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Arrowroot Powder vs.

Cornstarch: Why Arrowroot Powder is a Better Choice


Posted on February 15, 2013 by Katie

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a strong, nourished metabolism? I adore the eBook The Nourished Metabolism by Elizabeth Walling and her book will help you do just that! Click here for more info! The other night at our house we had a make-your-own-nacho bar with some friends. My friend, Janina, had shared an amazing Food Renegade recipe for homemade cheese sauce (which is earth shatteringly phenomenal!) a few months prior so I had to make it for our get together!

Instead of thickening the sauce with corn starch or a roux (a flour and butter mixture); you use an egg yolk, milk, and some arrowroot powder. We ended up throwing in a couple more tablespoons of the arrowroot powder and I was amazed to see how it

thickened the milk base like a roux or cornstarch would! Which prompted me to ask myself: what on earth is arrowroot powder?!

What is Arrowroot Powder?


Arrowroot Powder (sometimes known as Arrowroot Starch) is white and powdery just like cornstarch. It is derived from a tropical South American plant and, like cornstarch, is used as a thickener in recipes. The plant was given the name Arrowroot because it was once used to treat those injured with wounds from poison arrows. The Native Caribbean Arawak people made arrowroot a foundation of their diet and valued it for its amazing healing benefits (i.e., it would draw out the poison from wounds).

What are the differences between Arrowroot Powder and Cornstarch?


Cornstarch is a powdery substance made from (surprise!) corn and is used to thicken gravies and sauces. However, since the advent of Genetically Modifier Organisms (GMOs), almost all cornstarch is made from corn that has been genetically engineered (which to me is a bad science fiction version of food!). You can buy nonGMO cornstarch but it is usually more expensive. The process of extracting cornstarch can be quite harsh as well, utilizing chemicals and high heat to transform the corn into the powder in the can. Cornstarch is not only for food, it also used in adhesives, batteries, garbage bags, deodorant, make-up, and more. The process of obtaining cornstarch is as follows: the corn is hulled from the cob and then soaked in warm water (around 130 degrees) mixed with sulfur dioxide (which is also used to extract metal from ore and, according to dictionary.com: used chiefly in the manufacture of chemicals such as sulfuric acid, in preserving fruits and vegetables, and in bleaching, disinfecting, and fumigating.). It will then soak for one to two days. During this time, the corn and starch separate and create sulfurous acid. The corn is drained and then the endo-sperm is separated from the corn to make the starch. The endo-sperm travels through strainers and screens to

separate the gluten and starch. The separated starch is at this point considered common cornstarch and can be converted into fermented products or sweeteners. For any modified cornstarch, it is treated in another step with chemicals or enzymes. I would strongly recommending reading this PDF from Corn.org if you would like to learn more about cornstarch and how it is derived. You use cornstarch by making a slurry, which is mixing the powder into a cold liquid such as water or milk and whisking until the powder is dissolved. You then pour the slurry into the hot liquid creating a thickened sauce. Arrowroot powder is extracted in a much different manner. The arrowroot is a tuberous plant which is washed, peeled, and grated into finer pieces. These arrowroot pieces are strained, allowing the liquid to drip off. The starch is in this liquid. In traditional societies, they would throw sea water on top of the grated arrowroot throughout the process to draw out the starch. They would then catch the liquid and let it settle. The sea water would rise to the top and the starch would settle to the bottom. It is rinsed several more times with clean water and then drained of all liquid. What is left is harden starch ball that will finish drying in a shaded place for another two to three days. It is then broken down into the fine, white powder we can get on our grocery shelves. The modern process of obtaining arrowroot powder is very similar to the process of traditional people with just a few differences in tools and processes. I found this explanation of the extraction process:

After being soaked in hot water, the tubers are peeled to remove their fibrous covering (this prevents a bitter taste and off-color in the final product.) Next theyre cut into small pieces. The cut tubers are then mashed to a pulp and macerated to break down the tough cells surrounding the starch. The pulp is washed on screens to separate the starch from the fibrous material. The settled starch is then centrifuged or filtered to further separate it from fiber fines and other soluble material (this process can be repeated to obtain greater purity). The separated starch is finally dried and ground to powder.

How Can I Use Arrowroot Powder?

Arrowroot powder can be used very similarly to cornstarch by way of making a slurry. You must be careful to not overheat it though as arrowroot is more delicate than cornstarch and will breakdown quicker when heated too long or at too high of a temperature. You can use arrowroot powder to thicken soups, sauces, and stews. It works exactly like cornstarch but without the scary refinement process or question of: are there GMOs in this?. It is one of the easiest starches for the body to digest as well, which gives it bonus points in my book! Tapioca root and arrowroot are commonly confused, but are truly much different things. Due to mislabeling throughout the years be sure to buy the best arrowroot powder you can with only one ingredient: arrowroot, pure. Cheerio! Katie http://girlmeetsnourishment.com/arrowroot-vs-cornstarch/

Arrowroot is a wonderful, clear thickener used in gravies, sauces and pie fillings. It is also more easily digested than other thickening agents. Mix 1 rounded tablespoon arrowroot powder into just a little cool water. Add to 1 cup gravy, or other sauce. Stir constantly over high heat, about 10-15 minutes. Gravy will thicken suddenly. Once thickening occurs, STOP STIRRING so as not to break down the bonding and thin out the gravy.
http://www.thespicehouse.com/spices/arrowroot-powder

Arrowroot Powder From Barry Farm Foods


Click here if you would like to purchase this item or Arrowr look at other items from the same category listing. oot Current pricing and bulk discounts are shown on powder the category page. List of Arrowroot powder is a starch thickener. A member NutritionFacts Ingredie of a group of food additives known as thickeners, per serving: 1 tsp nts 1 tsp starches, gels, stabilizers and emulsifiers. It has Amount per serving several advantages over other thickeners in that Arrowroo Calories 10 arrowroot powder has a more neutral flavor and t 0 especially good as thickener in delicately flavored Calories from fat % Daily Value * liquids. It works at low temperatures, tolerates Total Fat 0g 0% acidic ingredients and prolonged cooking.
Saturated Fat 0g 0% 0% 0% 1% 0%

While some sauces thickened with other starches become spongy if frozen, arrowroot powder thickened sauces stand up under freezing and thawing. Arrowroot powder is not recommended for dairy based sauces however as it tends to turn slimy. It is best for desserts sauces but the visual appearance of meat sauces leaves a less than desirable result. To use Arrowroot powder mix equal parts of powder and liquid to form a slurry. Then stir it into hot liquid for about 30 seconds til blended. One tablespoon of Arrowroot will thicken one cup of liquid. 1 part arrowroot powder replaces 2 parts flour. Common substitutes are: Tapioca Starch or Instant Clearjel or Cornstarch or Kudzu Powder or Potato Starch or Rice Starch or Flour. Keep in mind that each of these can produce undesirable appearance or flavor compared to the use of Arrowroot in a recipe.

Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 0mg Total Carbohydrate 2.4g Dietary Fiber 0.1g Protein 0g

Percent values are based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. Your daily values may differ. Additional Information 0% of calories from Fat 100% from Carbohydrat

http://www.barryfarm.com/nutri_info/thickeners/Arrowroot_powder .html

Arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea)


treats Diarrhea

Share on printShare on email Generic Name: Arrowroot

Category
Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms
Albumen, araruta, arrowroot cookie, arrowroot starch, ash, bamboo tuber, Bermuda arrowroot, East Indian arrowroot, Maranta arundinacea, Marantaceae (family), obedience plant, reed arrowroot, St. Vincent arrowroot, true arrowroot, West Indian arrowroot. Note: This plant should not be confused with arrowhead (Sagittaria spp.) or Japanese arrowroot (Pueraria montana).

Background
Arrowroot refers to any plant of the genus Maranta, but the term is most commonly used to describe the easily digestible starch obtained from the rhizomes of Maranta arundinacea. Other plants that produce similar starches include East Indian arrowroot (Curcuma angustifolia), Queensland arrowroot (Cannaceae family), Brazilian arrowroot (Euphorbiaceae family), and Florida arrowroot (Zamia pumila orZamia integrifolia). This monograph addresses only true arrowroot, Maranta arundinacea. The popular name arrowroot may be a corruption of the Aru-root of the Aruac Indians of South America or derived from its legendary use as an antidote for poison-tipped arrow toxins. The name may also come from the native Caribbean Arawak people's aru-aru (meal of meals), for whom the plant was a dietary staple. Arrowroot is used in the form of a starchy powder dried from the milky liquid extracted from the grated plant rhizome. Arrowroot has been studied as a remedy for diarrhea, possibly due to its high starch content.

Arrowroot has also been taken by mouth as a dietary aid in gastrointestinal disorders, and applied on the skin to soothe painful, irritated, or inflamed mucous membranes.

Evidence
DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Diarrhea: Arrowroot is an edible starch with proposed demulcent (soothing) effects, and is a well-known traditional remedy for diarrhea. Early study suggests it may have a beneficial effect in the treatment of diarrhea in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients. Additional study is needed in this area. Grade: C

Tradition
WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below. Antibacterial, antidote to poisons (vegetable poisons, poison tipped arrows),cholera, dehydration, demulcent (soothes inflammation), food uses, gangrene, gastrointestinal disorders, inflammation (mucous membranes), insect and spider bites, teething, weight loss.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)


Two 5 milliliter spoonfuls of powdered arrowroot (Thornton & Ross UK Pharmaceutical Company) three times a day with, or as part of, meals for one month has been taken by mouth.

