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The Tomato: Nature's Marvel for Health and Beauty

The tomato, a staple in kitchens around the world, is not just a versatile culinary ingredient but also a powerhouse of nutrition. Belonging to the nightshade family, tomatoes are fruits technically classified as berries. They are cultivated through a fascinating process that involves seed selection, planting, and careful nurturing until the fruits ripen, showcasing a range of colors from vibrant reds to yellows and even purples.

Growth and Cultivation

Tomatoes are grown from seeds planted in nutrient-rich soil. These seeds sprout into seedlings, which are then transferred to larger spaces or outdoor gardens as they grow. The plants require warmth, sunlight, and regular watering to thrive, eventually producing clusters of fruit. The tomato's lifecycle, from a seed to fruit, is a delicate process influenced by environmental conditions, soil quality, and care practices, yielding fruits that are both delicious and nutrient-dense.

Health Benefits and Optimal Consumption

Rich in vitamins C and K, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as lycopene, tomatoes offer a myriad of health benefits. Lycopene, in particular, is a potent antioxidant known for its protective effects against heart disease and cancer. Studies have shown that the body best absorbs lycopene when tomatoes are consumed cooked or processed, as the heating process breaks down the cell walls of the tomato, releasing more lycopene. Thus, tomato-based sauces, soups, and even ketchup can be excellent sources. Moreover, pairing tomatoes with healthy fats like olive oil can further enhance lycopene absorption.

Unconventional Uses: Tea and Body Lotion

While not traditionally used in tea, some cultures utilize tomato leaves to create herbal infusions believed to have health benefits, though this practice is not widespread due to potential toxicity concerns. On the skincare front, tomato extracts are increasingly found in body lotions and creams for their rich antioxidant content. These topical formulations aim to harness the tomato's vitamins and antioxidants, offering protective and rejuvenating effects on the skin. Such products may help in improving skin texture, reducing inflammation, and combating oxidative damage from environmental stressors.

Conclusion

The humble tomato offers far more than just flavor to our meals; it's a nutritional gem that supports heart health, fights against oxidative stress, and may even offer benefits when applied topically. By incorporating tomatoes into our diets—preferably in cooked or processed form for maximum lycopene absorption—we can tap into their potent health benefits. Additionally, exploring tomato-based skincare products can be a novel way to leverage its antioxidant properties for skin health.

Notes

1. Giovannucci, E. (1999). Tomatoes, tomato-based products, lycopene, and cancer: Review of the epidemiological literature. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 91(4), 317-331.

2. Story, E. N., Kopec, R. E., Schwartz, S. J., & Harris, G. K. (2010). An update on the health effects of tomato lycopene. Annual Review of Food Science and Technology, 1, 189-210.

3. Burton-Freeman, B., & Sesso, H. D. (2014). Whole food versus supplement: comparing the clinical evidence of tomato intake and lycopene supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors. Advances in Nutrition, 5(5), 457-485.

4. Stahl, W., & Sies, H. (1996). Lycopene: a biologically important carotenoid for humans? Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 336(1), 1-9.

Tomato

TOMATO :The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a fruit from the nightshade family native to South America. Despite botanically being a fruit, it’s generally eaten and prepared like a vegetable. Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. Lycopene is a carotenoid that gives many fruits and vegetables their red color. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.Usually red when mature, tomatoes can also come in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, green, and purple. What’s more, many subspecies of tomatoes exist with different shapes and flavor. Cherry tomatoes and small yellow tomatoes have highest lycopene content. Cooking can increase lycopene availability (absorption). tomatoes, Allantoin, lycopene, carotenoids, lycopenoids, bioavailability, cancer, cardiovascular disease, Tomato, Phenolics, Carotenoids, Bioactivities, Health benefits, abiotic stress, fruit set, fruit ripening, genetic control, hormonal control, primary metabolism, secondary metabolism, Solanum lycopersicum, Food science, Antioxidant, Phenolic compound, Food component analysis, Chemical composition of food, Chemical characterization of food, Food biochemistry, Lycopene, Carotene, Hepatotoxicity, Antiproliferative activity, nutrition, diet, ultraviolet protection, skin aging, antioxidants, fatty acids, flavonoids, vitamins, lycopene, ice cream, antioxidant effect, serum, skin surface, Tomato, Sunscreen Lotion, Sun Protection Factor, Solanum lycopersicum, herbal lipstick, Formulation, cosmetics, Lycopene, Extractor Naviglio, tomato-waste, HPLC-Diode array, solid-liquid extraction, chromatography, Antioxidant activity, Polyphenol, Tomato, Ste

