Tomatoes, Lycopersicon esculentum, are probably the most popular ”vegetable” grown worldwide. Botanically they are fruits, not vegetables and belong to the nightshade family. Tomatoes are very low in calories (17 kcal /100g), and therefore an ideal food for weight reducing diets.
Loaded with antioxidants and high in potassium, tomatoes are one of the healthiest "vegetables" around. The tomato's possible cancer-fighting ability has been associated with the antioxidant lycopene, a carotenoid that gives the tomato its red color. Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium, vitamin C and folic acid.
Wild forms of tomatoes grow abundantly on the slopes of the Andes of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru: this is probably their origin. Since the first written evidence in the 16th century, tomatoes have been introduced to all countries of the world. Spanish conquistadors brought both yellow and red tomatoes back to Seville in the 1520s.
The Spanish name "pomodoro" literally means "golden apple" and refers to the original yellow colour of the tomato!
Serving size: 100 grams
Protein: 0.9 gram
Fat: 0.2 grams
Carbohydrate: 3.5 grams
Dietary Fiber :1.3 grams
When you buy the tomatoes in the store and wish to keep them for a longer time, watch the colour: a package where all tomato's are equally red has probably been sitting there longer than a package where you can see different shades of red. You may also look at the stems: these should be fresh and green.
Don't put tomatoes in the refrigerator. It's best to store them between 12 and 15 degrees Centigrade, in a dark place. Serve them at room temperature. Chopped tomatoes can be frozen for use in sauces or other cooked dishes.