Around the world today, there are at least 170 million tons of tomatoes being produced every year.  Dr. Michael Mosley wanted to know why. We already know that there is more than one benefit of tomatoes; vitamin C, potassium, folate, vitamin K and lycopene. But did this fruit, yes fruit, become the most popular because of its nutritional value?

Dr. Mosley discovered that such is not the case. There was another reason why tomatoes are leaping over mangoes, bananas and apples to be the world’s most consumed fruit.

A secret benefit of tomatoes is the built-in umami flavor which signals “health” and “strength” to our senses. As a main dish or a side dish, tomatoes give everything that thick, meaty and earthy flavor that our taste buds crave so.

To read more about the science behind the tomato’s popularity, read the full article on the BBC.

Hungry yet? Get each nutritional and satiating benefit of tomatoes with this tomato-rich recipe.

Tomato Basil Pasta Bake

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 ounce) box fusilli pasta (or any similar pasta)
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup basil, torn
  • 4 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3-4 large tomatoes, thinly sliced 

Preparation:

1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F/230°C.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the crushed tomatoes, water, olive oil, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, and fusilli.
3. Pour the pasta mixture into a greased roasting pan and smooth the top into an even layer.
4. Line the top of the mixture with the sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with salt.
5. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until the pasta is fully cooked.
6. For more umami goodness, put some parmesan cheese on top.

 

Recipe adapted from buzzfeed.com