Tomato Season Is Here
By Carol DiPirro • August 19th, 2010 • 5631 Views
Did you know that in the early days, tomatoes were considered toxic? They were thought to cause appendicitis and cancer. In 1820, legend has it that Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson introduced the tomato to Salem County, New Jersey farmers. He announced that an amazing act would take place on September 26, 1820. On that particular day, he shocked the whole town by eating an entire basket of tomatoes and surviving. While there appears to be little substance to the legend, it is nonetheless true that tomato agriculture boomed into a major industry in this area after the Civil War.
Tomatoes provide the body with lycopene, a valuable source of nutrition. Lycopene has been shown to prevent damage to the cells causing cancers. These include colon cancer, prostate cancer prevention, and also breast cancers. It is the folate mineral inside of a tomato that helps to ward off these cancers.
Vitamins C and A are also present in the tomato. Vitamin C protects us from free radicals, which are those compounds that destroy healthy cells. Free radicals tear away at the immune system, and therefore promote viruses and other illnesses we don't want. Vitamin A on the other hand, plays a role in helping to improve your eyesight, as well as helping to strengthen your immune system. One cup of raw tomato provides you with more than 50% of your daily requirement of vitamin C and about 20% of vitamin A.
Tomatoes are also strong in niacin. Niacin lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, so a healthy low fat diet that is rich in tomato sources can significantly lower your blood lipid levels.
Tomatoes provide you with at least 10 percent of your daily requirement of potassium which is a mineral that your body needs to live. This mineral regulates your nervous system along with giving strength to your body's muscles. Your risk of hypertension is also lessened through eating potassium rich foods. They carry chromium too. Chromium is a mineral which helps to lower your blood sugar levels as well as help relieve certain types of migraine headaches.
Cherry Tomatoes are in abundance right now. While we use their larger counterparts for saucing, slicing and in summer canning, the cherry tomato is most often used in salads or as a low calorie snack. My garden is overflowing with these little gems and I’m becoming more creative with their use. I just give them a good wash and...
Nutrition, Health Promoting Foods, Healthy Living, healthy recipes