Children (younger than 18 years)


There is currently a lack of available scientific information to recommend the use of arrowroot in children.

http://www.healthline.com/natstandardcontent/arrowroot

Definition: Arrowroot is a powdery, highly digestible starch that is commonly used in cooking throughout the Caribbean. The plant, which is considered an herb, is native to the Caribbean and thrives in the tropical climate. The starch comes from the rhizomes of the Maranta arundinacea plant. St. Vincent and Jamaica are the main producers of the arrowroot starch. The name, arrowroot, comes from the indigenous Caribbean people and the manner in which they used the plant to treat wounds from poisoned arrows. Also, because of its digestibility, the starch was used medicinally in Victorian times to wean infants from mothers milk and nourish those with dietary restrictions. Arrowroot starch also makes an excellent substitute for talcum powder in cosmetics and it was once used in the paper making industry. Gastronomically speaking, arrowroot is gluten free. Its an excellent substitute for cornstarch and flour as a thickening agent in sauces, gravies, pie fillings, and puddings. Arrowroot starch is neutral tasting and tolerates acidic ingredients, such as citrus. The starch also freezes well and dissolves well at lower temperatures. In fact, it must be cooked over low heat as it doesnt endure high temperature cooking and does not reheat well. Also, arrowroot does not do well in milk-based cream sauces (it changes the texture), but bakes well in cakes, cookies and biscuits made with milk. Also Known As: obedience plant Alternate Spellings: arrow root

Tomato
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Tomato (disambiguation).

Tomato

Cross-section and full view of a hothouse (greenhouse-grown) tomato

Scientific classification Kingdom: (unranked): (unranked): (unranked): Order: Family: Genus: Species: Plantae Angiosperms Eudicots Asterids Solanales Solanaceae Solanum S. lycopersicum Binomial name Solanum lycopersicum
L.

Synonyms

Lycopersicon lycopersicum (L.) H. Karst. Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.[1]


The tomato is the edible, often red fruit of the plant Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as a tomato plant. Both the species and its use as a food originated in Mexico, and spread throughout the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Its many varieties are now widely grown, sometimes in greenhouses in cooler climates. The tomato is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes, sauces, salads, and drinks. While it is botanically a fruit, it is considered a vegetable for culinary purposes (as well as under U.S. customs regulations, see Nix v. Hedden), which has caused some confusion. The fruit is rich in lycopene, which may have beneficial health effects. The tomato belongs to the nightshade family (Solanaceae). The plants typically grow to 13 meters (310 ft) in height and have a weak stem that often sprawls over the ground and vines over other plants. It is a perennial in its native habitat, although often grown outdoors in temperate climates as an annual. An average common tomato weighs approximately 100 grams (4 oz).[2][3]

Contents
[hide]

1 History
o o o o o o o

1.1 Mesoamerica 1.2 Spanish distribution 1.3 Italy 1.4 Britain 1.5 Middle East and North Africa 1.6 North America 1.7 Modern commercial varieties

2 Cultivation
o o o o o o

2.1 Varieties 2.2 Diseases and pests 2.3 Companion plants 2.4 Pollination 2.5 Hydroponic and greenhouse cultivation 2.6 Picking and ripening

2.7 Genetic modification

3 Consumption
o o o o

3.1 Nutrition 3.2 Potential health benefits 3.3 Storage 3.4 Safety

3.4.1 Plant toxicity 3.4.2 Salmonella

4 Botanical description 5 Botanical classification 6 Wild species 7 Genome sequencing 8 Breeding 9 Fruit or vegetable? 10 Names
o

10.1 Pronunciation

11 Tomato records 12 Cultural impact 13 See also 14 References 15 Further reading 16 External links

History
Mesoamerica
Aztecs and other peoples in Mesoamerica used the fruit in their cooking. The exact date of domestication is unknown: by 500 BC, it was already being cultivated in southern Mexico and probably other areas.[4]:13 The Pueblo people are thought to have believed that those who witnessed the ingestion of tomato seeds were blessed with powers ofdivination.[5] The large, lumpy tomato, a mutation from a smoother, smaller fruit, originated in Mesoamerica, and may be the direct ancestor of some modern cultivated tomatoes. [4]

Spanish distribution

Tomatoes that have not ripened uniformly Spanish conquistador Hernn Corts may have been the first to transfer the small yellow tomato to Europe after he captured the Aztec city of Tenochttlan, now Mexico City, in 1521, although Christopher Columbus, a Genoese working for the Spanish monarchy, may have taken them back as early as 1493. The earliest discussion of the tomato in European literature appeared in an herbal written in 1544 byPietro Andrea Mattioli, an Italian physician and botanist, who suggested that a new type of eggplant had been brought to Italy that was blood red or golden color when mature and could be divided into segments and eaten like an eggplant that is, cooked and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and oil. However it wasn't until ten years later that tomatoes were named in print by Mattioli as pomi doro, or "golden apple".[4]:13 After the Spanish colonization of the Americas, the Spanish distributed the tomato throughout their colonies in the Caribbean. They also took it to the Philippines, from where it spread to southeast Asia and then the entire Asian continent. The Spanish also brought the tomato to Europe. It grew easily in Mediterranean climates, and cultivation began in the 1540s. It was probably eaten shortly after it was introduced, and was certainly being used as food by the early 17th century in Spain. The earliest discovered cookbook with tomato recipes was published in Naples in 1692, though the author had apparently obtained these recipes from Spanish sources.[4]:17 In certain areas of Italy, such as Florence, however, the fruit was used solely as a tabletop decoration before it was incorporated into the local cuisine in the late 17th or early 18th century.

Italy
The recorded history of tomatoes in Italy dates back to 31 October 1548 when the house steward of Cosimo de' Medici, the grand duke of Tuscany, wrote to the Medici private secretary informing him that the basket of tomatoes sent from the grand duke's Florentine estate at Torre del Gallo "had arrived safely." Tomatoes were grown mainly as ornamentals early on after their arrival in Italy. For example, the Florentine aristocrat Giovanvettorio Soderini wrote how they "were to be sought only for their beauty" and were grown only in gardens or flower beds. The tomato's ability to mutate and create new and different varieties helped contribute

to its success and spread throughout Italy. However, even in areas where the climate supported growing tomatoes, their proximity of growing to the ground suggested low status. They were not adopted as a staple of the peasant population because they were not as filling as other fruits already available. Additionally, both toxic and inedible varieties discouraged many people from attempting to consume or prepare them. [6] Unique varieties were developed over the next several hundred years for uses such as dried tomatoes, sauce tomatoes, pizza tomatoes, and tomatoes for long term storage. These varieties are usually known for their place of origin as much as by a variety name. For example, Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio is the "hanging tomato of Vesuvius". Five different varieties have traditionally been used to make these "hanging" tomatoes. They are Fiaschella, Lampadina, Patanara, Principe Borghese, and Re Umberto. Other tomatoes that originated in Italy include San Marzano, Borgo Cellano, Christopher Columbus, Costoluto Genovese, and Italian Pear. These tomatoes are characterized by relatively intense flavor compared to varieties typically grown elsewhere.

Britain

Tomatoes for sale in a UK supermarket Tomatoes were not grown in England until the 1590s.[4]:17 One of the earliest cultivators was John Gerard, a barber-surgeon.[4]:17Gerard's Herbal, published in 1597, and largely plagiarized from continental sources,[4]:17 is also one of the earliest discussions of the tomato in England. Gerard knew the tomato was eaten in Spain and Italy.[4]:17 Nonetheless, he believed it was poisonous[4]:17 (in fact, the plant and raw fruit do have low levels of tomatine, but are not generally dangerous; see below). Gerard's views were influential, and the tomato was considered unfit for eating (though not necessarily poisonous) for many years in Britain and its North American colonies.[4]:17By the mid-18th century, tomatoes were widely eaten in Britain, and before the end of that century, the Encyclopdia Britannica stated the tomato was "in daily use" in soups, broths, and as a garnish. They were not part of the average man's diet, however, and though by 1820 they were described as "to be seen in great abundance in all our vegetable markets" and to be "used by all our best cooks", reference

was made to their cultivation in gardens still "for the singularity of their appearance", while their use in cooking was associated with Italian or Jewish cuisine.[7]

Middle East and North Africa


The tomato was introduced to cultivation in the Middle East by John Barker, British consul in Aleppo circa 1799 to 1825.[8][9] Nineteenth century descriptions of its consumption are uniformly as an ingredient in a cooked dish. In 1881, it is described as only eaten in the region "within the last forty years".[10] Today, the tomato is a critical and ubiquitous part ofMiddle Eastern cuisine, served fresh in salads (e.g. Arab salad, Israeli salad, and Turkish salad), grilled with kebabs and other dishes, made into sauces, and so on. The early name used for tomato in Iran was Armani badenjan (Armenian eggplant). Currently, the name used for tomato in Iran is gojeh farangi [French plum].

