Produce of the Week
Some think of the tomato as a fruit and others think of it as a vegetable, but one thing is certain with this “produce-fluid” plant is that it is packed to the max with nutrition. The tomato has been referred to as a “functional food”–meaning it goes beyond basic health benefits and is part of a group of food that can actually prevent chronic disease.
FUN FACT: only 200 years ago the tomato was thought to be poisonous in the U.S
Nutrients found in tomatoes can help with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline is abundant in tomatoes, and can also help maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.
The tomato is very popular around the world, and is so versatile that it comes in over a thousand different varieties that vary in shape, size, and colour. There are small cherry tomatoes, bright yellow tomatoes, Italian pear-shaped tomatoes, and the green tomato, famous for its fried preparation in Southern American cuisine.
Tomatoes are fruits in a botanical sense, but they don’t have the dessert quality sweetness of other fruits. Instead they have a subtle sweetness that is complemented by a slightly bitter and acidic taste, that is why they are often prepared and served like other vegetables.
Source: World’s Healthiest Foods
CUTE FACT: The French sometimes refer to the tomato as pomme d’amour, meaning “love apple.”
Farmers produce close to a million metric tons of tomatoes in Canada every year. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, have added scientists to their team to find better ways to grow tomatoes in the field or greenhouse.
Source: Agriculture Canada
Tomatoes can be easily incorporated into your daily diet by using them in sauces and soups. Add a slice to your sandwich or wrap. Or to rice and beans, quesadillas or tacos. My favourite is adding them to your omelets or scrambles for breakfast.