In the botanical sense of the term, tomato is a fruit, because it is the edible organ of a flowering plant, of which it is the product. According to this botanical definition, zucchini, eggplant, cucumber or pumpkin are also fruits.
However, in the dietary sense of the termthese plants are all vegetablesbecause although coming from a flower, their low carbohydrate content makes them comparable to vegetables and not to fruits.
Raw tomatoes thus provide only 20 calories and 2.5 g of carbohydrates per 100 g, which makes them a low-sweet vegetable, since on average, vegetables provide 30 calories and 3 g of carbohydrates per 100 g.
Cherry tomatoes are both smaller, and more concentrated in nutrients, and therefore in carbohydrates.
They are therefore slightly more caloric than ordinary tomatoes, and provide on average 34 calories and 5.6g carbohydrates per 100g. But cherry tomatoes remain moderately caloric vegetables, packed with micronutrients and therefore essential foods for a balanced diet and for meeting our nutritional needs.
Like all vegetables, whether they are more or less sweet, tomatoes are foods essential as part of a slimming diet. They bring minerals, fibers, vitamins, antioxidant pigments, they contribute to satiety and they allow to put color and flavors in the plate.
Fruits and vegetables are foods that must be present every day, and even ideally at every meal, as part of a balanced diet. Although it is recommended to vary your menus as much as possible, in order to cover all of your vitamin and mineral needs, it is not recommended to eat tomatoes every dayas long as they are associated with other vegetables.
A person who loves tomatoes in salads can thus completely consume without restriction, tomato salad every day at the start of a meal. However, we recommend that he vary as much as possible the vegetables she will eat elsewhere.
This star vegetable of the vegetable garden, in addition to delighting our taste buds, is full of health benefits.
First of all, remember that it has low calorie density but high nutrient density. Translation: she brings few calories but lots of valuable micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and trace elements), which makes it a food of choice, both for health and for weight loss.
In terms of vitamins, tomatoes are an excellent source of pro-vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, all three antioxidants. And on the mineral level, it contains a significant dose of magnesium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus.
His fiber and water content make it an effective ally to boost sluggish transits, without causing intestinal disorders. However, the most sensitive people can peel and seed the tomato before eating it, in order to better digest it.
But the great specificity of the tomato lies in its very high content of lycopene, the pigment responsible for its pretty red color.
Lycopene is said to be one of the most powerful antioxidants, and it belongs to the family of carotenoids. It therefore helps protect the cells of our body against damage caused by free radicals, responsible for premature aging and many related diseases.
Several studies have thus studied the protective effect of this antioxidant pigment on cancers, and in particular on prostate cancer (1 and 2). A meta-analysis conducted in 2013 (3) also revealed that a higher intake of carotenoids – including β-carotene, α-carotene, lycopene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin – reduced the risk of esophageal cancer.
Note, however, that to take advantage of the anti-cancer properties of lycopene, it is best to taste the cooked tomato, which makes it more easily assimilated by the body and strengthens its action. It would thus suffice to cook for about thirty minutes for the absorption of lycopene to be optimal. However, cooking deteriorates certain vitamins, including the precious vitamin C: the ideal is therefore to alternate the consumption of raw tomatoes and cooked tomatoes.
When we talk about “sauce”, we often think of “calories” and “fat”. But unlike most sauces (béarnaise, mayonnaise, pesto, hollandaise, aioli etc …), tomato sauce can easily be light and low in calories, if you don’t have too heavy a hand on the oil.
All you have to do is prepare it yourself, with onions, garlic, herbs (oregano, basil), and just a small drizzle of olive oil.
Industrial tomato sauces can be good alternatives, provided they are not too high in fat. It suffices to ensure that they display a lipid content of less than 5 g per 100 g.
Stuffed tomatoes, on the other hand, are most often prepared with a mixture of minced meat and sausage meat, namely a high-fat stuffing. To make this dish healthier and compatible with a slimming diet, it is best to prepare it with ground lean meat, such as ground beef with less than 10% fat. Accompanied by a starch with a low glycemic index, such as semi-complete basmati rice or al dente pasta, these homemade stuffed tomatoes become a real slimming dish.
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