North America

Handful of different tomatoes from Ho Farms in Kahuku, Hawaii. The earliest reference to tomatoes being grown in British North America is from 1710, when herbalist William Salmon reported seeing them in what is today South Carolina.[4]:25 They may have been introduced from the Caribbean. By the mid-18th century, they were cultivated on some Carolina plantations, and probably in other parts of the Southeast as well. Possibly, some people continued to think tomatoes were poisonous at this time; and in general, they were grown more as ornamental plants than as food. Thomas Jefferson, who ate tomatoes in Paris, sent some seeds back to America.[4]:28 Alexander W. Livingston was the first person who succeeded in upgrading the wild tomato, developing different breeds and stabilizing the plants. In the 1937 yearbook of the Federal Department of Agriculture, it was declared that "half of the major varieties were a result of the abilities of the Livingstons to evaluate and

perpetuate superior material in the tomato". Livingston's first breed of tomato, the Paragon, was introduced in 1870. In 1875, he introduced the Acme, which was said to be involved in the parentage of most of the tomatoes introduced by him and his competitors for the next twenty-five years.[11] When Alexander W. Livingston had begun his attempts to develop the tomato as a commercial crop, his aim had been to grow tomatoes smooth in contour, uniform in size and having better flavor. One year, after many attempts, he passed through his fields, picking out particular tomato plants having distinct characteristics and heavy foliage. He saved the seeds carefully. The following spring he set two rows across his family garden located just below the hill and milk house. To his happy surprise, each plant bore perfect tomatoes like the parent vine. After five years, the fruit became fleshier and larger. In 1870, Alexander introduced the Paragon and tomato culture soon became a great enterprise in the county. Today, the crop is grown in every state in the Union. He eventually developed over seventeen different varieties of the tomato plant.[11] Because of the long growing season needed for this heat-loving crop, several states in the US Sun Belt became major tomato-producers, particularly Florida and California. In California, tomatoes are grown under irrigation for both the fresh fruit market and for canning and processing. The University of California, Davis(UC Davis) became a major center for research on the tomato. The C.M. Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center at UC Davis is a gene bank of wild relatives, monogenic mutants and miscellaneous genetic stocks of tomato.[12] The Center is named for the late Dr. Charles M. Rick, a pioneer in tomato genetics research.[13] Research on processing tomatoes is also conducted by the California Tomato Research Institute in Escalon, California.[14] In California, growers have used a method of cultivation called dry-farming, especially with Early Girl tomatoes. This technique encourages the plant to send roots deep to find existing moisture in soil that retains moisture, such as clayey soil.

Modern commercial varieties


The poor taste and lack of sugar in modern garden and commercial tomato varieties resulted from breeding tomatoes to ripen uniformly red. This change occurred after discovery of a variety in the mid 20th century that ripened uniformly. This was widely cross-bred to produce red fruit without the typical green ring around the stem on uncross-bred varieties. Prior to general introduction of this trait, most tomatoes produced more sugar during ripening, and were sweeter and more flavorful.[15][16]

Cultivation

Tomato plants 7 days after planting

27 days after planting

52 day old plant, first fruits The tomato is now grown worldwide for its edible fruits, with thousands of cultivars having been selected with varying fruit types, and for optimum growth in differing growing conditions. Cultivated tomatoes vary in size, from tomberries, about 5 mm in diameter, through cherry tomatoes, about the same 12 cm (0.40.8 in) size as the wild tomato, up to beefsteak tomatoes 10 cm (4 in) or more in diameter. The most widely grown commercial tomatoes tend to be in the 56 cm (2.02.4 in) diameter range. Most cultivars produce red fruit, but a number of cultivars with yellow, orange, pink, purple, green, black, or white fruit are also available. Multicolored and

striped fruit can also be quite striking. Tomatoes grown for canning and sauces are often elongated, 79 cm (34 in) long and 45 cm (1.62.0 in) diameter; they are known as plum tomatoes, and have a lower water content. Roma-type tomatoes are important cultivars in the Sacramento Valley.[17] Tomatoes are one of the most common garden fruits in the United States and, along with zucchini, have a reputation for outproducing the needs of the grower. Quite a few seed merchants and banks provide a large selection of heirloom seeds. The definition of an heirloom tomato is vague, but unlike commercial hybrids, all are self-pollinators that have bred true for 40 years or more.[17] About 150 million tons of tomatoes were produced in the world in 2009. China, the largest producer, accounted for about one quarter of the global output, followed by United States and India. For one variety, plum or processing tomatoes, California accounts for 90% of U.S. production and 35% of world production.[18] According to FAOSTAT, the top producers of tomatoes (in tonnes) in 2011.[19]

Rank

Country

Production (MT)

China

48,572,921

India

16,826,000

United States 12,526,070

Turkey

11,003,433

Egypt

8,105,263

Iran

6,824,298

Italy

5,950,215

Rank

Country

Production (MT)

Brazil

4,416,652

Spain

3,864,120

10

Uzbekistan

2,585,000

Tomato seedlings growing indoors

Green tomatoes nestled on the vine Within the EU, there are several areas that grow tomatoes with Protected Geographical Status. These include:

Pomodoro di Pachino (PGI), in Sicily

Pomodoro S. Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese-Nocerino (PDO), in south Italy Tomaten von der Insel Reichenau (PGI), from Reichenau Island, Germany Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio (PDO), in Mt Vesuvius area.

Varieties
For a more comprehensive list, see List of tomato cultivars. There are around 7500 tomato varieties grown for various purposes. Heirloom tomatoes are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among home gardeners and organic producers, since they tend to produce more interesting and flavorful crops at the cost of disease resistance and productivity.[17] In 1973, Israeli scientists developed the world's first long shelf-life commercial tomato varieties.[20] Hybrid plants remain common, since they tend to be heavier producers, and sometimes combine unusual characteristics of heirloom tomatoes with the ruggedness of conventional commercial tomatoes. Tomato varieties are roughly divided into several categories, based mostly on shape and size.

"Slicing" or "globe" tomatoes are the usual tomatoes of commerce, used for a wide variety of processing and fresh eating.

Beefsteak tomatoes are large tomatoes often used for sandwiches and similar applications. Their kidneybean shape, thinner skin, and shorter shelf life makes commercial use impractical.

Oxheart tomatoes can range in size up to beefsteaks, and are shaped like large strawberries. Plum tomatoes, or paste tomatoes (including pear tomatoes), are bred with a higher solids content for use in tomato sauce andpaste, and are usually oblong.

Pear tomatoes are pear-shaped, and are based upon the San Marzano types for a richer gourmet paste. Cherry tomatoes are small and round, often sweet tomatoes generally eaten whole in salads. Grape tomatoes, a more recent introduction, are smaller and oblong, a variation on plum tomatoes, and used in salads.

Campari tomatoes are also sweet and noted for their juiciness, low acidity, and lack of mealiness. They are bigger than cherry tomatoes, but are smaller than plum tomatoes.

Early tomatoes and cool-summer tomatoes bear fruit even where nights are cool, which usually discourages fruit set. There are also varieties high in beta carotenes and vitamin A, hollow tomatoes and tomatoes that keep for months in storage. Tomatoes are also commonly classified as determinate or indeterminate. Determinate, or bush, types bear a full crop all at once and top off at a specific height; they are often good choices for container growing. Determinate types are preferred by commercial growers who wish to harvest a whole field at one time, or home growers interested in canning. Indeterminate varieties develop into vines that never top off and continue

producing until killed by frost. They are preferred by home growers and local-market farmers who want ripe fruit throughout the season. As an intermediate form, there are plants sometimes known as vigorous determinate or semideterminate; these top off like determinates, but produce a second crop after the initial crop. The majority of heirloom tomatoes are indeterminate, although some determinate heirlooms exist. Most modern tomato cultivars are smooth surfaced, but some older tomato cultivars and most modern beefsteaks often show pronounced ribbing, a feature that may have been common to virtually all preColumbian cultivars. While virtually all commercial tomato varieties are red, some cultivars especially heirlooms produce fruit in other colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, black, brown, ivory, white, and purple. Such fruits are not widely available in grocery stores, nor are their seedlings available in typical nurseries, but they can be bought as seed. Less common variations include fruit with stripes (Green Zebra), fuzzy skin on the fruit (Fuzzy Peach, Red Boar), multiple colors (Hillbilly, Burracker's Favorite, Lucky Cross), etc. There is also a considerable gap between commercial and home-gardener cultivars. Home cultivars are often bred for flavor to the exclusion of all other qualities, while commercial cultivars are bred for factors like consistent size and shape, disease and pest resistance, suitability for mechanized picking and shipping, and ability to ripen after picking.[citation needed] Tomatoes grow well with seven hours of sunlight a day. A fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 5-10-10 is often sold as tomato fertilizer or vegetable fertilizer, although manure and compost are also used.

Cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes various colors upon ripening

Roma or Bangalore Tomatoes (Indian hybrid)

Various heirloom tomatocultivars

A variety of specific cultivars, includingBrandywine (biggest red),Black Krim (lower left) andGreen Zebra (top left)

Diseases and pests


For a more comprehensive list, see List of tomato diseases. Tomato cultivars vary widely in their resistance to disease. Modern hybrids focus on improving disease resistance over the heirloom plants. One common tomato disease is tobacco mosaic virus. Handling cigarettes and other tobacco products which are infected can result in transmission of the virus to tomato plants.[21] Various forms of mildew and blight are also common tomato afflictions, which is why tomato cultivars are often marked with a combination of letters that refer to specific disease resistance. The most common letters are:V verticillium wilt, F fusarium wilt strain I, FF fusarium wilt strain I and II, N nematodes, T tobacco mosaic virus, and A alternaria.

