Facts about tomatoes

We found 10 facts about tomatoes

A basic vegetable in every kitchen

Red, green, yellow, orange, black. There are more than 10,000 cultivars of tomatoes, varying in shape, color, and flavor. Tomatoes originated in the Andes Mountains of South America, where they can still be found in their wild form. Wild tomato fruits are much smaller and darker than present day varieties.

Tomatoes are associated with health, but did you know that they contain a toxic alkaloid?

The English name is derived from Nahuatl, the main language of the Aztecs.

In Nahuatl, the word tomatl means swelling fruit or fatty water.

Tomatoes are native to South America.

They were cultivated by Indians living north of the equator. From there, they spread to Central and North America about 2,000 years ago.

They came to Europe in the 16th century, brought by Spanish sailors from Mexico.
Tomatoes contain significant amounts of vitamins A, E and K, B vitamins and potassium.

One medium-sized tomato covers the 30% of daily requirement for vitamin C. They also contain beta-carotene and lutein(belonging to the carotenoids), as well as phenolic compounds.

Because of the red color of the fruit and its characteristic smell, tomatoes were considered poisonous plants.

As late as the 19th century, it was believed that eating a tomato would turn the blood to acid. They were treated only as ornamental plants.

The forerunners in the cultivation of tomatoes in Europe were the Spaniards, growing them as early as the 16th century.

The Italians have an eternal dispute with the Spaniards over the precedence in the use of tomatoes but all cookbooks from the 18th century onward refer to dishes with tomatoes as "Spanish-style dishes."

One of the most valuable components of the tomato is lycopene.

It is a natural red pigment (carotenoid) found in plants. Lycopene is an antioxidant and has properties that protect the body from cardiovascular disease and cancer (especially prostate, breast, pancreatic and colon cancers).

Although a diet rich in tomatoes provides large amounts of lycopene, there are varieties with several times more bioavailability of this compound than the classic tomato.

Find out more ...
Immature tomatoes contain tomatine, which is present in every part of the plant and is toxic.

It is a natural substance used by the plant to defend itself against pests and diseases.

This is why tomatoes were once considered poisonous, but as they ripen, the amount of tomatin decreases.

The world's largest tomato producers are China, India and the USA.

Nearly 60% of the world's production comes from Asia.

In 18th century France, tomatoes were considered an aphrodisiac.
Hungry for more facts?

Latest topics

42 facts about Kyshtym disaster
42 facts about Kyshtym disaster
The first nuclear accident in Earth's history
Before information about it saw the light of day, the Soviets hid it for over 30 years. The explosion at the Mayak combine was the first nuclear accid ...
37 facts about Saint Petersburg
37 facts about Saint Petersburg
A city of many names
It was a dream and a matter of prestige for the Romanov dynasty to gain access to the Baltic Sea and build a metropolis to testify to Russia's emergin ...
32 facts about Peter the Great
32 facts about Peter the Great
The first Emperor of all Russia
Peter the Great is considered one of Russia's greatest rulers. He was a great reformer, strategist, and builder who was the first of the tsars to trav ...
39 facts about Dyatlov Pass incident
39 facts about Dyatlov Pass incident
Mysterious tragedy in the Ural mountains
The case of a group of students at the Ural Polytechnical Institute in Sverdlovsk continues to arouse great interest and raise many questions. A group ...
11 facts about Brooklyn Bridge
11 facts about Brooklyn Bridge
The first steel suspension bridge in the world
It is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world. It connects Brooklyn with Manhattan, runs over the East River, and was completed in 1883. ...
31 facts about Brazil
31 facts about Brazil
South America's largest country
Brazil is the largest and most populous country in South America and one of the largest and most populous countries in the world. A former Portuguese ...
44 facts about Ghent
44 facts about Ghent
City of three towers
Ghent is one of Belgium's most visited cities by tourists. This beautiful old Flanders city combines dignity, beauty, culture, and creativity. It is a ...
31 facts about Thailand
31 facts about Thailand
A country on the Indochinese Peninsula
Thailand is an Asian country located in its south-eastern part, famous for its interesting culture and religious architecture. This exotic country, wh ...

Similar topics