Tomatoes, in the genera Solanum, is a fruit native to South and Central America, specifically, tomatoes originated in Peru. Today, tomatoes are grown in domestic and commercial quantities in many parts of the world, although mostly in tropical and subtropical climates. Tomatoes are one of the most common vegetables in the world like pepper, cucumber, squash, eggplant, popkins, beans, and corn kernels. Also, as a fruit, tomatoes are classed with other fruits, including apples, pineapple, peaches, mangos, and apricots. However, tomatoes are commonly eaten as a vegetable rather than as a fruit. Tomatoes are usually red in color when ripe, although they may also come in other colors, including orange, yellow, and purple. Also, there are many species of tomatoes, and they range in flavor and shape.
Different Varieties of Tomatoes
There are no less than 10 thousand species of tomatoes. However, all kinds of tomatoes emanate from a single plant known as Solanum lycopersicum. Types of tomatoes are based on cross-breeding as follows:
Plum tomatoes. They are otherwise known as paste tomatoes. This species is cylindrical in shape and contains a few seeds, which make them easy to preserve. They are usually preserved in form of premade sauces, tomato paste, and geysers.
Heirloom tomatoes. These originate from a single genetic line. All heirloom tomatoes are purebreds. They come in a variety of colors, including deep-blue and orange. Heirloom tomatoes are mostly preferred by people because of their sweet taste and good texture. They are non-hybrids.
Cherry tomatoes. These mostly come in typically red in color although they may come in other color variants, including yellow and green. Cherry tomatoes are mostly small in size, and have a softer texture.
Campari tomatoes. These fall in size between grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. They are otherwise known as tomatoes on the vine because they are sold attached to their vines. They typically have red hue, low acidity, and super sweet flavor. In addition, they are juicy.
Beefsteak tomatoes. These tomatoes are commonly used as sandwiches and hamburger. Also, they are large, sturdy, and firm. In addition, they are juicy tomatoes, which makes it easy to preserve them as canned sauces and vegetable pasta.
Nutritional Benefits of Tomatoes to Hamsters
Tomatoes are a very versatile and nutritious fruits for both humans and animals, including hamsters. First, vitamin C in tomatoes help build strong immune systems and overall health in hamsters. Also, in hamsters, vitamin C in hamsters help improve eyesight. Tomatoes contain potassium which help maintain normal blood pressure in hamsters and help prevent kidney and heart problems. Folate in tomatoes help hamsters grow properly from babies to adults. Also, tomatoes contain vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting in hamsters. The fibers, present in tomatoes help promote digestion in hamsters. Tomatoes are made up of 95 percent water. The remaining nutrients make up the remainder. For this reason, it has been found that tomatoes are low in carbohydrate. Hence, tomatoes are suitable for hamsters because they contain low sugar content. Also, tomatoes contain low calories, and therefore hamsters are unlikely to be prone to the risk of obesity, at least when they are fed tomatoes in moderate quantity.
Side Effects of Feeding Tomatoes to Hamsters
Although tomatoes are beneficial to hamsters in many ways. However, like pepperreference there are many side effects of feeding tomatoes to hamsters, especially when not regulated. First, feeding tomatoes to hamsters can choke them. Hence, it is advisable not to provide whole tomatoes to hamsters but to cut tomatoes to small pieces. Also, including too much tomatoes in hamsters diets tend to result in obesity. The green part tomatoes is toxic to hamsters, and should be avoided in their diets. Only ripe tomatoes should be fed to hamsters. In addition, harmful parasites may be transferred from tomatoes to hamsters when not properly washed before being fed to hamsters. Toxic substances, including pesticide and herbicide from the farm should be cleansed from tomatoes before being fed to hamsters. Tomatoes also contain acids and may become toxic to hamsters when they are fed with too much quantity than necessary. In the same way, tomatoes containing additives, preservatives, and flavors should not be fed to hamsters because it may result in problems, including diarrhea, nauseating, and loss of appetite.
How to Feed Tomatoes to Hamsters
Feeding tomatoes to hamsters should be done in such a way that will strengthen the familiarity between hamsters and their owners. Therefore, hamsters tend to feel more at home with their owners when they are held in the hand while being fed. In fact, cuddling is something that hamsters enjoy a lot. Alternatively, getting close to the hamster before feeding it is good. Usually, just like grape fruitsreference it is a good thing to introduce a small amount of tomato to the hamster first to check whether the hamster likes the vegetable or not. If the hamster eats the small piece, then a further amount may be given.
Correct Quantity of Tomatoes to Feed to a Hamsters
As for most other foods, the quantity of tomato to feed to a hamster depends on the species of the hamster. This is enumerated as follows:
This species, being the largest of all species of hamsters, should be fed the largest quantity of tomatoes. Usually, half a teaspoon of tomatoes should be fed to the Syrian hamster once in a week.
Roborovski hamsters are smaller than the Syrian hamsters and for this reason, smaller quantity of tomatoes should be included in their diet. Only half a teaspoon of tomatoes should fed to them once in two weeks.
Dwarf hamsters, being the smallest of all hamsters, should be fed to them. Only a small portion of tomatoes, smaller than that of Roborovski hamsters should be fed to them on a weekly basis. Other species of hamsters that should be fed with only a small portion of hamsters include Russian hamsters, Campbell hamsters, and Chinese hamsters.
Certainly, tomatoes are good for hamsters because they provide many nutritional and health benefits to hamsters. Thus, they should be included in their diet as regularly as possible to avoid deficiency symptoms in hamsters. But again, moderation is emphasized.