Tomatoes, once known as Love Apples, or Apples of Paradise, like the sun, and so long as they can get enough of it, with adequate watering, they will flourish in your garden. You can keep some seed from any good-tasting tomato from the previous year, throw a sprinkling of seed on some turned over ground, water occasionally, and they will be sure to come up.
Dig in a little organic fertilizer or compost about the plants once they begin to grow, to ensure that nutrient-rich fruits will later grace your table and give maximum flavour to your cooking. Do not plant tomatoes anywhere near potatoes, or your fruit trees. They grow well next to beans and greens.
(Note: This post first appeared on ‘Nutritional Tips’, a website which my son and I began. We have decided to put these posts onto this website because it already has a readership base.)
The humble tomato originated in South America, was brought to Europe in the 1700’s, and is today a mainstay of traditional Italian cuisine, which has proved to be one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. In Napoli, Southern Italy, where people eat vast quantities of tomatoes, olives, fruits and pasta in their mainly vegetarian diet, the incidence of cancer is low.
Cooking tomatoes does not ruin their nutrients, and some people believe that cooking may even enhance their healthful effects, which means you can eliminate guilt and enjoy that sauce-covered Italian pasta all the more.
“La Tomatina is a food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Buñol in the Valencia region of Spain. Tens of metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets in exactly one hour” – see Wikimedia.org.
Tomatoes are a great addition to those rich items on the menu not only for their flavour, but because of their ability to break down fats. This attribute is considered helpful in preventing hardening of the arteries.
Tomatoes are a classed as a solanaceous vegetable. They are rich in potassium, which is important for the heart, for stabilizing blood pressure, and maintaining healthy brain cells.
They contain a variety of antioxidant and anticoagulant compounds, including Vitamin C, which are effective in reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Tomatoes have been used as a detoxifying agent in some cases of chemical poisoning. As well as their antioxidants, they contain rich levels of chlorine and sulphur, which can greatly aid the body in combatting toxic overload from chemical environments. According to John Heinerman, there are
51 mg of chlorine and 11 mg of sulphur to every 100 grammes of raw, sun-ripened vine tomatoes.
A good dose of tomatoes daily can help to restore a tired liver and help combat cirrhosis of the liver. Earlier studies have suggested that the nutrients in tomatoes can even help rebuild liver cells, as in cancer. Tomatoes could be important to restore the liver, when part of the liver has been removed.
Vitamin C, Lycopene, Quercetin and Lutein are some of the vital-to-health antioxidants found in tomatoes.
These compounds are all natural blood-thinners which can help to prevent blood clots from forming, thus reducing the risk of strokes.
Tomatoes contain another natural blood-thinner in the form of salicylate acid, which is reproduced in aspirin. (also found in white willow bark, a natural alternative to aspirin) Salicylate medicines are often given to the elderly who otherwise might be susceptible to having a stroke.
If you are taking these synthetic, blood-thinning salicylate medicines, then you probably need to go easy on natural blood-thinning vegetables, fruits and vitamin C.
Why not eat more tomatoes, dandelions, and other natural blood-thinning foods instead? (ask your doctor)
Vitamin C, Lycopene, Quercetin and Lutein are all thought to be helpful in preventing cancer, especially prostate cancer, breast cancer, and cancer of the colon.
Lycopene is one compound which is especially important for helping to prevent prostate cancer, but it also helps to prevent the blood clots which cause strokes, and it is beneficial to the heart.
To protect against prostate cancer, some sources recommend serving generous helpings of Lycopene-rich tomatoes at least twice a week. or using tomato sauce liberally each day. This is supposed to reduce the risk of prostate cancer around 34%. (see The ABS Diet, David
Lutein is one compound which is now recognized as being greatly beneficial to the eyesight. It is even given as a supplement by some orthodox eye specialists these days for helping to treat and prevent macular degeneration.
Quercetin is another ingredient of tomatoes which is beneficial to the eyesight. It is thought to help prevent cataracts from forming, and is strengthening to the heart.
The heart muscle, blood pressure, the brain, the eyesight, and the immune system all benefit from eating tomatoes on a regular basis.
Conclusion: Unless you have an allergy to them, tomatoes are greatly beneficial to the health and may go a long way towards protecting you from disease.
Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs
Heinerman, J., Parker Publishing Company, 1988
Food is Better Medicine Than Drugs
Holford, P., & Burne, J., 2006
The Nature Doctor
Dr H.C.A. Vogel, 1995
100 Best Health Foods
Wills, J., Love Food Parragon Books Ltd., 2010
The ABS Diet
Zinczenko, D., Rodale Inc., 2004