Origin: History Of Tomato is full of misconceptions and hurdles. Tomatoes originated in South America and then it was introduced in Europe around the 16th century. The word tomato arrives from the Aztec language, word 'tomato' which gave rise to the Spanish name, 'tomato' and hence the name 'tomato' in English.
In France and northern Europe, Tomatoes were an ornamental plant as it was tagged as a poisonous fruit in that region. The reason being their plates were made of lead and the acid in tomatoes would interact with lead making food poisonous and deadly. In the 19th century, this misconceptions blew away as Italians ate the fruit without any consequences. In Asia, tomatoes arrived during the 19th century and China became the leading producer of tomatoes along with India and Iran.
In Ayurveda, the tomato is considered as rajasic food as it has a stimulating effect on the mind and body. Ayurvedic principles state that tomato increases all three doshas. Its juicy nature reduces the digestion fire. In addition, its sour characteristic can lead to acidity and flatulence. Ayurveda also states that this effect is reduced by cooking it in combination with other spices such as turmeric, pepper and cumin seeds.
Scientifically: Tomato’s scientific name is Solanum lycopersicum. It is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that stop the formation of cancer-causing free radicals. Tomato contains Beta-Carotene (a yellow antioxidant responsible for converting into vitamin A in the body.) It is also loaded with Naringenin (a flavonoid that decreases inflammation) and Chlorogenic acid (an antioxidant that lowers blood pressure). It gets its red tint from chlorophyll and carotenoids.
Molecular cancer research shows that intake of beta-carotene prevents prostate cancer. Lycopene (red pigment and antioxidant) present in tomatoes also prevents prostate cancer. Lycopene is also linked with various other health benefits.
As per research, lycopene boosts the fertility of men. The research states that it can increase sperm count by 70 percent.
Tomatoes are pregnant with vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, and K, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus. It is a natural astringent thus treats acne, opens pores while fading tanning. Tomato contains approximately 95 percent of water.
Ayurveda recommends not consuming tomatoes with cucumber, yogurt, dairy products, and melon. The reason being this combination results in the buildup of toxins.
Tomatoes have low sodium and high potassium in them that helps in maintaining blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attacks and death. Tomatoes also carry fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, and choline content that reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The folate present in tomato balances the homocysteine levels that lower the chances of heart attacks and strokes.
The high potassium in tomatoes can also prevent kidney stones and protects the muscles from decay and preserve minerals present in bones.
Tomatoes can also help in stabilizing diabetes as they are loaded with fiber. Fiber and water present in tomatoes helps in hydration and prevents constipation. The lycopene, beta-carotene, and Katrina present in tomatoes protects the eyes from various eye disorders such as cataracts and AMD.
Tomatoes are high in Vitamin C that helps in the production of collagen. Collagen is an important component for skin, hair, nails, and connective tissue. Intake of tomatoes prevents skins aging. Tomato juice works magically on skin. It treats and prevents acne, closes open pores and takes care of the sebum secretion.
When a mashed tomato is applied on skin it balances pH, addresses the annoying blackheads, removes tan and whitens the skin.
Usage: Worldwide, tomatoes are used in cooking. They are used for making soups, stews, salads and other food items. Women also use tomatoes to apply on their face as it has antioxidants and other nutrients that reduce the blackening and aging of the skin. A natural beauty therapist use tomato creates face pack, body scrub, face scrub, etc. They recommend using it to address various skin issues such as pigmentation, blackheads, scars, etc.
Below are some diys using Tomato:
- Apply sugar on tomato and scrub your face with it. This is a great exfoliator. To make a face pack, add oatmeal and curd to tomato pulp. Apply the mixture on the face and neck. After a few minutes wash it off to get a glowing complexion.
- Take a tablespoon of grated tomato and apply it on the face. This helps in getting rid of tan and pigmentation.
- Rub slices of tomato on your elbow and lighten the dark skin.
- Take a teaspoon of tomato pulp, a teaspoon of yogurt and a tablespoon of gram flour. Mix them together and apply on the face for 5-10 minutes. Rinse later. This helps in reducing the appearance of acne and acne scars.
- Take a teaspoon of tomato pulp, add some honey and a pinch of cinnamon powder to it. Mixit together and apply on the lips. This scrubs off any dead skin and makes them instantly pink and plump.