Tomatoes, also known as “Paradeiser,” are available all year round from domestic cultivation, but they are only in season from around the beginning of June to the end of November. The remaining months come from the heated and illuminated glass house, where their cultivation produces much more CO2 than during the season when they can be grown outdoors or in the foil tunnel.
Our desire for year-round availability also means that tomatoes are increasingly imported to Austria during winter. They then come from more southern countries such as Spain, where heating may not be necessary, but artificial irrigation is required – after all, the tomato consists of over 94 percent water. This can lead to water shortages in these regions with low precipitation.
The tomato is an excellent example to show that the origin of a food product plays a role in its environmental balance and whether it is consumed during or outside the season.
A look under the skin: vitamins and antioxidants in abundance
Behind the tomato’s shiny skin lies a treasure trove of nutrients. Rich in vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system and makes the skin glow, tomatoes are the ideal companions for healthy well-being. In addition, the juicy fruit is an excellent vitamin A source, promoting vision and supporting skin health.
Also particularly noteworthy is the high content of antioxidants, first and foremost lycopene. This pigment gives tomatoes their bright red colour and has an antioxidant effect. Many studies have proven that lycopene can reduce the risk of heart disease and protect against UV-induced skin damage.
Tomatoes have many health benefits, including heart health.
Their anti-inflammatory antioxidants help keep the body’s cholesterol levels in check. Potassium, an essential mineral in tomatoes, also helps regulate blood pressure. This is particularly beneficial for heart health. But it is not only the heart that benefits from the fruit. The anti-inflammatory properties of the tomato can also help relieve arthritis symptoms.
Variety on the plate: from sauces to salads
The culinary world of tomatoes is as rich as their health benefits. The possibilities are endless, from delicious tomato sauces that transform any pasta into a taste sensation to fresh salads in which the juicy tomato unleashes its flavours. The tomato can enhance any dish and add a touch of sunshine and freshness.
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