The nutritional value of tomato is very high as this healthy salad fruit provides many health benefits. The vitamins in tomato are vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. Tomato contains lycopene which helps the body to ward off cancer, heart disease and assist our skin to fight against ageing.
Lycopene gives tomato its rich red color. Even when cooked, tomatoes still provide excellent health benefits - lycopene is not destroyed through cooking processes. Tomato juice is ideal for athletes as it quickly replaces lost minerals and sodium.
Healthy Foods Index
There are lots of minerals and nutrients in tomatoes including beta-carotene which is important as the body can convert it into vitamin A. Tomato contains folic acid, lycopene, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and fibre.

Nutrients are essential for our bodies to function efficiently and to the best of its ability. Eating tomato can strengthen the immune system, reduce stress, keep hearts healthy and prevent fatigue.

Tomato Calories / Tomato Carbs
The vegetable fruit or salad fruit, tomato, is low in calories and can form a healthy part of a controlled diet. The amount of calories and carbs in tomatoes depends on the way that it is served or cooked, for example if it is served alone, with a dressing or dip, or if you are going to roast, grill, bake, barbeque, fry tomatoes.

The following calorie guide can be used to calculate the amount of carbohydrates and calories in tomatoes:

Carbohydrates and Calories per 100 grams:
Canned tomatoes - 16 calories / 3g carbs
Cherry tomatoes - 18 calories / 3.1g carbs
Fried tomatoes - 91 calories / 5g carbs
Grilled tomatoes - 20 calories / 3.5g carbs
Tomato puree - 76 calories / 14.2g carbs

Tomato can be described as a vegetable fruit or a salad fruit, however, for culinary purposes, a tomato can be defined as a vegetable. Tomato is extremely healthy, very popular, wonderfully rich and sweet in taste, very nutritional and versatile enough to cook in many different ways including roasting, grilling, barbequing, frying or quite simply just eaten raw.

Tomatoes are used in cooking recipes all over the world. Tomato is one of the most essential cooking ingredients - a cook would lost without this fine vegetable! Mediterranean cooking in particular, often includes tomato. This vibrant, healthy food is grown on tomato plants and it belongs to the nightshade family, along with other vegetables such as potato and aubergine.

The History of Tomato
The tomato originated from South America. The yellow tomato plant was discovered by the Aztecs. This vegetable was introduced to Spain by Hernan Cortes. The Spanish and Italians have used tomato in their cooking recipes for centuries!

The red tomato variety was introduced to Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. Many people approached the tomato with caution, not feeling entirely sure of the vegetable's benefits. However, the benefits have certainly being recognized since and this fantastic healthy fruit vegetable has made a huge impact on cooking all over the world!

Types of Tomato
There are many varieties of tomatoes ranging from small cherry or plum tomatoes to big beef tomatoes. They can vary shape - from round to plum shaped. The following varieties of tomato are perhaps the most common kinds that we recognize and use most often for salads and tomato recipes:

Canned tomatoes - this is an excellent choice as canned tomato is quick and easy to cook and only takes a few minutes to heat in a saucepan or microwave. Canned tomatoes are packed full of goodness and they are cooked in their natural tomato juice. Canned tomatoes usually contain plum or chopped tomatoes.

Beefsteak tomato - this variety are red or orange in color, and they are big - sometimes 10cms wide! Beefsteak tomatoes taste sweet and look very impressive when used in a tomato salad!

Red tomatoes make salads look vibrant and appetizing. Salads can look and taste very dull without tomato. Beefsteaks are excellent served with slices of mozzarella cheese and a little dressing.

Cherry tomato - this type is very popular but a little more expensive than regular, standard red tomatoes. However they are worth it as they taste divine - sweet and succulent! Cherry tomatoes are excellent served raw with salad on a summer's day.

Plum tomato - this is a delicious, sweet variety which are excellent for salads. Plum tomatoes are sweet and juicy like the cherry variety. They are lovely eaten raw or cooked. Plum tomatoes are ideal for making sauces.

Salad tomato - these are round, standard red salad tomatoes; often medium size - not small like cherry but neither large like beef tomatoes. Salad tomatoes are generally reasonably priced, available all year round and very versatile - adaptable to different cooking methods.

puree - puree is very strong so be careful not to use too much of it!

Yellow tomato - this type may look a little unusual as they are yellow as opposed to red. However, yellow tomatoes are no different, only in color!

Vine tomato - this kind is usually a little higher in price, they tend to be slightly larger than standard tomatoes but they're color is deep red and the taste is simply fabulous! Vine tomatoes are excellent eaten raw or cooked.

Cherokee purple tomatoes - this was one of the first black tomatoes. Unusual in color as a cherokee tomato is deep purple! Cherokees are large like beefsteak varieties.

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