Tomato fruitworm feeding on unripe tomato Another particularly dreaded disease is curly top, carried by the beet leafhopper, which interrupts the lifecycle, ruining a nightshade plant as a crop. As the name implies, it has the symptom of making the top leaves of the plant wrinkle up and grow abnormally. Some common tomato pests are stink bugs, cutworms, tomato hornworms and tobacco hornworms, aphids, cabbage loopers, whiteflies,tomato fruitworms, flea beetles, red spider mite, slugs,[22] and Colorado potato beetles. Tomato plants produce the plant peptide hormone systemin after an insect attack. Systemin activates defensive mechanisms, such as the production of protease inhibitors to slow the growth of insects. The hormone was first identified in tomatoes, but similar proteins have been identified in other species since.[23]

Companion plants
See also: List of companion plants and List of beneficial weeds Tomatoes serve, or are served by, a large variety of companion plants. In fact, one of the most famous pairings is the tomato plant and carrots; studies supporting this relationship having produced a popular book about companion planting, Carrots Love Tomatoes.[24] Additionally, the devastating tomato hornworm has a major predator in various parasitic wasps, whose larvae devour the hornworm, but whose adult form drinks nectar from tiny-flowered plants like umbellifers. Several species of umbellifer are therefore often grown with tomato plants, including parsley, queen anne's lace, and occasionally dill. These also attract predatory flies that attack various tomato pests.[25] On the other hand, borage is thought to actually repel the tomato hornworm moth.[26] Other plants with strong scents, like alliums (onions, chives, garlic) and mints (basil, oregano, spearmint) are simply thought to mask the scent of the tomato plant, making it harder for pests to locate it, or to provide an

alternative landing point, reducing the odds of the pests from attacking the correct plant. [27] These plants may also subtly impact the flavor of tomato fruit.[28] Ground cover plants, including mints, also stabilize moisture loss around tomato plants and other solaneae, which come from very humid climates, and therefore may prevent moisture-related problems like blossom end rot. Finally, tap-root plants like dandelions break up dense soil and bring nutrients from down below a tomato plant's reach, possibly benefiting their companion. Tomato plants, on the other hand, protect asparagus from asparagus beetles, because they contain solanum that kills this pest, while asparagus plants (as well as marigolds[28]) contain a chemical that repels root nematodes known to attack tomato plants.

Pollination

Tomato flower in full bloom, associated with a young, developing fruit.

The flower and leaves are visible in this photo of a tomato plant.

In the wild, original state, tomatoes required cross-pollination; they were much more self-incompatible than domestic cultivars. As a floral device to reduce selfing, the pistil of wild tomatoes extends farther out of the flower than today's cultivars. The stamens were, and remain, entirely within the closed corolla. As tomatoes were moved from their native areas, their traditional pollinators, (probably a species of halictid bee) did not move with them.[29] The trait of self-fertility became an advantage, and domestic cultivars of tomato have been selected to maximize this trait.[29] This is not the same as self-pollination, despite the common claim that tomatoes do so. That tomatoes pollinate themselves poorly without outside aid is clearly shown in greenhouse situations, where pollination must be aided by artificial wind, vibration of the plants (one brand of vibrator is a wand called an "electric bee" that is used manually), or more often today, by culturedbumblebees.[citation needed] The anther of a tomato flower is shaped like a hollow tube, with the pollen produced within the structure, rather than on the surface, as in most species. The pollen moves through pores in the anther, but very little pollen is shed without some kind of outside motion. The best source of outside motion is a sonicating bee, such as a bumblebee, or the original wild halictid pollinator. In an outside setting, wind or animals provide sufficient motion to produce commercially viable crops.

Hydroponic and greenhouse cultivation


Tomatoes are often grown in greenhouses in cooler climates, and there are cultivars such as the British 'Moneymaker' and a number of cultivars grown in Siberia that are specifically bred for indoor growing. In more temperate climates, it is not uncommon to start seeds in greenhouses during the late winter for future transplant. Greenhouse tomato production in large-acreage commercial greenhouses and owner-operator stand-alone or multiple-bay greenhouses is on the increase, providing fruit during those times of the year when field-grown fruit is not readily available. Smaller sized fruit (cherry and grape), or cluster tomatoes (fruit-on-the-vine) are the fruit of choice for the large commercial greenhouse operators while the beefsteak varieties are the choice of owner-operator growers.[30] Hydroponic tomatoes are also available, and the technique is often used in hostile growing environments, as well as high-density plantings.

Picking and ripening

A cluster of tomatoes To facilitate transportation and storage, tomatoes are often picked unripe (green) and ripened in storage with ethylene.[31] Unripe tomatoes are firm. As they ripen they soften until reaching the ripe state where they are red or orange in color and slightly soft to the touch.[citation needed] Ethylene is a hydrocarbon gas produced by many fruits that acts as the molecular cue to begin the ripening process. Tomatoes ripened in this way tend to keep longer, but have poorer flavor and a mealier, starchier texture than tomatoes ripened on the plant. [citation
needed]

They may be recognized by their color, which is more pink or orange than the other ripe tomatoes' deep

red, depending on variety.[citation needed] A machine-harvestable variety of tomato (the "square tomato") was developed in the 1950s by University of California, Davis's Gordie C. Hanna, which, in combination with the development of a suitable harvester, revolutionized the tomato-growing industry. This type of tomato is grown commercially near processing plants which produce canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. They are harvested when ripe and are flavorful when picked. They are harvested 24/7 during a season of 12 to 14 weeks and are immediately transported to packing plants which operate on the same basis. California is a center of this sort of commercial tomato production and produces about 1/3 of the processed tomatoes produced in the world. [32] In 1994, Calgene introduced a genetically modified tomato called the FlavrSavr, which could be vine ripened without compromising shelf life. However, the product was not commercially successful, and was sold only until 1997.[33] Slow-ripening cultivars of tomato have been developed by crossing a non-ripening cultivar with ordinary cultivars. Cultivars were selected whose fruits have a long shelf life and at least reasonable flavor. At home, fully ripe tomatoes can be stored in the refrigerator, but are best kept at room temperature. Tomatoes stored cold remain edible, but tend to lose their flavor permanently.[34] Tomatoes stored stem down may also keep from rotting too quickly.[35]

Genetic modification
Main article: Genetically modified tomato

Tomatoes that have been modified using genetic engineering have been developed, and although none are commercially available now, they have been in the past. The first commercially available genetically modified food was a variety of tomato named (the Flavr Savr), which was engineered to have a longer shelf life.[36] Scientists are continuing to develop tomatoes with new traits not found in natural crops, such as increased resistance to pests or environmental stresses. Other projects aim to enrich tomatoes with substances that may offer health benefits or provide better nutrition.

Consumption

Vegetarian stuffed tomatoes (stuffed with hard-boiled egg and Parmesan)

Suquet de peix (Catalan cuisine) The tomato is now grown and eaten around the world. It is used in diverse ways, including raw in salads, and processed into ketchup ortomato soup. Unripe green tomatoes can also be breaded and fried, used to make salsa, or pickled. Tomato juice is sold as a drink, and is used in cocktails such as the Bloody Mary. Tomatoes are acidic, making them especially easy to preserve in home canning whole, in pieces, as tomato sauce or paste. The fruit is also preserved by drying, often in the sun, and sold either in bags or in jars with oil.

Tomatoes are used extensively in Mediterranean cuisine. They are a key ingredient in pizza, and are commonly used in pasta sauces. They are also used in gazpacho (Spanish cuisine) and pa amb tomquet (Catalan cuisine). Though it is botanically a berry, a subset of fruit, the tomato is a vegetable for culinary purposes, because of its savory flavor (see below).

Nutrition
Red tomatoes, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)

Energy

74 kJ (18 kcal)

Carbohydrates

3.9 g

- Sugars

2.6 g

- Dietary fiber

1.2 g

Fat

0.2 g

Protein

0.9 g

Water

94.5 g

Vitamin A equiv.

42 g (5%)

- beta-carotene

449 g (4%)

- lutein and zeaxanthin

123 g

Thiamine (vit. B1)

0.037 mg (3%)

Niacin (vit. B3)

0.594 mg (4%)

Vitamin B6

0.08 mg (6%)

Vitamin C

14 mg (17%)

Vitamin E

0.54 mg (4%)

Vitamin K

7.9 g (8%)

Magnesium

11 mg (3%)

Manganese

0.114 mg (5%)

Phosphorus

24 mg (3%)

Potassium

237 mg (5%)

Lycopene

2573 g

Link to USDA Database entry Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Tomatoes are now eaten freely throughout the world. They contain the carotene lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. In some studies, lycopene, especially in cooked tomatoes, has been found to help prevent prostate cancer,[37] but other research contradicts this claim.[38] Lycopene has also been shown to improve the skin's ability to protect against harmful UV rays.[39] A study done by researchers at Manchester and Newcastle universities revealed that tomato can protect against sunburn and help keeping the skin looking youthful.[40] Natural genetic variation in tomatoes and their wild relatives has given a genetic plethora of genes that produce lycopene, carotene, anthocyanin, and other antioxidants. Tomato varieties are available with double the normal vitamin C (Doublerich), 40 times normal vitamin A (97L97), high levels of anthocyanin (resulting in blue tomatoes), and two to four times the normal amount of lycopene (numerous available cultivars with the high crimson gene).

