Tomatoes Don't Only Fight Birth Defects

  Tomatoes as a Health Food



Tomatoes Don't Only Fight Birth Defects

Lycopene isn't the only health food in tomatoes. It is the best known, but there are hundreds of other good things in a tomato (not tomatoe) such as vitamin C, vitamin A, coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, nearly as much potassium as a banana, and the list goes on.

Note: no two tomatoes are the same and no two humans are the same, so this information applies to most humans and most tomatoes. These fruit are in the top ten list of foods to which people can be allergic. Note to that green tomatoes contain tomatine, a toxin, which is killed by cooking, so don't eat them unripe and raw.

Tomatoes are a good source of Lutein which has been shown to support vision health and helps prevent age related macular degeneration.

Folates are found in tomatoes. Folates are known to fight birth defects, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.


Lycopene

When you cook a tomato lycopene becomes three to five times more available for you to digest it. But that would only be interesting if there were no other health foods in tomatoes. That is not the case, because vitamin C is damaged by heat, and what about all the other phytates that we don't yet understand (too complicated)? It's dangerous to over simplify. I think the benefit of cooking is that it bursts open the plant cells. I blend my tomatoes, which bursts open many cells mechanically.

Lycopene was first known to reduce danger of heart attack and prostate cancer, but we now know that many thousands of cancer types would benefit from suitable diets, including lycopene.

Lycopene is a phytate. Phytates are health foods found in plants. It was bad enough when scientists kept adding new vitamins to the list many years ago. But that was just a couple of handfuls of vitamins to learn about.

There are thousands of phytates to learn about, so don't expect any doctors to pass exams in phytates. Nobody's memory is good enough! There are several hundred carotenoids alone. Lycopene is one of them (gives the red colour) and vitamin B1 is another.

Subjects who ate avocado with salsa absorbed nearly 4.5 times more lycopene than those who didn't eat avocado. You can also increase the absorption of some vitamins (including B vitamins) by including a tablespoon or two of coconut oil in the meal.


Cancer

In a study of 8000 Italians, those eating lots of pizza with plenty of tomato sauce were 60% less likely to get esophageal cancer than those who didn't and 26% less likely to get colon cancer.


Tomatoes also contain apigenin.

Case School of Medicine researchers made two separate studies to see what effect apigenin had on prostate cancer. Firstly, they gave mice either a high or low dose of apigenin or an inert substance for 10 weeks. Two weeks later, prostate tumors were implanted in each mouse. In the second experiment, researchers implanted the tumors first, then gave each mouse apigenin to investigate the bioflavonoid's efficacy as a prostate cancer treatment.

The mice receiving apigenin showed a reduction in the volume and weight of the cancerous tumors. The animals that received the highest dose of apigenin did best, with a 59 percent inhibition of tumor volume in the first experiment and a 53 percent reduction in the second experiment compared to the animals who did not receive the bioflavonoid.

IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) also decreased. A high level of IGF-1 is associated with increased risk of cancer. Also insulin-like growth factor binding levels, which reduce cancer risk, had increased in the animals that received apigenin.

So which would you prefer - to be injected with apigenin, or to pig out on a delicious tomato every few hours?


Heart

Blood pressure was lowered by lycopene capsules equivalent to three eighths of a cup of tomato sauce. The experiment lasted for eight weeks and it really started to take effect in the last few weeks. So it is an obvious chance for drug companies to do a four-week experiment to show that lycopene has no effect!


Assorted "Cures"

Tomatoes and other fresh vegetables reduce the risk of asthma by 18%

Tomato juice tea may clear your sinuses.

Sleeping: tomatoes contain melatonin which helps your body to recognize night time as the right time to sleep.


What I like about food cures

Tomatoes are not only great health foods but they are delicious. I stole so many from my parent's tomato plants that I grew to hate tomatoes, and it was several years before I started to enjoy these healthy foods again


How to grow your own and why should you

If you are living somewhere like Alaska you'll need to find out how people grow heirloom fruit locally. It is believed that agriculture started out when nomads came back to their old camp-sites and found tomato plants growing vigorously from the seeds that they had excreted. That is how easy it is to grow a tomato plant in suitable climates. The best tomato plant I've ever grown planted itself in the middle of my lawn. It interfered with mowing, but boy...what fruit!

In intermediate areas you'll need glass-houses to beat the short growing season, but the big advantage of growing your own is that you can make sure that it is all organic. Organically grown fruit are less likely to make you allergic to them, and have a higher concentration of nutrients (less water) and less nitrates and nitrites.

Now what varieties do you want to plant? You can choose from tiny cherry tomatoes to monsters weighing a couple of pounds. Avoid the hybrid varieties because you can't plant seeds from a plant that you really enjoyed next year. Hybrid seeds are sterile. Heirloom varieties are passed down from generation to generation, bred from the most desirable characteristics.

Supermarket tomatoes are bred firstly for portability and secondly for appearance. Tomatoes were included in a crash test and were little damaged while the car was written off. People buy on appearance. Nothing else matters to the supermarkets except profit.

Preserving

If you grow your own there is only a limited season. Consider making sun dried tomatoes or canning them or making ketchup, or freezing them. You can even use electricity to dry them. Sun dried fruit take up very little room because fresh fruit are 95% water. I dried two buckets full and put the result through the blender. The resulting powder took up half a jam-jar. A teaspoonful of the powder made great soup or stew.

You'll have to learn how to use your own drying equipment. In the right climate slice them into a tray and cover it with mosquito-netting to keep away flies, and put out in the sun.

Oh, at the end of the season you'll have some mature green tomatoes left on the vines. Make fried green tomatoes. They have a sharp taste which most people find delicious.

Analysis

One hundred grams of ripe tomatoes should contain the following (don't waste anything). Don't forget that when you dry them, removing 95% water, you can multiply these nutrients by 20.

  • water 95g
  • protein 1.2g
  • carbs 3.2g
  • fiber 0.9g
  • calcium 5mg
  • magnesium 8mg
  • phosphorus 29mg
  • potassium 212mg
  • sodium 42mg Remember sodium is not bad - it's the sodium/potassium balance that matters
  • vitamin C 16mg
  • folate 29mcg
  • vitamin A 1496 IU and when you multiply that by 20.....