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THE WONDERFUL TOMATO

I hope all is well with us. I am about to tell the story of the tomato. This wonderful food is widely used in Ghana in our dishes but we may not know how nutritionally powerful it is. As usual please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. If I donít know, I will find out.

The tomato is a savory, typically red, edible fruit. It originated in South America and has now spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas.

While it is botanically a fruit, it is considered a vegetable for cooking purposes.

Tomato is:      Low in Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Cholesterol. It is also high in Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper

A powerful substance in the tomato is lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. In some studies lycopene, has been found to help prevent prostate cancer. Lycopene has also been shown to improve the skin's ability to protect against harmful UV rays. Lycopene from tomatoes has been repeatedly studied in humans and found to be protective against a growing list of cancers. These cancers now include colorectal, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.

Tomatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A. These antioxidants travel through the body neutralizing dangerous free radicals that could otherwise damage cells and cell membranes, escalating inflammation and the progression or severity of atherosclerosis, diabetic complications, asthma, and colon cancer.

Tomatoes are a very good source of potassium and a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, and folate. Diets rich in potassium have been shown to lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Vitamin B6 and folate are both needed by the body to convert a potentially dangerous chemical called homocysteine into less dangerous molecules. The vitamin K present in tomatoes helps in keeping the bones strong and healthy. It also helps prevent hemorrhages. Consuming raw tomato on a regular basis may help improve the texture of your skin and add glow. Being a natural antiseptic, tomatoes may help protect the body against various common infections. Pregnant women, suffering from morning sickness, may benefit from tomato consumption.

 

Growing tomatoes at home is so simple. Just sprinkle some of the seeds in your backyard and you will see miracles. This would give you organic, safe, chemical free tomatoes.

 

DZIDZOR SACKEY

(dietitian-0272-640640)

 
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