Potential health benefits


Lycopene has also been shown to protect against oxidative damage in many epidemiological and experimental studies. In addition to its antioxidant activity, other metabolic effects of lycopene have also been demonstrated. The richest source of lycopene in the diet is tomato and tomato derived products.[41] Tomato consumption has been associated with decreased risk of breast cancer,[42] head and neck cancers[43] and might be strongly protective against neurodegenerative diseases.[44][45][46] Tomatoes, tomato sauces and puree are said to help lower urinary tract symptoms (BPH) and may have anticancer properties.[47] Tomato consumption might be beneficial for reducing cardiovascular risk associated with type 2 diabetes. [48]

Storage
Tomatoes keep best unwashed at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. It is not recommended to refrigerate as this can harm the flavor.[49] Tomatoes that are not yet ripe can be kept in a paper bag till ripening.[50] Storing stem down can prolong shelf life.[51]

Safety
Plant toxicity
Leaves, stems, and green unripe fruit of the tomato plant contain small amounts of the toxic alkaloid tomatine.[52] They also containsolanine, a toxic alkaloid found in potato leaves and other plants in the nightshade family.[53][54] Use of tomato leaves in tea (tisane) has been responsible for at least one death.[52][53] However, levels of tomatine in foliage and green fruit are generally too small to be dangerous unless large amounts are consumed, for example, as greens. Small amounts of tomato foliage are sometimes used for flavoring without ill effect, and the green fruit is sometimes used for cooking, particularly as fried green tomatoes.[52] Compared to potatoes the amount of solanine in green or ripe tomatoes is low; however, even in the case of potatoes while solanine poisoning resulting from dosages several times normal human consumption has been demonstrated, actual cases of poisoning resulting from excessive consumption of potatoes that have high concentration of solanine are rare.[54] Tomato plants can be toxic to dogs if they eat large amounts of the fruit, or chew plant material.[55]

Salmonella

A sign posted at a Havelock, North Carolina Burger King tells customers that no tomatoes are available due to thesalmonellosis outbreak. On 30 October 2006, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced tomatoes might have been the source of asalmonellosis outbreak causing 172 illnesses in 18 states.[56] Tomatoes have been linked to seven salmonella outbreaks since 1990.[57] The 2008 United States salmonellosis outbreak caused the removal of tomatoes from stores and restaurants across the United States

What's New and Beneficial About Tomatoes

Did you know that tomatoes do not have to be a deep red color to be an outstanding source of lycopene? Lycopene is a carotenoid pigment that has long been associated with the deep red color of many tomatoes. A small preliminary study on healthy men and women has shown that the lycopene from orange- and tangerine-colored tomatoes may actually be better absorbed than the lycopene from red tomatoes. That's because the lycopene in deep red tomatoes is mostly translycopene, and the lycopene in orange/tangerine tomatoes is mostly tetra-cis-lycopene. In a recent study, this tetra-cis form of lycopene turned out to be more efficiently absorbed by the study participants. While more research is needed in this area, we're encouraged to find that tomatoes may not have to be deep red in order for us to get great lycopene-related benefits. Tomatoes are widely known for their outstanding antioxidant content, including, of course, their oftentimes-rich concentration of lycopene. Researchers have recently found an important connection between lycopene, its antioxidant properties, and bone health. A study was designed in which tomato and other dietary sources of lycopene were removed from the diets of postmenopausal women for a period of 4 weeks, to see what effect lycopene restriction would have on bone health. At the end of 4 weeks, women in the study started to show increased signs of oxidative stress in their bones and unwanted changes in their bone tissue. The study investigators concluded that removal of lycopene-containing foods (including tomatoes) from the diet was likely to put women at increased risk of osteoporosis. They also argued for the importance of tomatoes and other lycopene-containing foods in the diet. We don't always think about antioxidant protection as being important for bone health, but it is, and tomato lycopene (and other tomato antioxidants) may have a special role to play in this area.

There are literally hundreds of different tomato varieties. We usually choose our favorite varieties by some combination of flavor, texture, and appearance. But a recent study has shown that we may also want to include antioxidant capacity as a factor when we are choosing among tomato varieties. Surprisingly, researchers who compared conventionally grown versus organically grown tomatoes found that growing method (conventional versus organic) made less of an overall difference than variety of tomato. While all tomatoes showed good antioxidant capacity, and while the differences were not huge, the following four varieties of tomatoes turned out to have a higher average antioxidant capacity regardless of whether they were grown conventionally or organically: New Girl, Jet Star, Fantastic, and First Lady. It's only one study, of course, and we're definitely not ready to recommend these four varieties at the exclusion of all others. But these findings are fascinating to us, and they suggest that specific types of nutrient benefits may be provided by specific varieties of tomatoes. Also, if you're seeking good antioxidant protection and you're in the grocery standing in front of a New Girl, Jet Star, Fantastic, or First Lady tomato, you would probably be well-served to place it in your shopping cart. Intake of tomatoes has long been linked to heart health. Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In addition, tomato extracts have been shown to help prevent unwanted clumping together (aggregation) of platelet cells in the blood a factor that is especially important in lowering risk of heart problems like atherosclerosis. (In a recent South American study of 26 vegetables, tomatoes and green beans came out best in their anti-aggregation properties.) But only recently are researchers beginning to identify some of the more unusual phytonutrients in tomatoes that help provide us with these heart-protective benefits. One of these phytonutrients is a glycoside called esculeoside A; another is flavonoid called chalconaringenin; and yet another is a fatty-acid type molecule

called 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid. As our knowledge of unique tomato phytonutrients expands, we are likely to learn more about the unique role played by tomatoes in support of heart health. Tomatoes are also likely to rise further and further toward the top of the list as heart healthy foods.

Nutrients in Tomatoes 1.00 cup raw (180.00 grams)


Nutrient%Daily Value

vitamin C38.1%

vitamin A29.9%

vitamin K17.7%

potassium12.1%

molybdenum12%

manganese10.5%

fiber8.6%

vitamin B67%

folate6.7%

copper5.5%

vitamin B35.3%

magnesium4.9%

vitamin E4.8%

vitamin B14.6%

phosphorus4.3%

protein3.1%

tryptophan3.1%

choline2.8%

iron2.7%

Calories (32)1%

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), the Love Apple is a popular vegetable with high anti-oxidant. They are sweet and juicy and healthy. Tomatoes are very versatile as they can be eaten as a salad, in a sandwich or as gravy for vegetables not to forget the all important sauce.

Eating tomatoes is great because this fruit /vegetable (whatever you may call it) has plenty of health benefits. Tomatoes are non starchy, low calorie and play such an important role in American diet today, that it is impossible to believe Health that till the 1800s they were considered toxic.

Benefits

Tomato contains amazing amounts of lycopene which is said to have anti oxidant properties. Studies have shown that tomato can reduce prostate cancer especially in synergy with broccoli. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggested that the intake of tomatoes and tomato products is associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer. This benefit may be related to the antioxidant properties of lycopene, but other potential mechanisms and other beneficial tomato-based components instead of or combined with lycopene cannot be excluded.

Another study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that when tomatoes are cooked with olive oil the bodys absorption of carotenoid phytochemicals including lycopene can increase.

Tomatoes are a rich source of potassium; a cup of tomato juice has 534mg of potassium and half a cup of tomato sauce has 454mg of potassium. Physiologically, potassium plays an important role in transmission of nerve signals, fluid balance in the body and many other important chemical reactions. Potassium is used to treat high blood pressure, insulin resistance, chronic fatigue syndrome, muscle weakness, and even bloating and intestinal disorders. Dr. John Cook Bennett of the Institute of Aberdeen found that the yellow gel surrounding tomato seeds could prevent clotting so as to prevent strokes and heart disease. Nutrients like Niacin and folate reduce heart problems to a great Other health benefits include extent. -

Tomatoes work against impotency and help increase the sperm count. Tomatoes are powerful blood purifiers and clear up urinary tract infections. They have anti oxidant properties as they are high sources of vitamin C and vitamin A. The Vitamin A especially wards off macular degeneration and improves eyesight.

A person who drinks 8 ounces of low sodium tomato juice a day, can prevent inflammatory High in diseases fiber they like are osteoporosis freely used by and Alzheimers. watchers.

weight

They are good for improving skin porosity and are widely used in the manufacture of skin care and beauty products.

The

Down

Side

Some people may be allergic to tomatoes; their body cannot absorb and digest them. In some individuals eating tomatoes in salads can lead to itching, hives and breathing problems.

Lycopene intolerance can cause bloating of the stomach, pain and diarrhea. For some, eating tomatoes in any form can result in heart burn and reflux. When a person has a history of kidney stones, it would be wise to eat tomatoes in moderation as the high oxalate and calcium bind together and kidney stones are a result.

Those diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome will need to go slow on consuming tomatoes.

Eaten in moderation, they will not be harmful in anyway. The nutritional benefits are many so there is no reason to avoid this simple, cost effective and widely available fruit /vegetable.

Tomatoes: One of the World's Healthiest Foods


(adapted from whfoods.org) Canned, bottled tomatoes and tomato products are available year round. "Processed Tomatoes" are minimally processed. The tomatoes are picked at peak ripeness, then cooked and canned or

bottled, much like our grandmothers used to do. The variety of tomato used in tomato products is a Roma tomato. Like other varieties, Roma tomatoes have fleshy internal segments filled with slippery seeds surrounded by a watery matrix. Although tomatoes are fruits in a botanical sense, they don't have the dessert quality sweetness of other fruits. Instead, they have a subtle sweetness that is complemented by a slightly bitter and acidic taste. Cooking tempers the acid and bitter qualities in tomatoes and brings out their warm, rich, sweetness. This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of tomatoes provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Tomatoes can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Tomatoes, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart. Health Benefits Antioxidant Benefits of Lycopene In the area of food and phytonutrient research, nothing has been hotter in the last several years than studies on the lycopene in tomatoes. This carotenoid found in tomatoes (and everything made from them) has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. The antioxidant function of lycopene-its ability to help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen damage-has been linked in human research to the protection of DNA (our genetic material) inside of white blood cells. Prevention of heart disease has been shown to be another antioxidant role played by lycopene. In contrast to many other food phytonutrients, whose effects have only been studied in animals, lycopene from tomatoes has been repeatedly studied in humans and found to be protective against a growing list of cancers. These cancers now include colorectal, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. While lycopene may play an important role in tomatoes' health benefits, it seems that it is not the only nutritional star integral for giving this food a red-hot reputation for health promotion; recent research discussed below in the section "Protection Due to Synergy of Tomato's Nutrients, Not Just Lycopene" describes how scientists are finding out that it is the array of nutrients included in tomatoes, including, but not limited to lycopene, that confers it with so much health value. All the while, it's still important to understand the many benefits that lycopene provides. Lycopene has been shown to help protect not only against prostate, but breast, pancreatic and intestinal cancers, especially when consumed with fat-rich foods, such as avocado, olive oil or nuts. (This is because carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they are absorbed into the body along with fats.) When Betty Ishida and Mary Chapman at the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Albany, CA, decided to investigate whether the lycopene content of purple and green varieties of ketchup was comparable to that of the traditional red, they tested lycopene levels and antioxidant activity in 13 ketchup brands: 6 popular ones, 3 organic and 2 store brands from fast-food chains. One organic brand delivered 183 micrograms of lycopene per gram of ketchup, about five times as much per weight as a tomato.

