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Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes are much more flavourful than regular tomatoes and have pedigree.

The reason heirloom tomatoes are popular with chefs, apart from their striking good looks is that they are much more flavourful than regular tomatoes and have pedigree. Nutrition wise they are similar, but still offer some great health benefits.
TRY ME I'M GOOD IN...
Marinated in a feta and melon salad, in a charred corn salsa, in a pressed tomato terrine or slow oven roasted with garlic and thyme.
FACTS
  • An heirloom tomato (or heritage tomato) is an open-pollinated (non-hybrid) heirloom cultivar.
  • They are classified as: family heirlooms, commercial heirlooms, mystery heirlooms, or created heirlooms.
  • They usually have a shorter shelf life and less disease resistance than hybrids.
  • They are sweeter and lack a genetic mutation that gives tomatoes a uniform red colour at the cost of the fruit’s taste.
  • Varieties bearing this mutation (i.e. regular tomatoes), favoured since the 1940s, feature fruits with lower levels of carotenoids and a decreased ability to make sugar within the fruit.
  • Genus: Solanum and the species S.lycopersicum Family: Solanaceae.

WHY ARE THEY SO GOOD?

Vitamin A – 833IU/100g (28% RNI)

It maintains health of certain tissues like those in the retina. It also helps in growth and keeps the skin healthy and promotes regular development of skeletal tissue and teeth. It also required for maintaining healthy mucosa and it has been found to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

Vitamin C – 13mg/100g (21.5% RNI)

It is an antioxidant required for a large number of metabolic functions in the human body. It also aids in immunity and in healing wounds and can repair tissues (like collagen). Helps in the absorption of veggie iron and alongside other nutrients, such as zinc, vitamin E and lutein can prevent age related macular degeneration.

Vitamin K – 7.9ug/100g (6.5% RNI)

It helps to produce prothrombin, a protein and blood clotting factor. It has a potential role in bone health by promoting osteoblastic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. It may help limit neuronal damage in the brain, by helping to regulate calcium that causes some of the damage done to the brain in Alzheimer’s.

Carotenoids (health benefitting compounds)

Lycopene a flavonoid antioxidant, is a unique phytochemical compound that has an increased therapeutic action when cooked. It may help protect cells and other structures in the human body from harmful oxygen-free radicals and it may protect the skin from ultra-violet (UV). Zeaxanthin helps protect eyes from “age-related macular related macular disease” (ARMD) in the older adults by filtering harmful ultra-violet rays.

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