Surprising Benefit of Tomatoes

By March 15, 2017 April 6th, 2017 Savory Cuisine Corner

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 the benefits of tomatoes are plentiful; 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

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8


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


  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 Notes

Recipe adapted from

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About MSGdishTeam

The MSGdish Team's goal is to provide timely and important information about glutamate, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the many culinary creations inspired by “umami" while connecting these topics to facts about food, taste, and health. The MSGdish Team is comprised of TGA staff professionals who are recognized as experts in science-based nutrition communications. Read more on the About page.

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