Keywords: tomatoes, Allantoin, lycopene, carotenoids, lycopenoids, bioavailability, cancer, cardiovascular disease, Tomato, Phenolics, Carotenoids, Bioactivities, Health benefits, abiotic stress, fruit set, fruit ripening, genetic control, hormonal control, primary metabolism, secondary metabolism, Solanum lycopersicum, Food science, Antioxidant, Phenolic compound, Food component analysis, Chemical composition of food, Chemical characterization of food, Food biochemistry, Lycopene, Carotene, Hepatotoxicity, Antiproliferative activity, nutrition, diet, ultraviolet protection, skin aging, antioxidants, fatty acids, flavonoids, vitamins, lycopene, ice cream, antioxidant effect, serum, skin surface, Tomato, Sunscreen Lotion, Sun Protection Factor, Solanum lycopersicum, herbal lipstick, Formulation, cosmetics, Lycopene, Extractor Naviglio, tomato-waste, HPLC-Diode array, solid-liquid extraction, chromatography, Antioxidant activity, Polyphenol, Tomato, Ste

Summary of Abstracts:

Nutritional Composition and Bioactive Compounds in Tomatoes and Their Impact on Human Health and Disease: A Review [ tomatoes, Allantoin, lycopene, carotenoids, lycopenoids, bioavailability, cancer, cardiovascular disease, Tomato, Phenolics, Carotenoids, Bioactivities, Health benefits, abiotic stress, fruit set, fruit ripening, genetic control, hormonal control, primary metabolism, secondary metabolism, Solanum lycopersicum, Food science, Antioxidant, Phenolic compound, Food component analysis, Chemical composition of food, Chemical characterization of food, Food biochemistry, Lycopene, Carotene, Hepatotoxicity, Antiproliferative activity, nutrition, diet, ultraviolet protection, skin aging, antioxidants, fatty acids, flavonoids, vitamins, lycopene, ice cream, antioxidant effect, serum, skin surface, Tomato, Sunscreen Lotion, Sun Protection Factor, Solanum lycopersicum, herbal lipstick, Formulation, cosmetics, Lycopene, Extractor Naviglio, tomato-waste, HPLC-Diode array, solid-liquid extraction, chromatography, solid phas ] Tomatoes contain minerals, vitamins, proteins, essential amino acids (leucine, threonine, valine, histidine, lysine, arginine), monounsaturated fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic acids), carotenoids (lycopene and β-carotenoids) and phytosterols (β-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol). Lycopene is the main dietary carotenoid in tomato and tomato-based food products and lycopene consumption by humans has been reported to protect against cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cognitive function and osteoporosis. Among the phenolic compounds present in tomato, quercetin, kaempferol, naringenin, caffeic acid and lutein are the most common.

Mechanistic Insight of Allantoin in Protecting Tomato Plants Against Ultraviolet C Stress Allantoin ((AT) a purine metabolite)-mediated ultraviolet C (UVC) stress mitigation has not been studied to date. Here, we reported the physicochemical mechanisms of UVC-induced stress in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plants, including an AT-directed mitigation strategy. UVC stress reduced plant growth and photosynthetic pigments.

An Update on the Health Effects of Tomato Lycopene Lycopene is a non-provitamin A carotenoid that is responsible for the red to pink colors seen in tomatoes, pink grapefruit, and other foods. Although promising data from epidemiological, as well as cell culture and animal, studies suggest that lycopene and the consumption of lycopene containing foods may affect cancer or cardiovascular disease risk, more clinical trial data is needed to support this hypothesis.

