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The Tomato - A Healthy Choice

Updated on April 15, 2014

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.

Tomato Legends:

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:

  1. Anemia. Drinking a glass of equal parts of tomato and apple juice will help.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Sunburn. Simply soak sliced tomatoes in buttermilk for a quick relief.
  5. 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.
  6. Morning Sickness. Mixing tomato juice with a pinch of salt has been a age old remedy for pregnant women.
  7. Mouth Sores/Ulcers. Simply rinse your mouth out three times a day with tomato juice to rid yourself of these aggravating afflictions.
  8. 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.


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    • libby1970 profile image

      libby1970 6 years ago from KY

      I didn't have any allergies to tomatoes when I was younger but I hated tomatoes. As I got older I began to acquire a taste as well. It seems as we get older our taste buds change. I love tomatoes now. Thanks for reading and posting.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Tomatoes were an acquired taste for me. I think I might have had a mild allergy to them when I was young and I avoided them. Some years ago I got to actually like them.

    • libby1970 profile image

      libby1970 6 years ago from KY

      You're welcome! I'm glad you already eat this wonder fruit/veggie! Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 6 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      There's just nothing like a home grown tomato. Thanks for reinforcing all the reasons I already eat tomatoes. Voted up.

    • libby1970 profile image

      libby1970 6 years ago from KY

      Thank you sunikunnoth2012 I appreciate that.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 6 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      I like tomato. It is beautiful and tasty too. You have done a good article. Keep on writing such good one regularly. Congrats.

    • libby1970 profile image

      libby1970 6 years ago from KY

      Very true! If everyone knew they'd all be eating right!

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 6 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Very informative hub. People do not know the benefits of eating a healthy diet.

    • libby1970 profile image

      libby1970 6 years ago from KY

      Yes I do! And it's good for us too. Thanks for reading.

    • traslochimilano profile image

      traslochimilano 6 years ago from USA

      I like tomato soup very much and feel that you also like it...

    • libby1970 profile image

      libby1970 6 years ago from KY

      Thank you snowdrops. I'm glad you enjoyed it. yes tomatoes are very good for us. Thanks again.

    • snowdrops profile image

      snowdrops 6 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

      Hello there Libby! I love your hub, full of info! so many benefits of tomatoes!

      Voted up and all!

    • libby1970 profile image

      libby1970 6 years ago from KY

      Hi Lot Rillera. That's a good choice. Tomatoes are very good for us in a lot of ways. Thanks for reading and posting.

    • Lot Rillera profile image

      Lot Rillera 6 years ago from Philippines

      hi libby, i dont like tomatoes but when I know the good benefits of it, ive started eating it. thank you for the additional info about tomato

    • libby1970 profile image

      libby1970 6 years ago from KY

      Thank you unknown spy I appreciate the comment and reading my hub.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      The very best of tomato - lycopene! Loved this one.

      Sometimes, when asked if tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, they would say it's a fruit. then someone would ask "if tomato is a fruit, why can't we put it on a Fruit Salad?" lol!

      Voted up. Very nice hub!


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