When the first Europeans arriveded to the South America, they were surprised to see bright red "apples growing on small bushes. The aboriginals grew them since immemorial time and called tomato. That is why it is called tomato in Russian. French and Italians were the first in Europe who took interest in the oversee curiosity. To Russia they were introduced in 1780, when the ambassador of Catherine II brought a few boxes of strange fruit from France. The tomato is the edible, red fruit of Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as a tomato plant, which belongs to the nightshade family,
Tomatoes have very valuable nutritional qualities, because they contain sugar, proteins, organic acids, vitamins C, B1, B2, PP, B3, B6, B9, E and provitamin A (carotene). 100 g of ripe tomatoes contains 1/4 of which covers daily human need for vitamin C and at the same has very low caloricity (only 22 calories).
Tomatoes contain glucose and fructose, they are rich in potassium salts, magnesium and easily digestible iron. Due to the small content of organic acids tomato is widely used in various diets. It has bile-expelling and diuretic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory effect. Tomato has preventive and medical effect in atherosclerosis. It timulates appetite, has a mild laxative effect, enhance the secretion of gastric juice. It is widely used as an ingredient in food for people suffering from diseases of the digestive system.
People who suffer from diseases of the circulatory system, obesity are recommended to add tomatoes to the diet. It helps to reduce blood pressure and intraocular pressure and therefore it is very useful in hypertension and glaucoma. High iron content contributes to the recovery from anemia. Contrary to previous misconceptions, tomatoes are poor in purines and oxalic acid, which allows you to include them in the diet with arthritis, gout, urate diathesis.
Antioxidant lycopene contained in tomatoes, prevents cardiovascular diseases which are heart attack and stroke, greatly reduces the risk of prostatitis and some forms of esophagus and stomach cancer. Potassium is good for the heart. It ensures normal functioning of muscles, including the heart muscle. Magnesium lowers blood cholesterol levels, prevents the formation of kidney stones. Also tomato contains iron, zinc (required for growth of skin cells, hair and wound healing), calcium (strengthens bones), phosphorus (is involved in metabolic processes) - all of these minerals are certainly useful and necessary for good health, so tomato often is used in diets. Tomato reduces appetitie as well.
Tomatoes also contain malic and citric acids that stimulate appetite, stimulate digestion and suppress pathogenic intestinal microflora. In addition, tomatoes contain a large amount of mineral salts: Na, Mg, S, I. Therefore, tomatoes help in diseases of the cardiovascular system, and anemia.
To make a tomato salad more benefitial for health dress it with sunflower oil. Since in combination with vegetable fats lycopene is much better absorbed.
Tomatoes are benefitial not only for the body but also for a tormented soul. They contain serotonin, called a hormone of happiness, and thiamin - an organic compound which is converted into serotonin in the body. That is why tomatoes improve mood, and work as antidepressants in stressful situations. In addition, tomatoes are very useful in cosmetology.
Men who eat 6 tomatoes daily reduce a prostate cancer risk.
Tomatoes improve eyesight, improve the adrenal glands functioning.
Just keep in mind that tomato consuming should be reduced for people suffering from metabolic disorders and allergies to red fruits and vegetables.