Tomatoes are bright red and often tangy to sweet tasting vegetable, scientifically a fruit owing to the way it grows.
In a layman’s context tomato is used as a vegetable while it grows as a fruit on the tomato plant. These are best used for grilling, in salads, soups, and marinades.
Though usually red but the range of colors from a tomato is wide it can be seen as white to purple including shades of orange and red. Now with so many colors come up the various flavors attached to each thus, giving rise to thousands of known varieties of tomatoes.
Various Types of Tomatoes
As it is difficult to study and come across all varieties of tomatoes thus they are classified under two broad divisions:
(A) Determinate Tomatoes
The determinate ones are usually like bushes and don’t grow tall. The buds at the end of each branch together ripen to form the fruit, no flowering happens during this process and then when the fruit matures the plant completely collapses.
(B) Indeterminate Tomatoes: The indeterminate tomatoes are usually the ones who need some support like skating or caging for their growth. They usually keep growing and producing fruit until harsh weather conditions affect their growth. These do set flowers on the stems and can be tall at times.
All other known types fall in either of the two categories. Some of the most commonly heard off and used types of tomatoes are:
1) Globe Tomatoes
The most commonly available variety of tomatoes. These are red, round and large in their appearance and can be consumed raw. Due to their large size, these are often called Beefsteak Tomatoes. Various types of Globe tomatoes available to us are:
- Beef Master
- Big Beef
- Cherokee Purple
- Mortgage Lifter
- Pink Beefsteak
2) Campari Tomatoes
These types of tomatoes have low acid content and greater sweetness. They are deep red in appearance and are often seen on vines. Its various varieties available are:
- Magic Mountain
- Cornell M
3) Plum Tomatoes
These are less juicy than the other type of Tomatoes available to us. They do not have a lot of seeds and have a thick flesh. Due to its almost seedless character, they are best suited for sauces. It further has various types of it like the:
- Roma Tomatoes
- Cocktail Plum Tomatoes
4) Cherry Tomatoes
This variety is usually very similar to cherry in shape, size and the way it grows. It’s taste though is different. These are much juicier and sweeter than all other varieties of tomatoes. It is also available in various colors and types. These are often consumed as is or can be added to other delicacies too. Their various subtypes are:
- Baby Plum
- Cherry Wine Italian Ice
- Black Pearl
- Bloody Butcher
5) Pear Tomatoes
This type grows in clusters and is similar in looks to the cherry tomatoes, i.e., it is also small in size. But, unlike cherry tomatoes, they do not have a lot of water content. Their shape resembles that of a pear and so the name.
6) Grape Tomatoes
They are a blend of cherry, and pear tomatoes, i.e., they inherit the looks of the pear tomato and the taste of the cherry tomatoes.
7) Heirloom Tomatoes
These are usually passed from one generation to the other and have been in existence for over a hundred years. They are available in the variety of colors, shapes, and sizes due to which these got quite popular in the recent years. Some of its types are:
- Green tomatoes
- Yellow Tomatoes
- Orange Tomatoes
- Red Choice Tomatoes
8) Patio Tomatoes
These can easily be grown in your kitchen garden as these are small in size. But their size does not indicate its produce. One small plant is capable of bearing almost 50 fruits.
9) Sungold Tomatoes
Its orangish red look gives its name. These are sweet to taste and produce plenty of fruit on a single plant.
10) Black, Purple and Yellow Tomatoes
Generally used as ornamental plants in the garden with a product so useful, i.e., tomatoes. They yield juicy tomatoes and are best suited for decorations too.
Health Benefits of Eating Tomatoes
Who knew tomatoes came in so many types?
With the little knowledge of all types, it becomes easy for us to pick on a variety that we wish to add to our favorite dish to enhance its taste. But, before we dwell into the world of tomatoes let’s get to know why we should all make it an essential part of our diet.
Some of the many known health benefits of tomatoes are as follows:
1) It is a well-established fact that low levels of Beta-carotene and lycopene often increase the danger of cardiovascular diseases, tomatoes are a great source of both these enzymes.
2) Tomatoes prevent our skin against sunburns.
3) They have a high concentration of Anti-oxidants which turns help us prevent deadly illnesses like cancer.
5) High concentration of Vitamin A in tomatoes aids the improvement of Eyesight.
6) They play a major role in the removal of body toxins and maintain a healthy digestive system by controlling diarrhea and constipation.
7) It is believed that type 2 diabetes is caused due to oxidative stress which is believed to be controlled by consumption of tomatoes.
8) Due to the high concentration of potassium, it is often considered to regulate our blood pressure levels.
9) Due to their anti-oxidant nature and high-water content, they stimulate timely urination thus preventing the occurrence of any sort of Urinary tract infections.
These benefits for sure make me want to include a tomato every time I have a meal. Tomatoes are for sure a blast of flavor to our mouth and surely a blast of nutrients for our body.
So let us not forget to include a tomato in all our meals in any form, i.e., either raw in a salad, as a sauce or cooked in any form to enjoy its mouth-watering flavors. Also get your healthy food intake on track without any extra efforts.