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Food Spotlight: Tomato

Posted on 07/26/2016 at 11:17 AM by Lia Bahls, RD

Botanically, tomatoes are considered a fruit because they have seeds and grow from a flowering plant.

The largest tomato on record weighed 7.7 pounds. and was picked in Oklahoma in 1986. 

The Guinness World Record for the most tomatoes harvested from a single plant over one year weighed 1,152 pounds with 32,194 tomatoes harvested.  The plant was at the Epcot Science Center at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

La Tomatina is the world’s biggest tomato fight that occurs annually in Spain, involving around 40,000 people throwing 150,000 tomatoes at one another.

There are over 10,000 varieties of tomatoes worldwide.

The average American eats about 24 pounds of tomatoes yearly.

The leaves of a tomato plant are poisonous.

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that is beneficial for the heart and protects against certain cancers.

Cooked tomatoes increase the release of beneficial chemicals making them healthier than raw tomatoes. This is not to say that raw tomatoes don’t pack a healthy punch as well. 

Tomatoes are full of vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamins A and C, calcium and potassium.

Try this great and light tomato recipe:

 

Peach Tomato Salsa

  • 1 ripe peach, pitted and diced
  • 1 medium yellow or orange tomato, cored and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)       
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced, seeded jalapeno
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

 

Directions: Toss all ingredients in a bowl and season with additional lime, salt or jalapeno, if desired.  Spoon onto grilled chicken or fish or serve with raw veggies as a dip.

Nutrition per ¼ cup serving: 14 calories, 0g protein, 0g fat, 3g carbohydrate, 1g fiber

 

Sources:

http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,50400000130213,00.html

http://www.ngkids.co.uk/science-and-nature/Ten-Top-Tomato-Facts

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/food/tomatoes.html

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