Non-organic brands averaged 100 micrograms per gram, with one fast-food sample providing just 60 micrograms per gram. Bottomline: It seems highly likely the same rationale will apply to all tomato products, so, for the most lycopene, choose the deepest red organic ketchup, tomato sauce, juice and other tomato products. Colon Health A study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that in patients with colorectal adenomas, a type of polyp that is the precursor for most colorectal cancers, blood levels of lycopene were 35% lower compared to study subjects with no polyps. Blood levels of betacarotene also tended to be 25.5% lower, although according to researchers, this difference was not significant. In their final (multiple logistic regression) analysis, only low levels of plasma lycopene (less than 70 microgram per liter) and smoking increased the likelihood of colorectal adenomas, but the increase in risk was quite substantial: low levels of lycopene increased risk by 230% and smoking by 302%. Prostate Health Tomatoes have been shown to be helpful in reducing the risk of prostate cancer. A 14-month study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute underscores the importance of a healthy whole foods diet rich in tomatoes in the prevention of prostate cancer. In this study, laboratory animals fed a lycopene-rich diet and treated with N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (a carcinogen) and testosterone to induce prostate cancer had a similar risk of death from prostate cancer as rats fed a control diet. In contrast, animals fed whole tomato powder were 26% less likely to die of prostate cancer. By the end of the study, 80% of the control group and 72% of the animals fed lycopene had succumbed to prostate cancer, while only 62% of the animals fed whole tomato powder had died. In addition to the controls and those animals receiving lycopene or tomato powder, each group was also divided into two sub-groups, one of which was given 20% less food than the other subgroup. Animals on the energy-restricted, tomato-based diet fared best of all, showing a 32% drop in their risk of dying from prostate cancer. Researchers concluded this was due to the fact that tomatoes contain not merely lycopene, but a variety of protective phytonutrients and suggest that the lycopene found in human prostate tissue and the blood of animals and humans who remain free of prostate cancer may indicate exposure to higher amounts of not just lycopene but other compounds working in synergy with it. Study leader, Dr. Steven Clinton, Ohio State University, commented, "Our findings strongly suggest that risks of poor dietary habits cannot be reversed simply by taking a pillif we want the health benefits of tomatoes, we should eat tomatoes or tomato products and not rely on lycopene supplements alone." In an accompanying editorial, Peter H. Gann, of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University in Chicago, and Frederick Khachik, of the University of Maryland, College Park, remarked that this study supports those who advocate whole foods in the debate about whether cancer prevention is best achieved with whole foods or concentrated single compounds. They point out that carotenoids and other phytonutrients evolved as sets of interacting compounds, and that this complexity limits the usefulness of reductionist approaches that seek to identify single protective compounds. More Studies Show Tomatoes Promote Prostate Health

A meta-analysis of 21 studies published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention confirms that eating tomatoes, especially cooked tomatoes, provides protection against prostate cancer. (Meta-analyses are considered the gold standard in medical research since, by combining the results of numerous studies, they integrate the results that occurred in different settings and include a much larger group of people, so they are thought to provide a more accurate assessment.) When the data from all 21 studies was combined, men who ate the highest amounts of raw tomatoes were found to have an 11% reduction in risk for prostate cancer. Those eating the most cooked tomato products fared even better with a 19% reduction in prostate cancer risk. Even eating just one 6-ounce serving a day of raw tomato provided some benefit-a reduction in prostate cancer risk of 3%. Tomatoes and Broccoli Team Up to Fight Prostate Cancer Tomatoes and broccoli-two vegetables separately recognized for their cancer-fighting capabilitiesare even more successful against prostate cancer when working as a team in the daily diet, shows a study published in Cancer Research. "When tomatoes and broccoli are eaten together, we see an additive effect. We think it's because different bioactive compounds in each food work on different anti-cancer pathways," said John Erdman, Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois. Starting one month before male rats were implanted with prostate tumors, Erdman and doctoral candidate Kirstie Canene-Adams fed the animals one of 5 different diets. Then they compared the cancer-preventive effects of the diets to treatment with finasteride, a drug commonly prescribed for men with enlarged prostates, or surgical castration. The diets contained one of the following: 10% tomato, 10% broccoli, 5% tomato plus 5% broccoli, 10% tomato plus 10% broccoli, or lycopene (23 or 224 nmol/g diet). The tomato and broccoli given as powders made from the whole vegetable to compare the effects of eating the whole food to simply consuming one active compound as a nutritional supplement- in this case, lycopene, a carotenoid found in tomatoes. After 22 weeks, when the rats' were sacrificed and their prostate tumors weighed, the 10% tomato/broccoli combination was shown to greatly outperform all other diets, shrinking prostate tumors by 52%. Broccoli alone decreased tumor weight by 42%, and tomato alone by 34%. Lycopene alone (23 or 224 nmol/g diet) came in last, reducing tumor weight by 7% and 18% respectively. Only castration-a last resort option for most men, although it resulted in a 62% reduction in prostate tumor weight-approached the level of protection delivered by the tomato/broccoli diet. Said Erdman, "As nutritionists, it was very exciting to compare this drastic surgery to diet and see that tumor reduction was similar." "Older men with slow-growing prostate cancer who have chosen watchful waiting over chemotherapy and radiation should seriously consider altering their diets to include more tomatoes and broccoli," said Canene-Adams.

To get the prostate health benefits seen in this study, a 55-year-old man would need to consume 1.4 cups of raw broccoli and 2.5 cups of fresh tomato, 1 cup of tomato sauce or cup of tomato paste daily, said Canene-Adams. Erdman noted that this study shows eating whole foods is better than taking isolated nutrients. "It's better to eat tomatoes than to take a lycopene supplement-and cooked tomatoes may be better than raw tomatoes. Chopping and heating make the cancer-fighting constituents of tomatoes and broccoli more bioavailable," he said. Practical Tips: While the phytonutrients in tomatoes become more concentrated when they are cooked into a sauce or paste, and more bioavailable when eaten with a little oil, those in broccoli will be greatly reduced if this vegetable is overcooked. Steam or healthy saut broccoli no more than 5 minutes. Also, broccoli's cancer-preventive compounds form after it has been cut, but heat denatures the enzyme necessary for this process. For optimal nutrient formation, cut broccoli florets in half or into quarters, depending on their initial size, and let sit for 5 minutes before cooking. Broccoli and tomatoes can make a delicious team at virtually any meal or snack:

Healthy saut broccoli and onion, then add to your favorite breakfast omelet and serve with grilled tomatoes. Enjoy a bowl of tomato soup along with a salad including broccoli florets for lunch. Add lightly steamed broccoli florets to the tomato-paste toppings on your favorite pizza. Healthy saut broccoli florets along with other favorite vegetables, such as onions and mushrooms, add to pasta sauce and use to top whole wheat pasta or brown rice. For a quick snack, serve raw broccoli florets along with the carrot and celery sticks, dip and crackers, and toast your prostate's health with a glass of tomato juice.

Tomatoes and Green Tea Team Up to Prevent Prostate Cancer Choosing to eat lycopene-rich tomatoes and regularly drink green tea may greatly reduce a man's risk of developing prostate cancer, suggests research published the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Jian L, Lee AH, et al.) In this case-control study involving 130 prostate cancer patients and 274 hospital controls, men drinking the most green tea were found to have an 86% reduced risk of prostate cancer compared, to those drinking the least. A similar inverse association was found between the men's consumption of lycopene-rich fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, apricots, pink grapefruit, watermelon, papaya, and guava. Men who most frequently enjoyed these foods were 82% less likely to have prostate cancer compared to those consuming the least lycopene-rich foods. Regular consumption of both green tea and foods rich in lycopene resulted in a synergistic protective effect, stronger than the protection afforded by either, the researchers also noted.

Practical Tips: Get in the habit of drinking green tea and eating lycopene-rich foods.

Take a quart of iced green tea to work and sip throughout the day or take it to the gym to provide prostate protection while replenishing fluids after your workout. Pack a ziploc bag of apricots and almonds in your briefcase or gym bag for a handy snack. Start your breakfast with a half grapefruit or a glass of papaya or guava juice. Begin lunch or dinner with some spicy tomato juice on the rocks with a twist of lime. Snack on tomato crostini: in the oven, toast whole wheat bread till crusty, then top with tomato sauce, herbs, a little grated cheese, and reheat until the cheese melts. Top whole wheat pasta with olive oil, pine nuts, feta cheese and a rich tomato sauce for lunch or dinner.

