Studies reveal that tomatoes, especially ripe tomatoes are rich of lycopene, anthocyanin, carotene, vitamin C, vitamin A, and other anti oxidants that help to prevents many type of cancers, and also helps to protect your skin against harmful UV lights. People that regularly consume tomatoes have significantly decreased risk against cancers, such as breast, head, and neck cancers. The nutrients contained in tomatoes also help to protect your brain from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer and Parkinson.
Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) are plants from the family Solanaceae (nightshade), similar to eggplants and potatoes. Even though tomatoes were originally cultivated in Central America centuries before European conquest, it is one of the newest plants used on large scale as a food. It was not until the 18th centuries tomatoes were reintroduced as a food plant in United States. It is now settle on third rank among vegetable crops.
Botanically, tomatoes are fruit subset, berry. The ovary and seed has the characteristics of a flowering plant. But it nutritionally categorized as vegetable since the sugar content is much lower than any other fruits. In general, tomatoes are used in salad and main course, rather than as a dessert. For culinary purposes, tomatoes are mostly considered as vegetables. Except when tomatoes are canned, they processed as fruits since tomatoes are acidic enough to be processed in water bath only while vegetables are required to be pressure cooked. This ambiguity also happens to cucumbers, eggplants, and all kinds of squashes (pumpkins and zucchinis for example). Read the rest of this entry »