Posted on 18 November 2010 by

Tomato the Super Food


tomato-healthBy Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Having a husband as a chef and my self an agriculturist we were doomed to be a health-conscious couple.

While my interest has always been eating right and growing the fruits and vegetables I consume without pesticides my husband’s viewpoint on healthy living has not always matched mine.

My husband just recently discovered that healthy food and long life seem to go together and doing so is worth the effort.

Years of working at pizza restaurants, and eating fast food has resurfaced as a fat covered blob of health problems such as high blood pressure and high triglycerides. So eating right and understanding the concept of “super food’ has become important.

Tomatoes recently have become very important to men’s health. But it was not always been that way. The ancestor of the modern day tomato was no bigger than a marble and grew thousand of years ago in the Andean region of South America. During the sixteenth century individuals living in Peru were cultivating this beautiful plant.

Before the end of the sixteenth century individuals living in England and the Netherlands were snacking on tomatoes. The English called the tomato during this time the “love apple” and it is said that Sir Walter Raleigh even gave one to Queen Elizabeth.

When the tomato came to the United States it was still viewed as poisonous since it is in the nightshade family so M.F. Corne found his courage in his taste buds and ate the first tomato. It was such a momentous occasion that his fellow citizens in Newport, Rhode Island erected a monument in his honor.

A tomato has a dual personality. In the garden it is viewed a vegetable while from a botanical standpoint it is a fruit and can be classified as a berry due to its pulpy nature and at least one seed not stone. Tomato fruit is considered a citric acid fruit and shares the same classification with oranges and grapefruits along with oxalic acid. The red pigment of the tomato contains the super antioxidant lycopene. This antioxidant is believed to reduce the chances of developing such cancers, as prostate, rectal colon, stomach, lung, breast, and endometrial while helping older people stay active longer.

While the tomato contains citric acid it does not form acid when consumed but instead turns alkaline in the blood and helps remove toxins especially uric acid. Tomatoes are also used to make tomato poultice. These poultices are used in sanitariums in Europe to treat many different conditions. It is also used as a dissolving agent or solvent to move stagnant blood.

Who knew that per pound a tomato delivers all that for 93 calories and 4.5 grams protein, 0.9 grams fat, 17.7 grams carbohydrates, 50 milligrams calcium, 125 milligrams phosphorus, 2.7 milligrams iron, 4,080 I.U. Vitamin A, 0.23 milligrams thiamine, 0.15 milligrams riboflavin, 3.2 milligrams, and 102 milligrams ascorbic acid.

So the next time you pick that perfect red orb from the garden and eat it think about all that the tomato brings to the table. And raise a glass to the bravery of M. F. Corne because with him challenging old beliefs we would still view tomatoes not as a “super food” but instead merely a deadly member of the nightshade family.

Until we blog again, May the tasty tomato grace your lips with health and wealth throughout your life.

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