Pancreatic Health One of the deadliest cancers, pancreatic cancer progresses so rapidly that individuals with the disease who are participating in studies often die before their interviews can be completed-so the benefits noted in the following study of a diet rich in tomatoes and tomato-based products are especially significant. In this 3-year Canadian study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, individuals with pancreatic cancer were age and gender matched with individuals free of the disease. After adjustment for age, province, body mass index, smoking, educational attainment, dietary folate and total caloric intake, the data showed men consuming the most lycopene had a 31% reduction in their risk of pancreatic cancer. Among persons who had never smoked, those whose diets were richest in beta carotene or total carotenoids reduced their risk of pancreatic cancer by 43% and 42%, respectively. How Tomatoes Promote Optimal Health Research by Dr. Joseph Levy and colleagues from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel, may have identified the unique mechanism through which lycopene protects against cancer: activating cancer-preventive phase II enzymes. When the researchers incubated breast and liver cancer cells with lycopene, the carotenoid triggered the production and activity of certain phase II detoxification enzymes that other carotenoids, including beta-carotene, astaxanthin, and phytoene, did not. Since much epidemiological evidence indicates that lycopene acts synergistically with other phytonutrients to give tomatoes their protective effects, and recent studies have shown that eating tomato products prevents cancer more effectively than taking lycopene alone, the researchers concluded that other carotenoids stimulate phase II enzymes via different pathways from that used by lycopene. Significant Anti-Oxidant Protection In addition to their center-stage phytonutrient, lycopene, tomatoes are packed with traditional nutrients that have been shown in many studies to be helpful for all of the above conditions. For example, tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, the latter notably through its concentration of carotenoids including beta-carotene. These antioxidants travel through the body neutralizing dangerous free radicals that could otherwise damage cells and cell membranes,

escalating inflammation and the progression or severity of atherosclerosis, diabetic complications, asthma, and colon cancer. In fact, high intakes of these antioxidants have been shown to help reduce the risk or severity of all of these illnesses. In addition, tomatoes are a very good source of fiber, which has been shown to lower high cholesterol levels, keep blood sugar levels from getting too high, and help prevent colon cancer. A cup of fresh tomato will provide you with 57.3% of the daily value for vitamin C, plus 22.4% of the DV for vitamin A, and 7.9% of the DV for fiber. Reduction in Heart Disease Risk More good news for those at risk of atherosclerosis, or just trying to avoid it, is that tomatoes are a very good source of potassium and a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, and folate. Niacin has been used for years as a safe way to lower high cholesterol levels. Diets rich in potassium have been shown to lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Vitamin B6 and folate are both needed by the body to convert a potentially dangerous chemical called homocysteine into other, benign molecules. High levels of homocysteine, which can directly damage blood vessel walls, are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. All of these nutrients work together to make tomatoes a truly heart-healthy food. In a cup of tomato, you'll get 11.4% of the daily value for potassium, 5.6% of the DV for niacin, 7.0% of the DV for B6, and 6.8% of the DV for folate. The lycopene in tomatoes may also provide cardiovascular benefits. Research conducted at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, suggests that in addition to its inverse association with various cancers, a high dietary consumption of lycopene may play a role in cardiovascular disease prevention. The researchers tracked close to 40,000 middle-aged and older women who were free of both cardiovascular disease and cancer when the study began. During more than 7 years of follow-up, those who consumed 7 to 10 servings each week of lycopene-rich foods (tomato-based products, including tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato sauce and pizza) were found to have a 29% lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to women eating less than 1.5 servings of tomato products weekly. Women who ate more than 2 servings each week of oil-based tomato products, particularly tomato sauce and pizza, had an even better result-a 34% lower risk of CVD. Another study, this one conducted in Europe, also suggests that enjoying tomatoes raw or in the form of tomato sauce or paste several times each week is a delicious way to protect your cardiovascular system. This study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, reported that when a group of 12 healthy women ate enough tomato products to provide them with 8 mg of lycopene daily for a period of three weeks, their LDL cholesterol was much less susceptible to free radical oxidation-the first step in the formation of atherosclerotic plaque formation and a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Research showing tomatoes' cardiovascular benefits continues to accumulate. A study led by Dr. Howard Sesso and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition further supports Dr. Sesso's earlier studies, reported in the Journal of Nutrition, which found that women with the highest intake of lycopene-rich tomato-based foods had a significantly reduced risk of heart disease. This 4.8 year study, a prospective case-control trial involving almost 40,000 middle-aged and elderly women in the Women's Health Study, found that as the women's blood levels of lycopene went up, their risk for cardiovascular disease dropped. Study subjects were divided into four groups in order of increasing blood levels of lycopene. A 34% reduction in cardiovascular disease risk was seen in women in the top two groups, but even women in the second highest group were still 22% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease compared to women in the

lowest group. After excluding women with angina, those whose plasma lycopene levels were in the three highest groups were found to have a 50% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those with the lowest blood levels of lycopene. Tomato Juices May Reduce Blood-Clotting Tendencies Tomato juice can reduce the tendency toward blood clotting, suggests Australian research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In this study, 20 people with type 2 diabetes were given 250 ml (about 8 ounces) of tomato juice or a tomato-flavored placebo daily. Subjects had no history of clotting problems and were taking no medications that would affect blood clotting ability. After just 3 weeks, platelet aggregation (the clumping together of blood cells) was significantly reduced among those drinking real tomato juice, while no such effect was noted in those receiving placebo. In an interview, lead researcher Sherri Lazarus explained, "Diabetes is a multi-faceted disease with problems such as glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high triglycerides, and the less talked about hyperactive platelets. Platelets are the parts of blood responsible for the preservation of healthy blood vessels. When the health of blood vessels is impaired, as in the case of diabetes, platelets stick to the lining of the vessel wall, which, over time, can lead to the development of cardiovascular disease. Aggregation is the clumping together and clotting of platelets. We looked at how susceptible the platelets were to clotting before and after the people with type 2 diabetes had taken tomato juice." Although dietary strategies have been developed to address other known cardiovascular risk factors, currently there is no dietary strategy aimed at reducing high platelet activity. For persons with type 2 diabetes, tomato juice may be just what the doctor should order. While of special benefit for those with type 2 diabetes who are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, the blood thinning effects of tomato juice are noteworthy for anyone at higher risk of blood clot formation. Persons with high cholesterol, those whose work involves traveling long distances, who have recently undergone a surgical procedure or who smoke would benefit. But be sure to choose a low-sodium tomato juice; many "regular" tomato juice products are loaded with artery-unfriendly sodium. Protection Due to Synergy of Tomato's Nutrients, Not Just Lycopene Recent research clearly shows that tomatoes' protective effects against prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease are due not simply to their lycopene content, but result from the synergy of lycopene with other phytonutrients naturally present in whole tomatoes. In addition to an animal study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that found whole tomato powder was significantly more effective than lycopene alone in preventing the onset of prostate cancer (summarized under prostate cancer) other research is now demonstrating that lycopene may play only a minor role in tomatoes' heart health benefits.

Animal research from Japan, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, suggests that a tomatorich diet-which they call an anti-thrombotic diet-is a convenient and effective way to prevent thrombotic diseases such as heart attack and stroke. Research conducted by Howard Sesso and colleagues from the Harvard School of Public Health shows that women who consume the most tomato-containing products, particularly concentrated foods such as tomato sauce and pizza, have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Sesso and his team analyzed the results of a prospective cohort study of almost 40,000 middleaged and older women who completed food frequency questionnaires over a 7.2 year period. At the beginning of the study, all participants were free of cardiovascular disease. During the study, 719 of the women developed cardiovascular disease. After Sesso et al. controlled for factors such as age, smoking, family history and other health indicators, the data revealed that women who consumed seven to ten servings of tomato-based foods each week (tomato juice, tomato sauce, pizza) had a 32% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease than women who ate less than 1.5 servings of these tomato products each week. Sesso et al. had decided to do this study to see if lycopene, a carotenoid abundant in tomatoes that other research has linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer, was also associated with a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk. In this study, however, while consumption of tomato products, particularly tomato sauce and pizza, provided cardiovascular protection, dietary lycopene intake alone was not strongly associated with a reduction heart disease risk. The researchers theorize that other phytonutrients found in oil-based tomato products in addition to lycopene are responsible for the cardiovascular benefits seen. Tomato Juice-a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Italian researchers, publishing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have reported that a daily glass of tomato juice (Lyc-o-Mato) can lower one of the primary markers of inflammation-TNF-alpha-by almost 35% in less than one month. Oxidative stress (the production of excessive amounts of free radicals within cells) and the resulting recruitment of inflammatory compounds such as TNF-alpha have been linked to virtually all chronic degenerative diseases, including atherosclerosis (hardening of the walls of the arteries), cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis and Alzheimer's disease. Lyc-o-Mato tomato juice contains a mix of potent antioxidants including 5.7 mg of lycopene, 1 mg beta-carotene, 3.7 mg of phytoene, 2.7 mg of phytofluene, and 1.8 mg of the alpha-tocopherol fraction of vitamin E. The placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover trial divided 26 young healthy volunteers into two groups. In three 26-day segments, Group One first was given a placebo juice (same taste and flavor but no active compounds), then nothing, then a daily glass of Lyc-o-Mato. Group 2 got Lyco-Mato first, then nothing, then placebo. Study subjects continued to eat their normal, unrestricted diet. TNF-alpha levels decreased by 34% after 26 days' consumption of the tomato drink while no changes in TNF-alpha levels were seen after placebo. Helping You Bone Up Tomatoes are a very good source of vitamin K. The 17.8% of the daily value for vitamin K that is found in one cup of raw tomato is important for maintaining bone health. Vitamin K1 activates osteocalcin, the major non-collagen protein in bone. Osteocalcin anchors calcium molecules inside of the bone. Therefore, without enough vitamin K1, osteocalcin levels are inadequate, and bone mineralization is impaired.

