What Tomatoes Are You Eating?


This is interesting. In the 16th century, the Spanish transported tomatoes to Europe from where they originated in South America. Those tomatoes were wild and green. However, as peoples’ knowledge increased, the breeding development produced many varieties of tomatoes. You can choose from red, yellow, purple, green or orange tomatoes.

As time progresses, more methods are tried.

Tests are carried out on tomatoes to see how they could be used to fight certain illnesses. This is done by inserting vaccines in them carrying antibodies and proteins. So far, they have only used mice in this experiment.

Today you have a variety of tomatoes available. This is done by cross cultivation to produce seeds.

Also, because they pluck supermarket tomatoes from the vine, they’re usually lighter in colour. But, to meet the demand they have to harvest them early. However, this can have an impact on their quality and taste.

So, do you know about the tomatoes you are eating?

Plum tomatoes


Plum tomatoes are Roma or Italian tomatoes and grown in the UK, USA, Australia and Mexico. They’re sold mostly in supermarkets.

They’re firm and slim (egg-shaped) and are usually used in cans and turned into tomato paste. This is because they have fewer seeds. Cooks love these as they’re easier to use than the other varieties. And they’re available out of season.


Tinned tomatoes

These tomatoes are equally as good for you. The next time you buy tinned tomatoes, choose ones with lots of tomatoes and thick juice. A little tip here. If you want to chop them, use a pair of scissors and cut them while they are still in the tin.

According to studies, tinned tomatoes produce carotenoid pigment lycopene. This is because lycopene is easier to absorb when heated. And tinned tomatoes are usually used for cooking. Therefore, the benefit of eating them can stop lung, prostate and stomach cancers from developing.

In addition, they have vitamin K, which strengthens bones. Antioxidant vitamins C and E together with lycopene is good for your heart health. This reduces the possibility of heart diseases.


Vine tomatoes


Supermarkets bump up the prices of vine tomatoes to make you think they’re special. However, vine tomatoes are simply tomatoes ripened on the vine compared to commercial ones that are picked green (when matured) then ripened. Commercial tomatoes have to endure journeys by ships to different countries. So, it’s easier to pick them green to prevent bruising and splitting. And in time they become ripe, usually before they end up on the supermarket shelves.

Nevertheless, the varieties are the same. The difference is how they are left to ripen. Tomatoes have a maturing ripening process as you can see from the table below…

Tomato Ripening Stages.png

Image source


Cherry tomatoes


These are round and are a genetically mixed combination of garden tomatoes and wild currant-type tomatoes. They come in various sizes. Some are as small as the tip of18 your thumb or as big as a golf ball. Moreover, the colours are red, yellow, green or black. But, the most common colour is red.

They’ve been around since the 15th century and were grown in Mexico. Europe produced the first batch of yellow cherry tomatoes in the 16th century.

Health benefits of tomatoes

The combination of lycopene and antioxidant in tomatoes are good sources of health benefits. This is especially essential for women prone to develop osteoporosis. Tomatoes make bones stronger.

Some other health benefits are:

  • Eating fresh tomatoes or its extracts lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • The extracts stop blood clumping in the cells and therefore protect the heart.
  • Raw sliced tomatoes produce vitamin C, biotin, vitamin K, potassium, fiber, copper, folate, vitamins A, B3, B6, E, zinc, iron, protein, magnesium and more.
  • The antioxidant in tomatoes also protects the liver, kidneys and bloodstreams.
  • Regular intake of tomatoes helps reduce cancers such as breast, prostate, stomach and lung.
  • Including tomatoes in your diet can prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Organic ketchup contains a high dose of lycopene.

So, in conclusion, tomatoes (whether tinned or fresh) are good for you. It does not matter which variety you choose. To get the health benefits, include them in your dietary intake.


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