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The tomato, is one of the most important vegetables in most regions of the world. It is a short-lived perennial annual plant. It has vigorous tap root, extensive fibrous roots, solid, hairy stems and spirally arranged, mainly oval leaves. The fruit is a fleshy, round or lobed, smooth or furrowed, red, pink or yellow berry with numerous flat, slightly curved seeds.
The tomato originally as a small, wrinkled thick-skinned and seedy vegetable, much smaller in size and irregular in form. Many scientific methods were employed to bring it to its present shape and quality. It has now hundreds of varieties, many of which are smoothy and globular, with almost solid pulp.
Origin and Distribution
Tomato is considered to be a native of South America, probably the Peru-Equator. From there it was brought to Europe by the Spaniards in the early 16th century. But for several hundred years, it was grown only as a garden ornament and was called 'love apple'. Only in 1860, it was discovered that tomato was as good a food as any other fruits or vegetable. Soon after this discovery, it gradually became very popular all over the world. It is now grown in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines. Central, East and West Africa, tropical America, the Caribbean and throughout the tropics. It holds second place among the vegetables produced in the world, only exceeded by the potato.
Because of its low carbohydrate contents, it is very good food for diabetic patients and for those who want to reduce their body weight. It is said to be very effective in controlling the percentage of sugar in the urine of diabetic patients.
Being a rich source of vitamin A, tomatoes are a dependable preventive against night blindness short sightedness and other diseases of the eye caused by the deficiency of the vitamins. Tomato leaves are useful in optic nerve and eye weakness. A small handful of the freshly plucked leaves should be covered with soft hot water for 15 minutes. The water should then strained. It forms a good tonic for the eyes and optic nerve when a teaspoonful of this water is taken before meals three times daily.
Eating a tomato early in the morning is found to be very effective medicine to prevent the formation of urinary calculi or stone by supplying sufficient quantity of acids and vitamins A and C. It is proved that deficiency of vitamins A and C and the recurrent urinary tract infections are among the most important factors in the formation of calculi i.e. stone. Tomato restricts the acid value of urine to 5.5 or less, thereby reducing the chances of infections by increasing the acidity of the urine.
Tomato Receipes from India
Tomato Curry - Kerala Style
Tomato chutney Thakkali Varuval