T is for Tomato
Yes, the tomato is a fruit – botanically however it is usually treated and eaten more like a vegetable. Either way – they’re wonderful! Whether used to make your favourite condiment, stirred in to a pasta source or topping a lovely summer salad, tomatoes are diverse and a nutritional powerhouse.
🍅 There are over 10,000 different varieties of tomato
🍅 Tomatoes are 95% water
🍅 100g of tomato contains ~18kcal, ~1g of protein, ~1.2g of fibre and ~3g of sugar
🍅 Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C, Potassium (important for blood pressure), Vitamin K1 (important for blood clotting and bone health) and Folate (important for normal tissue growth and cell function)
🍅 Other plant compounds found in tomatoes are;
Lycopene, an antioxidant, it protects against cell damage and is therefore thought to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. Along with Beta carotene, lycopene is the phytochemical that gives tomatoes their red colour;
Beta carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A within the body;
Naringenin, which is thought to decrease inflammation and;
Chlorogenic acid which is thought to reduce high blood pressure
🍅 Lycopene is found in much higher levels in processed tomatoes than fresh ones. For this reason it is thought that eating cooked tomatoes may be more beneficial than eating raw ones however, eating a mixture of both will probably bring around the most benefits. Things such as consuming a source of healthy fats alongside lycopene containing foods could increase absorption by 4 times.
🍅 Heinz® tomato ketchup was first sold in 1876, over 650 million bottles of Heinz® ketchup are sold every year