The tomato’s formal botanical classification, Lycopersicon esculentum, which translates as “edible wolf peach”. It’s likely that the first tomatoes in Europe were yellow ones, the “pomi d’oro,” or apples of gold hence the golden description.
We can thank the Aztecs for the tomato, both the name in English (which is derived from the Aztec word “tomatl”) and the food itself. I don’t mean to bring up a topic that is morbid, gross, or evil, but one of the first references to tomatoes in historical documents mentions that Aztecs who practiced cannibalism used the red fruit as a side dish to the main course of human flesh. When the tomato made its way to Europe, many were convinced that the fruit was poisonous, because it was classified alongside the deadly belladonna and nightshade. So how does a food associated with cannibalism and believed to be toxic become known as the love apple?
While it’s possible that tomatoes are called love apples because of their aphrodisiacal qualities, when the French got hold of the tomato, they called it “pommes d’amour,” or apples of love. Did they call it that because of its association with the mandrake plant, or was it simply a linguistic slip-up?
Have you had your V8 today?
No, I do not mean the processed V8 you find ready to drink. (Why? See illustration)
Botanically speaking (lycopersicum esculentum), the tomato is not only a fruit, but also a berry. The French sometimes refer to the tomato as pomme d’ amour, meaning “love apple.”
Anti-oxidant: Tomatoes contain a lot of vitamins A and C, mostly because of beta-carotene, and these vitamins act as anti-oxidants, working to neutralize dangerous free radicals in the blood stream. Specific antioxidant protection is found in tomatoes of the bones, liver, kidneys, and bloodstream. The more red the more beta-carotene. And remember cooking destroys much of the Vitamin C because it is very sensitive to heat.
Diabetes: Tomatoes also have plenty of the mineral chromium, which helps diabetics to keep their blood sugar level under control.
Smoking: Tomatoes contain acids, which help to fight against and reduce the damage brought about by cigarette smoke.
Vision: Because of all the vitamin A, tomatoes are also an excellent food to help improve your vision, even night vision.
Heart troubles: Due to potassium and vitamin B, tomatoes help to lower blood pressure and to lower high cholesterol levels. This, in turn, could help prevent strokes, heart attack and other potentially life-threatening heart problems. Tomatoes do resemble the heart having four chambers.
Skin care: Because of vitamin A and high amounts of lycopene, a substance found in many of the more expensive over-the-counter facial cleansers, tomatoes are great for skin care. Collagen, our skins support system, is reliant on Vitamin C as an essential nutrient that works in our bodies as an antioxidant to help prevent damage caused by the sun, pollution and smoke, smooth wrinkles and improve overall skin texture.
Cancer: Various studies have shown the lycopene in tomatoes, the red reduces chances of prostate cancer in men, stomach cancer and colorectal cancer. Lycopene, considered a natural miracle anti-oxidant, may help to stop the growth of cancer cells. Cooked tomatoes produce more lycopene than do raw tomatoes, so enjoy that tomato soup!
Bones: Tomatoes have a fair amount of vitamin K and calcium, both of which help to strengthen and possibly repair in minor ways bones and bone tissue.
Constipation: Eating foods that are high in water content and fiber like tomatoes can help to keep you hydrated and your bowel movements regular. Fiber is essential for minimizing constipation by adding bulk to the stool.
WARNING: Are you sensitive to nightshades, such as Tomato, Eggplant, Potatoes, and Peppers? Try eliminating all nightshades for a week and then intentionally try one (such as a tomato) each day for 3 days and see if you notice more inflammation. Do this with each type of nightshade to see how you are reacting to each individual member of this family; your body may become less sensitive.
V8 Recipe: (base the recipe by your own taste – for example some people prefer more tomatoes in their REAL V8 juice where others may prefer more celery or carrots or whatever you have on hand.) -6 tomatoes – 1 bunch parsley – 3-4 radishes – 1 cucumber -1 beet – 4 stalks celery – 1 red pepper – 1 cup spinach – 1-2 lemons (optional, for those who enjoy a bit of kick)
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates
Promoting a lifestyle of preventative care!
WELLNESS PRINCIPAL: Health comes from within. You cannot buy it in a bottle.