Bioactivities of phytochemicals present in tomato [ Cooking increases lycopene availability. ] Tomato is a wonder fruit fortified with health-promoting phytochemicals that are beneficial in preventing important chronic degenerative disorders. Tomato is a good source of phenolic compounds (phenolic acids and flavonoids), carotenoids (lycopene, α, and β carotene), vitamins (ascorbic acid and vitamin A) and glycoalkaloids (tomatine). Bioactive constituents present in tomato have antioxidant, anti-mutagenic, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic activities. Bioavailability of phytoconstituents in tomato is generally not affected by routine cooking processes making it even more beneficial for human consumption. Whole fruit has more protective effects as compared to the derived compounds. Bioavailability of lycopene increases after cooking of the tomatoes. There is need to understand various pathways of action of bioactive compounds of tomato and their role in preventing invasion and metastasis of cancer.

Tomato Fruit Development and Metabolism Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) belongs to the Solanaceae family and is the second most important fruit or vegetable crop next to potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). It is cultivated for fresh fruit and processed products. Tomatoes contain many health-promoting compounds including vitamins, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds. Links between primary and secondary metabolic pathways are further highlighted by the importance of pigments, flavonoids, and volatiles for tomato fruit quality.

A new variety of purple tomato as a rich source of bioactive carotenoids and its potential health benefits Carotenoid-rich fractions (CRF) from pulp and peel of a new variety of purple tomato were investigated in comparison to a Red Cherry variety regarding carotenoids characterization, antioxidant capacity, and inhibition of proliferation of four tumor cell lines. High concentration of neurosporene, and lycopene in Red Cherry pulp CRF show to be related to the good antiproliferative activity found on it. Therefore, this new variety of nutrient-rich purple tomato could be explored as well as the commercial variety Red Cherry, since both are good sources of dietary carotenoids with health-promoting properties.

Preparation of Green Tomato Extract and Its Anti-Aging Effects In this study, in order to know the application for cosmetic ingredient, green tomato extract was prepared and tested in human skin fibroblast and human skin keratinocyte. We confirmed that collagen, insulin like growth factor (IGF)-1 and tropoelastin gene expression were increased by green tomato extract in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 gene expression were inhibited. We also found that the green tomato extract regenerated human skin keratinocyte using wound healing assay then we obtained an anti-wrinkle effect from visual and mechanical evaluation. As the results, we suggest that the green tomato extract is applicable for a potential cosmetic ingredient focused on anti-aging effect.

Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging [ Prevention is the best and most effective way to work against extrinsic skin aging effects. ] Skin has been reported to reflect the general inner-health status and aging. Nutrition and its reflection on skin has always been an interesting topic for scientists and physicians throughout the centuries worldwide. Vitamins, carotenoids, tocopherols, flavonoids and a variety of plant extracts have been reported to possess potent anti-oxidant properties and have been widely used in the skin care industry either as topically applied agents or oral supplements in an attempt to prolong youthful skin appearance. Prevention is the best and most effective way to work against extrinsic skin aging effects. The best prevention strategy against the harmful action of free radicals is a well regulated lifestyle (caloric restriction, body care and physical exercise for body), with low stress conditions and a balanced nutritional diet, including anti-oxidative rich food.

Systemic and skin-targeting beneficial effects of lycopene-enriched ice cream: A pilot study We concluded that lycopene-enriched ice cream is a new functional food with clear antioxidant properties. In addition, enrichment with lycopene may alleviate proinflammatory action of ice cream at the level of facial skin, thus decreasing diet-associated acne development risk in young consumers.

