No matter how you say it, the tomato is a popular fruit that shows up in some of our favorite foods. It’s the main ingredient in many dishes, from Panzanella to pasta sauce, and now the tasty nightshade might be a go-to source of the sunshine vitamin. Nature Plants explains how scientists biofortified tomatoes to increase their vitamin D levels, along with ours.
According to Healthline, getting enough vitamin D is crucial to our health and wellness. An essential element to developing and strengthening our teeth and bones, vitamin D can also increase our immunity to certain diseases and improve our moods. Our bodies can absorb vitamin D from sunlight exposure and absorb it from food sources like dairy, seafood, and meat.
Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency affect the health and wellness of people all over the world. Getting the recommended amount from sun exposure can be difficult if you live in an area that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight or has heavy pollution, you’re an avid sunscreen user, or you have darker toned skin. If you follow a plant-based diet, getting the right amount of vitamin D from food sources can be a challenge. By utilizing new gene-editing technology, scientists have discovered a way to substantially increase the amount of vitamin D3 in tomatoes, and it could be a game-changer for the global community.
CNN notes that eating foods heavy in vitamin D is likely the most beneficial way to increase your levels. Still, that dietary goal can be out of reach for the 1 billion people struggling with vitamin D deficiency globally. Using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology that won developers a Nobel prize in 2020, scientists have figured out how to alter the way tomatoes make vitamin D without changing their flavor.