The Tomato - A Healthy Choice
Nothing is more enjoyable to a gardener than that first ripe tomato. Each tomato is rich in vitamin C and fiber. Lycopene is the plant pigment that gives tomatoes that bright red color. Lycopene is not only good for coloring the tomato it may also enhance the ability to fight cancer.
Tomatoes aslo carry large amounts of vitamins A and B, iron, potassium, and phosphorus. An average sized tomato has about 35 calories.
The University of Hawaii Researchers did a comparison on of 332 men and women who were diagnosed with lung cancer to that of those people who did not (865 people). Those who consumed tomatoes the least had the highest incident of lung cancer. Men who ate tomatoes the most had half the chance of lung cancer compared to those who ate few tomatoes. Females who consumed tomatoes the most were a third more likely to have lung cancer.
Another study proved that women with precancerous conditins of the cervix had lower levels of lycopene in their blood and also a lower consumption of tomaties in their daily diet, than women who did not have the condition. Women who consumed more lycopene-rich foods were one-fifth less likely of getting the precancerous condition. One tomato a day can make a huge difference. Even tomato sauce and paste contain high levels of lycopene.
Is a Tomato a Fruit or a vegetable?
Many people have argued over this very question for at least a century. In the year 1893, a tomato importer made the argument that the tomato (known as the "love apple" in those days) was a fruit, and not subject to duty. The argument turned to a case that went all the way to the supreme court where it was ruled to be a vegetable.
However, even though the tomato is used and thought of as a vegetable, botanically, it is a fruit. According to the United Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Association it is a berry because it contains both seeds and pulp.
The History of The Tomato:
The tomato was first discovered by Cortez in 1519 while in Montezuma's gardens. He brought tomato seeds back to Europe where they were planted and used for ornaments but not consumed as they thought they were poisonous. It is thought that the first tomato to enter Europe was probably yellow. They were known as the yellow apples. Italy became the first to plant tomatoes outside its native home.
The 1900s brought the tomato to the United States of America. In today's world the tomato is one of the most popular "fruits' available.
Up through the Eighteenth century doctors feared tomatoes caused stomach cancer thinking the skins stuck to the lining of the stomach. They also thought they caused appendicitis. They warmed the public against eating tomatoes.
Tomato Home Remedies:
- Anemia. Drinking a glass of equal parts of tomato and apple juice will help.
- Constipation. Eating tomatoes either in fresh form, juice, or cooked will help alleviate constipation. If it is an ongoing issue add tomatoes to your daily diet for consistent relief.
- Cholesterol. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and has antioxidant properties. Drinking a glass of tomato juice a day will help keep your cholesterol in check.
- Sunburn. Simply soak sliced tomatoes in buttermilk for a quick relief.
- Weight Control. Tomatoes contain a high content of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals with very low calories. The body easily digests tomatoes making it a good staple food for dieters.
- Morning Sickness. Mixing tomato juice with a pinch of salt has been a age old remedy for pregnant women.
- Mouth Sores/Ulcers. Simply rinse your mouth out three times a day with tomato juice to rid yourself of these aggravating afflictions.
- Diarrhea. Mix equals parts of water with tomato paste for a quick solution for diarrhea.
Disclaimer: As with any illness or medical problem, please seek the advise of a medical professional. These are home remedies that may not work for everyone. A serious issue needs to be addressed by a doctor.
Note: Be sure to thoroughly wash all tomatoes before consumption to rid of any pesticides used during growing and harvest. It's never safe to not wash fruits or veggies.