Tomato

Tomato is an edible often red fruit berry. Despite the popularity of the tomato, only 200 years ago it was thought to be poisonous in the U.S., likely because the plant belongs to the nightshade family, Solanaceae, of which some species are truly poisonous. Its use as a food originated in Mexico. 

Sometimes tomatoes in pots do better than those in the ground because of perfect soil and improved air circulation. Sun-ripened tomatoes deliver the taste of summer in every bite. Just a few healthy plants will produce buckets of fruit.  Tomatoes need at least 8 hours of sun to bring out their best flavors. To grow really strong tomato plants, two-thirds of the plant’s stem should be buried while planting. This way it will allow them to sprout roots along the buried stem, so the plant will be stronger and better able to find water in drought. Cover the ground with 2 to 4 inches of mulch to keep down weeds and keep the soil evenly moist. Straw and shredded leaves make great mulches for tomatoes. So, you can do it your self. Humid weather creates ideal conditions for fungal diseases and the only way to control it is to protect against it by spraying the leaves with an approved fungicide. As tomatoes begin to ripen, their color changes from vibrant medium-green to a lighter shade, with faint pink or yellow blushing. 

Tomatoes are full of health enhancing properties. They contain a wide array of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, including alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene, choline, folic acid, beta-carotene and lutein. They are one of the best sources of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cellular structures and DNA. Alpha-lipoic acid helps the body to convert glucose into energy. Choline is an important nutrient found in tomatoes that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. It also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation. Intake of tomatoes has long been linked to heart health. Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.  Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamins A and C and folic acid. They can help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. The vitamin A that tomatoes provide can improve vision and help prevent night blindness as well as that vitamin  works wonders to make hair strong and shiny. They contain a considerable amount of calcium and Vitamin K. Both of these nutrients are essential in strengthening and performing minor repairs on the bones as well as the bone tissue. Lycopene also has been shown to improve bone mass, which is a great way to fight osteoporosis. The folic acid in tomatoes may also help with depression by preventing an excess of homocysteine from forming in the body, which can prevent blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain. Excess homocysteine interferes with the production of the feel-good hormones serotonin dopamine, and norepinephrine, which regulate not only mood, but sleep and appetite as well. Prostate cancer is by far the best-researched type of cancer in relationship to tomato intake.  Risk for many cancer types starts out with chronic oxidative stress and chronic unwanted inflammation. For this reason, foods that provide us with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support are often foods that show cancer prevention properties. Tomatoes are very good for the skin. It is because of the lycopene again in it which is very good for the skin and it also makes our skin less sensitive to UV light damage which is the root cause of fine lines and wrinkles on our skin. Tomatoes can keep your blood sugar in balance. Tomatoes are a very good source of chromium, which helps to regulate blood sugar. Tomatoes are high in bioflavonoids and carotenoids, which are known anti-inflammatory agents so if you deal with mild to moderate chronic pain (such as from arthritis or back pain), tomatoes may be a pain-buster. If you are on a sensible diet and exercise plan, build lots of tomatoes into your everyday eating. They make a great snack and can be used to “bulk up” salads, casseroles, sandwiches and other meals. Because tomatoes contain lots of water and fiber, they help the people who are trying to loose weight. So including them in your daily diet by bulking your sandwich with it in addition to cucumber and a mint spread for taste, tomatoes can be eaten in salads, juice, sandwiches, casseroles and in many more thing. They will give you a nice fill feel without adding up any calories or fat around your body. The salad that I often make for my family is very easy and tasty. For that all you need , you will find in one place , i.e ; in your kitchen. You need a large bowl for mixing, tomato, cucumber, basil, parsley, sesame, bell pepper, garlic and I add vinegar because it is also very good for our health, weight and skin. You can use your combinations and can add some shredded meat or olives, cheese and can have some more cheesy dressing or with mayonnaise. I don't like mayonnaise at all so it is never in a dish which is tossed or made just for me. Tomatoes can also be made as stuffed Tomatoes where you have to remove the seeds and then stuff them with whatever you like to eat or as per your taste. I some times stuff it with cottage cheese ,hint of mint, dash of garlic, black pepper and its done in your oven, yumm!!!. I also convert my left over slices of tomatoes from salad plate into a totally yumm!! dish by simply mixing parmesan, oregano or you can try with mixed herbs also, black pepper, salt, dash of lemon juice and its done. cover the slices with this mixture and put them in the oven for 20 mins. or you can place them in your grill pan too. The moment the parmesan starts to melt you can remove them out . It is very healthy and you can serve with some roasted pine nuts. 

A person who drinks 8 ounces of low sodium tomato juice a day, can prevent inflammatory diseases like osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. Tomatoes work against impotency and help increase the sperm count. 

Eating lots of tomatoes, any way you can, is a great thing. This fruit that acts like a vegetable is loaded with health properties. 

Refrences taken from:- Wikipedia, medical news, florida tomatoes, wh foods and belief net.

(all the pictures are sourced from internet)

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