Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Up Close with the To-mah-to

Healthy Foods Blog - Up Close with the To-mah-to
With its shiny red skin and round shape, many people might be easily fooled into thinking that the tomato is the closest kin of an apple. However, though a tomato has the appearance, texture, and taste  of a typical succulent fruit, it's actually a fruit and  veggie at the same time. Originating from South America, this pretty member of the nightshade family ranks as the top source of Vitamin A and C in the western diet.

But wait, these proverbial vitamins aren't the only nutrients the tomato boasts of. It also contains other vital nourishments such as lycopene, beta-carotene, dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, niacin, phosphorus, thiamine, and riboflavin. What's more, the tomato is even a low-fat, low-cholesterol, and a low-sodium veggiefruit. You can eat it fresh from the vine  or use it in different dishes.

Unlike other vegetables and fruits, the heat used in cooking doesn't deplete the nutrients of the tomato in any way. In fact, it even intensifies its lycopene content because  the process of heating causes the release of the latter by breaking down the cell walls. Lycopene is a phytochemical that our bodies could definitely make use of to keep it healthy. 

Written By: Maris Modesto

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