Formulation of tomato extracts (Solanum lycopersicum L.) as a sunscreen lotion Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L) has sunscreen efficacy consisting of lycopene which can provide ultraviolet (UV) irradiation in sunlight and protect skin from UV B induces photodamage. Results: The concentration of tomato extract on sunscreen lotion which has SPF value close to SPF 15 from extract is 1percent and 1.5 percent tomato extract with SPF value 18.84 and 22.24. Physical observation of the lotion is done by organoleptic observation, pH and viscosity measurement, centrifugation, and freezing of liquefaction and qualitative test shows a stable profile for 28 days of storage. Conclusion: The results showed that the sunscreen lotion produced had good physical quality for 28 days of storage. Lycopene topically can also provide protection against the acute effects of radiation- induced damage from UVB rays. Tomato (S. lycopersicum L.) in Indonesia expected to be used as the source of lycopene as active compounds in sunscreen cosmetics preparations to protect the skin from the sun.

PREPARATION AND EVALUATION OF HERBAL LIPSTICKS USING NATURAL PIGMENT LYCOPENE (Solanum lycopersicum) Cosmetics are incredible in demand since historical time till day. Lipstick formulations are most widely used to enhance the beauty of lips and add glamour to touch to the makeup. With this aim and objectives, an attempt was made to formulate herbal lipstick by using coloring pigments of Solnum locopersicum and the lipsticks were evaluated for their organoleptic properties such as hardness, solubility, PH etc. Due to various adverse effects of available synthetic preparation, the present work was conceived to formulate a herbal lipsticks having minimal or no side effects which will extensively used by the women of our communities with great surety.

Tomato Lycopene and Lung Cancer Prevention: From Experimental to Human Studies Increasing evidence suggests that tomato lycopene may be preventive against the formation and the development of lung cancer. Experimental studies demonstrated that lycopene may inhibit the growth of several cultured lung cancer cells and prevent lung tumorigenesis in animal models through various mechanisms, including a modulation of redox status, cell cycle arrest and/or apoptosis induction, a regulation of growth factor signaling, changes in cell growth-related enzymes, an enhancement of gap junction communication and a prevention of smoke-induced inflammation. This article reviews data on the cancer preventive activities of lycopene, possible mechanisms involved, and the relationship between lycopene consumption and human cancer risk.

Extraction of pure lycopene from industrial tomato waste in water using the extractor Naviglio In this paper an innovative process for the extraction of pure lycopene from tomato-waste in water that uses the Extractor Naviglio and water as solvent is presented. The use of water as extracting solvent considerably reduces the cost of the entire process if compared with the commonly used solvent-based procedure or with the newer supercritical extraction process of lycopene from tomato-waste. Exhausted tomato-waste treated with water can be then easily dried at room temperature and further used, e.g. in agriculture or as food ingredient in animal nutrition. Lycopene, not soluble in water, was recovered in a quasi-crystalline solid form and purified by SPE (Solid Phase Extraction) using a small amount of organic solvent. The all trans lycopene was obtained at a very high grade of purity, not less than 98 percent (w/w), with an average recovery from tomato waste of 14 percent (w/w). The availability of high purity all trans lycopene allowed us also to measure the molar absorption coefficient, unique for each molecule. An alternative procedure for the HPLC analysis, that uses a phenyl-hexyl silicone stationary phase as inverse phase and a linear gradient in water and acetonitrile, is also described.

Variation in Antioxidant Activity and Polyphenol Content in Tomato Stems [ Tomato stems and leaves have more antioxidants than the fruit. ] Tomato was considered as one of the most widely cultivated vegetable crops in the world. Tomato plant has high antioxidant capacity which can be attributed to the high levels of carotenoids, phenols, vitamins C and E. However, most of tomato plants have been discarded as waste after fruit harvesting. In order to identify genetic resources with high antioxidant level for use in food or as feed additives, we investigated the ABTS, DPPH antioxidant activity and polyphenol content in tomato leaves and stems. Previous studies revealed that ethanol extracts of tomato, eggplant, and sweet potato leaves have higher antioxidant activity, phenolic components and flavonol content than their fruits. The reason is that foliage of the tomato plant has long been considered potentially toxic because of the alkaloid tomatine. However, levels of tomatine in leaves and stems are generally too small to be dangerous unless large amounts are consumed (Barceloux 2009). The recent research found that tomatine binds to cholesterol molecules in the digestive system. In fact, ingesting the leaves can lower the levels of undesirable LDL cholesterol in humans and animals (Mcgee 2009).

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