The humble tomato, but it sounds better in Italian don't you think?
I always seem to associate tomatoes with Italian food but it is believed to have been grown in Mexico first, as early as the 14th century, originally being yellow in colour. It grown in Britain in 1590 by John Gerard who believed it to be poisonous and managed to convinced the whole of Britain that it was and although it was known to be eaten by the Spainish and the Italian it was not eaten in Britain until the mid 18th century. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomato)
So good old wiki came up with a couple of fact but i don't want you to get too bored but just one more thing, it's a fruit. Yes, it is! Why? because it has it's own plant contained within itself, in the seeds. In 1887 in the USA the humble tomato was taken to the supreme court, or maybe i should say the growers were summoned to court. The debate was this, if it was a fruit and couldn't have an import tax levied gainst it, however if it was a vegetable and could, and thereby protecting the American farmers. The court ruled in favour of the farmers and stated that for tax purposes it was a vegetable because it was served as part of a main meal rather then a desert as a fruit would be, even though it is botanically a fruit. http://www.britishtomatoes.co.uk/facts/index.html
However, yesterday whilst i was in the supermarket and i took the time to have a look for tomatoes in all forms and this is what i came across;
- ye olde humble tomato
- whole plum tomatoes in a can
- chopped tomatoes in a can
- chopped tomatoes in a can with the following; herbs, garlic or chilli
- passata, cooked, squished and sieved tomatoes
- tomato puree
- tomato juice
So at least you won't get bored, lazy but not bored.
As for the nutritional benefits, Vitamins A, C and E, the natural plant pigment carotenoids (beta-carotene and lycopene) and flavonoids. They also contain potassium and calcium, didn't know that, but now i do. Links have been found between the eating of tomatoes and the lower of blood pressure, reduction of heart disease, and some cancers. Lycopene is especially effective when used in conjunction with olive oil.
A word of caution, although tomatoes in a can maybe convenient they can sometimes contain high levels of sugar and salt.
Tomatoes have 14cals/100g and contain 93-95% water.
In other words, they are good for you.