Tomato is often mistaken as a vegetable, but it is a fruit. This mistake is common because of how tomatoes are used. It is a fruit but it is prepared and consumed like a vegetable, hence the interchanging of labels. Tomato is a native of South America from the nightshade family. It has a bright red colour because of its loads of a major dietary antioxidant substance called lycopene. This red colour of tomatoes help protect them from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Likewise, it helps the largest organ of the human body (skin) to be protected from sun rays. However, not all tomatoes have a bright red colour. It varies and includes green, purple, yellow, and orange. More so, the flavours and shapes vary, too.
Lycopene that tomato is rich in, is a substance that has been linked to various health benefits which in turn gives many benefits. It is said to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. It is also rich in potassium, folate, vitamins B, C, E, and K, among other nutrients.
- Potassium is an essential mineral that is important and helpful for the control of the body’s blood pressure. More so, it helps in preventing heart diseases.
- Folate, one of the B vitamins, is important for cell function. This vitamin is especially beneficial and consequential for pregnant women.
- Vitamin C is an essential nutrient against bacteria and viruses, and it is one of the health benefits of tomatoes. It is rich in vitamin C and thus, strengthening the body’s immune system response.
- Vitamin K1 is important for bone health which is also a contributing factor to the health benefits of tomatoes.
- A hundred grams of raw tomato contains 18 calories, 0.9g of protein, 2.6g of sugar, and 95% of water, among others.
Skin health. Tomatoes, among other foods rich in lycopene and other plant compounds, help protect the skin against sunburn. A study showed that people who eat 40g of tomato paste every day for over two months have 40% fewer chances of having sunburns as compared to others.
- 2lb ripe tomatoes
- 3 cups whole peeled tomatoes with its juice
- 1 medium sweet yellow onion
- 5 tbsp butter
- 1 ¼ tsp salt
- Chop the tomatoes crudely. If you are using fresh tomatoes, peel them first.
- Trim both ends of the onion and peel it. Then, cut the peeled onion in half, lengthwise.
- Place the butter, onion, salt, and tomatoes in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Lower the heat enough for it to simmer steadily when the tomatoes begin to bubble.
- Cook and stir for every 10 to 15 minutes until the consistency of the tomato changed. It should not be watery and the sauce should be reduced. Know that the sauce is done once the butter has already separated from the tomatoes and there is no liquid.
- After about 45 minutes, serve with your already cooked pasta.