation and wrapping of tomatoes has led to an epidemic of certain diseases (salmonella). The bottleneck could be eradicated through purchasing the vegetable from trustworthy sources. Hence, nutrition from tomatoes is generally healthy with resilient and diverse benefits compared to the disadvantages.
Tomato remains as the most studied plant of all the horticultural produces. Significant development has been accomplished in nearly all parts as described in this research paper. Indeed, the examination of the topical discoveries in the areas of tomato nutrition is covered.
The storage and selection as well as the methods of preparation and serving tend to help the nutritionist to evade the dangers associated with tomatoes. The health benefits associated with the antioxidants, essential vitamins, and health benefits can enable one to understand the topic on tomato nutrition. Generally, the nutritional benefits of tomatoes are healthier as well as have strong and diverse advantages than the disadvantages.
Aldrich, T. (2010). Cultivar choice provides options for local production of organic and conventionally produced tomatoes with higher quality and antioxidant content. Journal of Scientific Food and Agriculture, 90(15), 2548-2555.
Cao, L., & Popovic, B. (2010). Canned food products from Canadian markets. Journal of Food Protection, 6(73), 1085-1089.
Fielding, J. (2005). Increases in plasma lycopene concentration after consumption of tomatoes cooked with olive oil. Web.
Friedman, M. (2009). Tomatine-containing green tomato extracts inhibit growth of human breast, colon, liver, and stomach cancer cells. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, 13(57), 5727-5733.
Jacob, K. (2010). Stability of carotenoids, phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid and antioxidant capacity of tomatoes during thermal processing. Archive of Latinoam Nutrition, 2(60), 192-198.
Lippi, G., & Targher, G. (2011). Tomatoes, lycopene-containing foods and cancer risk. Brochure Journal of Cancer, 7(104), 1234-1235.
Palozza, P. (2010). Tomato lycopene and inflammatory cascade: Basic interactions and clinical implications. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 17(23), 2547-2563.
Spencer, P., & Kuhnle, G. (2005). The genotypic variation of the antioxidant potential of different tomato varieties. Free Radical Research, 39(9), 1005-1016.
Waterlow, J. (2008). Fats and fatty acids in human nutrition. FAO Food and Nutrition Paper. 1(1), 1-169.
Wood, T. (2011). Tomatoes top reds in preliminary lycopene study. Agricultural Research, 59(2), 15-16.