Feeling Stressed? How about a Nice Cup of Gazpacho? A Tufts University study published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that daily consumption of gazpacho (two bowls of 250 mL/day, corresponding to 72 mg of vitamin C, for two weeks) significantly increased blood levels of vitamin C and decreased biomarkers of oxidative (free radical) stress and inflammation. Gazpacho, a Mediterranean vegetable soup that typically combines tomato, cucumber, and sweet pepper along with olive oil, onion, garlic, wine vinegar and sea salt, is replete, not only with vitamin C, but a variety of other nutrients associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease, including other antioxidants, folic acid, and fiber. This study focused on gazpacho's effect on vitamin C levels and biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation in 12 healthy subjects (both men and women). Within just 7 days, blood levels of vitamin C had increased 26% in the men and 25% in the women and remained elevated throughout the study. Also, when they were measured on day 14, a number of markers of oxidative stress and inflammation had decreased: F2-isoprostanes, PGE2, and MCP-1 dropped in men and women, and uric acid decreased significantly in men and slightly in women. While the focus of this study was gazpacho's vitamin C, researchers noted that other nutrients present in the soup may have synergistically contributed to its positive effects. For example, the plasma concentration of carotenoids also increased. The researchers' final conclusion: increasing vegetable consumption could improve human health. More Help against Colon Cancer, Diabetes, and Migraines So how else can tomatoes help? The folate in tomatoes can also help to reduce the risk of colon cancer. In addition, tomatoes are a good source of riboflavin, which has been shown to be helpful for reducing the frequency of migraine attacks in those who suffer from them. A good intake of chromium, a mineral of which tomatoes are a good source, has been shown to help diabetic patients keep their blood sugar levels under control. In addition to the 6.8% of the daily value for folate already mentioned above in relation to its protective actions against cardiovascular disease, a cup of tomatoes contains 5.3% of the DV for riboflavin, and 7.5% of the DV for chromium. Tomatoes are a great vegetable loaded with a variety of vital nutrients. They also make a wonderful addition to a heart-healthy and cancer-preventing diet. So whether it is by tomato soup, tomato sauce, tomato chunks in salad or tomato slices on a sandwich, increasing your intake of tomatoes is an excellent step towards excellent health. Description The tomato is the fruit of the plant Lycopersicon lycopersicum and is a member of the Solanaceae, or Nightshade family. The name that this fruit was given in various languages reflects some of the history and mystery surrounding it. Lycopersicon means "wolf peach" in Latin and refers to the former belief that, like a wolf, this fruit was dangerous. The French call it pomme d'amour, meaning "love apple," since they believed it to have aphrodisiacal qualities, while the Italians call it pomodoro or "golden apple," owing to the fact that the first known species with which they were familiar may have been yellow in color. Regardless of its name, the tomato is a wonderfully popular and versatile food that comes in over a thousand different varieties that vary in shape, size and color. There are small cherry tomatoes, bright yellow tomatoes, Italian pear-shaped tomatoes, and the green tomato, famous for its fried preparation in Southern American cuisine.

Only the fruits of this plant are eaten since the leaves contain toxic alkaloids (see Safety section below). Tomatoes have fleshy internal segments filled with slippery seeds surrounded by a watery matrix. They can be red, yellow, orange, green, purple, or brown in color. Although tomatoes are fruits in a botanical sense, they don't have the dessert quality sweetness of other fruits. Instead they have a subtle sweetness that is complemented by a slightly bitter and acidic taste. They are prepared and served like other vegetables, which is why they are often categorized as such. Cooking tempers the acid and bitter qualities in tomatoes and brings out their warm, rich, sweetness. History Although tomatoes are closely associated with Italian cuisine, they are actually originally native to the western side of South America, including the Galapagos Islands. The first type of tomato grown is thought to have more resembled the smaller-sized cherry tomato than the larger varieties. The tomato was not cultivated in South America, but rather in Mexico, supposedly because the Mexican Indians were intrigued by this fruit since it resembled the tomatillo which was a staple in their cuisine. The Spanish conquistadors who came to Mexico shortly after Columbus's discovery of the New World "discovered" tomatoes and brought the seeds back to Spain, beginning the introduction of the tomato into Europe. Although the use of tomatoes spread throughout Europe and made its way to Italy by the 16th century, it was originally not a very popular food since many people held the belief that it was poisonous since it was a member of the deadly Nightshade family. They were wise but not fully accurate, as the leaves of the tomato plant, but not its fruits, do contain toxic alkaloids. Yet, due to this belief, tomatoes were more often grown as an ornamental garden plant than as a food for many more centuries in several European countries. Tomatoes made their way to North America with the colonists who first settled in Virginia, yet did not readily gain popularity until the late 19th century. Since new varieties have been developed and more efficient means of transportation established, tomatoes have become one of the top selling vegetables in this country. Today, the United States, Russia, Italy, Spain, China and Turkey are among the top selling commercial producers of tomatoes. For the Most Lycopene, Use the Whole Tomato It's well known that a high intake of tomato products is associated with lowered risk of colon and prostate cancers, a beneficial effect thought to be due to tomatoes' high content of the carotenoids, lycopene and beta-carotene. Tomato products, such as tomato paste, have been recommended over whole fresh tomatoes because they concentrate tomatoes and thus deliver more of their protective carotenoids, despite the fact that tomato peels are usually eliminated during processing. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition, however, once again confirms that Mother Nature knows best: consuming whole, natural foods-in this case, the whole tomato-is best. When tomato paste that included tomato peels was compared to classically made (without peels) tomato paste, carotenoids were significantly better absorbed in the whole tomato paste. Study

participants absorbed 75% more lycopene and 41% more beta-carotene from whole tomato paste compared to conventionally made (without peels) tomato paste. The take home message: look for products that contain whole tomatoes, including their peels. A Few Quick Serving Ideas To make your own tomato paste, simply healthy saut a couple of cloves of chopped garlic and/or 1-2 large chopped onions a couple of minutes until translucent, then add 8-10 chopped whole tomatoes, a teaspoon of dried or several teaspoons of fresh chopped oregano, basil, and any other herbs you enjoy, such as parsley or rosemary, and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Remove from the heat, drizzle with olive oil, and add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. For a fancier version, saut chopped olives and/or mushrooms along with the garlic and onions.

Tomatoes are a great addition to bean and vegetable soups. Enjoy a classic Italian salad sliced onions, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese drizzled with olive oil. Combine chopped onions, tomatoes, and chili peppers for an easy to make salsa dip. Pure tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and scallions together in a food processor and season with herbs and spices of your choice to make the refreshing cold soup, gazpacho.

Allergic Reactions to Tomatoes Although allergic reactions can occur to virtually any food, research studies on food allergy consistently report more problems with some foods than with others. It turns out that tomatoes are one of the foods most commonly associated with allergic reactions. Other foods commonly associated with allergic reactions include: cow's milk, wheat, soy, shrimp, oranges, eggs, chicken, strawberries, spinach, peanuts, pork, corn and beef. These foods do not need to be eaten in their pure, isolated form in order to trigger an adverse reaction. For example, yogurt made from cow's milk is also a common allergenic food, even though the cow's milk has been processed and fermented in order to make the yogurt. Ice cream made from cow's milk would be an equally good example. Some of the most common symptoms for food allergies include eczema, hives, skin rash, headache, runny nose, itchy eyes, wheezing, gastrointestinal disturbances, depression, hyperactivity and insomnia. Individuals who suspect food allergy to be an underlying factor in their health problems may want to avoid commonly allergenic foods. Nutritional Profile Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They are also a very good source of molybdenum, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, chromium, and vitamin B1. In addition, tomatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, folate, copper, niacin, vitamin B2, magnesium, iron, pantothenic acid, phosphorous, vitamin E and protein. In-Depth Nutritional Profile In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Tomatoes is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including

carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Tomato, ripe, 1.00 cup 180.00 grams / 37.80 calories Nutrient vitamin C vitamin A vitamin K molybdenum potassium manganese dietary fiber chromium vitamin B1 (thiamin) vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) folate copper vitamin B3 (niacin) vitamin B2 (riboflavin) magnesium iron vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) phosphorus vitamin E tryptophan protein World's Healthiest Foods Rating excellent very good good Amount 34.38 mg DV Nutrient World's Healthiest (%) Density Foods Rating 57.3 27.3 10.7 8.5 5.7 5.4 4.5 3.8 3.6 3.5 3.3 3.2 3.1 2.7 2.5 2.4 2.1 2.1 2.1 1.6 1.5 1.5 excellent excellent excellent very good very good very good very good very good very good good good good good good good good good good good good good

1121.40 IU 22.4 14.22 mcg 17.8 9.00 mcg 12.0

399.60 mg 11.4 0.19 mg 1.98 g 9.00 mcg 0.11 mg 0.14 mg 27.00 mcg 0.13 mg 1.13 mg 0.09 mg 19.80 mg 0.81 mg 0.44 mg 43.20 mg 0.68 mg 0.01 g 1.53 g 9.5 7.9 7.5 7.3 7.0 6.8 6.5 5.6 5.3 5.0 4.5 4.4 4.3 3.4 3.1 3.1

Rule DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5

AND DV>=10% AND DV>=5% AND DV>=2.5%