5 Essential Benefits of Growing Tomato in Your Garden
Tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable. Have you known this fact before, or you know it just now? Yes, tomato belongs to the family of fruit, in contrast to what we used to know that tomato is a type of vegetable.
Botanically speaking, a tomato is classified as a fruit because of its structure. The plant produces flowers that bear fruit; the fruit has seeds inside, thus being a fruit. But if you insist that tomato is a vegetable, nothing is wrong with your argument. Because in culinary, tomato is known as a vegetable. It is due to its blander taste and its application where the classification is based.
However you classify it, a tomato is an edible plant with many uses. Research proves that the fruits of tomatoes give many benefits in the science of medicine and culinary. This list provides you some of the many benefits of growing tomato in your garden:
Source of Lycopene
To get a dose of antioxidants for your body, get it directly from fresh produced fruits and vegetables from numerous plants. There are many of them, but you can start with tomato plants. Tomatoes are a familiar plant, and you can grow them quickly and easily in your garden.
Lycopene is a form of antioxidant, a compound that protects your body from free radicals. Lycopene is the pigment that gives color characteristics to the tomato fruit. According to the study, among tomatoes with a high concentration of lycopene are the Ramillete, Pera, and During varieties. Other varieties, though still have lycopene but do not exhibit as high concentration.
Lycopene’s antioxidant property is linked to many health benefits. It protects you from free radicals that attack and damage your cells. Taking lycopene lowers the risk or delay the progression of some cancers like lung and prostate cancer. Also, lycopene improves heart health and reduces the risks that cause heart diseases.
Source of Micronutrients
Tomato has become one of the most commonly consumed vegetables. In 2019, tomatoes accounted for 31.4 pounds of available quantity per person. And this is a good indication because tomato is a good source of micronutrients. Thus the more quantity consumed, the more micronutrients are available for the body.
Tomato is an excellent source of vitamin C or ascorbic acid. This micronutrient is necessary for the development and growth of body tissues. In addition, it is involved in several body functions like iron absorption, healing of wounds, strengthening bones and teeth, and helps the immune system in its proper functioning.
Also, tomatoes are rich in folic acid, a B vitamin essential to pregnant women and even during the pre-pregnancy stage. Taking folate or folic acid in the early stages of pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects, a severe congenital disability affecting the brain and spine of the fetus.
Growing tomato in your garden: Source of Good Oil
Tomato seeds contain oil, and this oil contains 84% of unsaturated fats. You can find unsaturated fats in plants. This kind of fat is good for your health because of the many well-established benefits it gives. For example, it improves blood cholesterol levels, builds more robust cell membranes, and lowers the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Unsaturated fats also reduce cell inflammations. Depriving your body of unsaturated fats will manifest in symptoms like hair loss, dry skin rashes, and a weaker immune system.
Tomatoes are famous for garnishing salads and other dishes because of their bright colors. All colors are a fancy attraction to decorate a food: from the plump green, orange, yellow, and bright red, and others.
Tomato has become a classic garnishing because it is attractive and easy to create and form. Depending on your creativity, you can make a tomato rose out of fresh red tomato, or you can make a pretty yellow rose from a yellow tomato. You can also make small tomato flowers from the cherry tomatoes or a green leaf tomato from the green ones.
Used in Cooking
As in any other spices, you can use tomato in cooking. For example, you will enjoy a soup dish out of a fresh ripe tomato giving a sour flavor. In your pasta, you can make tomato sauce out of the fresh tomatoes from your garden. Wash the tomatoes, boil, remove the peel, toss in a blender to puree, and simmer, adding some spices to taste. And there, you can use your tomato sauce in your various pasta dishes.
You can also make tomato pickles from your fresh tomatoes. The pickles can be an excellent pair to your appetizers. Other recipes which you will enjoy your tomatoes are stew, gazpacho, roasted tomato chips, and many more.
Growing tomato in your garden: Takeaway
Tomato is a popular plant that you can quickly grow in your garden. Unfortunately, it is confused as fruit or a vegetable. But whichever way you call a tomato, it will not diminish the fact that it gives plenty of uses and benefits. Benefits that you can not take for granted. So, in the next planting season, make sure to grow a tomato plant in your garden.