Tomato is the worlds most popular vegetable after potato. Belonging to the family of  Solanecee, tomatoes originate from south America and they are  cultivated almost everywhere. Acut tomatoeslthough other vegetables may contain many more minerals and vitamins, tomato  contributes more effectively to dietary supplements because of its wider application and versatility of use in gastronomy.

In general the benefits of orange and red vegetables are recognized for its anti-oxidants and  Vitamin C and E. 

The Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IBMCP) in collaboration with the Universitat de Valencia and CSIC, the Spanish research council, have discovered that the anti oxidant power of tomato is 14 times higher than reseveratrol, which is an antioxidant  found in the skin of  berry grapes and red wine, 10 times more effective than  vitamin C and 4,5 times more than vitamin E.

We already talked about Lycopene which is a very important antioxidant which has the ability to slow the reproduction of cancer cells.  Consumption of tomatoes will decrease the risk of cancer in ovaries for women and prostrate for men. Red tomatoes have more concentration of Lycopene which together with carotenoids, will protect cells and other structures from oxygen-free radicals. Lycopene is also found to be beneficial for the skin as it offers protection from (UV) rays and skin cancer. Fresh tomato contain potassium and 5mg of sodium . Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and help control heart rate and blood pressure. Tomatoes are low in calories containing around 17calories per 100g. and are also low in fat content and  zero cholesterol.  Dieticians and nutritionists  often recommend tomato in weight control programs.

The versatility of tomatoes is what makes it a remarkable vegetable.  It can be consumed in many forms: in salad or as a sauce or for flavouring such as ketchup. Usually fresh tomato is consumed in the summer season which is when the tomato ripens naturally although it can be found in other seasons if grown in greenhouses. The wide varieties of tomatoes that can be found in supermarket shelves  make it very versatile in the cookery.

When selecting  tomatoes make sure they are fresh and if possible find out where they come from, if it has travelled long distances for example it means that it ripened artificially. Ripe tomatoes should be stored in the refrigerator.