The origin of tomato is from Mexican region and they referred to its as tomati. During sixteenth century Spanish explorers introduced tomato into Europe and later Portuguese brought this to India. Tomato is very popularly grown throughout India and it ranks the largest crop after potato and sweet potato. Tomato is a warm season crop it takes about 5 – 7 weeks from blooming to ripening. For proper ripening and high yield it needs sunny weather. Heavy rainfall is not suitable. It is available in the market through out the year. It can be used raw, soup, salads, ketchup, chutney and for making juice.
Tomato is a good source of potassium, B- carotene (vitamin A) and vitamin C. It is very low in calories. Hundred grams of edible portion of tomato contains only 20 kcal. It is very important food for weight reducing diets. Some research done by British scientists have shown that tomatoes contain lycopene, the carotenoid pigment that turns tomatoes to red may help to prevent some forms of cancer by lessening the damage caused by free radicals.
Role of tomato in stone formations is controversial. There is a general belief that tomato consumption may result in the formation of bladder stones and that tomato may not be suitable for those who suffer from a tendency to gout or uric acid diseases. Oxalic acid and purine are the substances generally known to be associated with bladder stone formation. Biochemical analysis of tomato has shown that it contains around 4mg of oxalic acid per 100 gms of fruit. Oxalic acid and purine content of tomato is less or comparable to many of the other vegetables. Tomato contains less purines than do carrots, potatoes, cabbages and other vegetables and less oxalic acid than do beets potatoes, cucumber and lettuce.
Recent research has shown that tomato contains a component P3, which by preventing platelet clots helps to cut down deaths from heart diseases and strokes. This element is also found in strawberries and grapefruit and melon but is most effective in tomatoes.
Tomato is a vegetable of good nutritive value and its easily availability and relatively low cost it should be included in the daily diet.
- Ripe tomato contains very good amount of vitamin A.
- Both ripe and unripe have large amount of vitamin C but more in unripe one.
- It is low in calories, advisable to weight reducing diet preferably raw as salad.
- Tomato may help to prevent some forms of cancer by lessening the damage caused by free radicals.
- Tomato by preventing platelet clots helps to cut down deaths from heart diseases and strokes.
- Role of tomato in stone formations is controversial.
Article from: http://www.bawarchi.com/health/tomato.html