Tomatoes are one of the most popular foods in the United States today. And that’s pretty amazing when you think that they were believed to be toxic as recently as two centuries ago! We’ve all overcome that hysteria, thankfully, so now we get to enjoy their great taste and health benefits whenever we want. But experts tell us that there are even more upsides to eating tomatoes than you might expect.
A wide variety
Famously, the tomato is widely considered to be a vegetable, even though it’s technically a fruit. We might typically think of them as red in color, but certain varieties are orange, green, yellow, and even purple. Size varies greatly, too, starting with teeny-tiny cherry tomatoes and working up to that massive beefsteak variety.
The nightshade family
Tomatoes are a part of the nightshade family of plants, which have their — excuse the pun — roots in South America. Other favorites from that same group include foods such as potatoes, aubergines, and peppers. If we didn’t have nightshades, then, many people’s diets across the United States and elsewhere would look very different indeed.
When we look into the composition of tomatoes, we find that they’re mostly water. A small percentage of the fruits consist of carbs and fiber, with tiny amounts of protein, sugar, and fat in there, too. But the water content accounts for something like 95 percent, which goes some way to explaining why they’re so juicy.
Filled with good stuff
But don’t be misled into thinking tomatoes don’t also offer us amazing health benefits, just because they’re mainly water. A whole host of vital nutrients and vitamins are in those juicy fruits, which means they can play a vital part in keeping us in good shape. The benefits are immense, as countless nutrition experts have been happy to point out.