Enhance Your Health
Health Tip of the Week: Tomatoes and Lycopene
I was recently surfing the web for tidbits of information that I could include in my weekly health tip when I came across a great article on tomatoes. Tomatoes were mistakenly thought to be poisonous (although the leaves are poisonous, so don’t eat them) by Europeans who were weary of their bright, shiny fruit. And oddly enough, there was some basis for this line of thought.
Eighteenth century European aristocracy ate off of handsome pewter plates. Pewter is high in lead which is a very toxic metal. When tomatoes were served on the plates, the fruits' acidity caused toxic lead to leach from the plates, poisoning some of those who ate from them.
Tomatoes were not even eaten in the US until the early 1800s, when an eccentric New Jersey gentleman Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson brought them back from a trip overseas. It seems Gibbon was a bit of a showman, he announced an amazing display of courage would take place on September 26, 1820.
He shocked his hometown of Salem by consuming and entire basket of tomatoes in front of a crowd of spectators, expecting him to keel over any second. Obviously, he didn’t and since then tomatoes have been a staple of the American diet and with good reason.
Tomatoes are high in Vitamin C and provide 40% of the RDA. The most important part of the tomato is the lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that gives the tomato its red color. Lycopene may be as much as twice as powerful as the anti-oxidant Beta-Carotene.
Research studies have shown consuming tomatoes to be helpful in the fight against prostate, stomach, endometrial and lung cancer. Lycopene has also been linked to increased activity levels in senior citizens. The brighter the red in the tomato the higher the lycopene.
In an unusual turn about as far with cooking vegetables goes, eating most vegetables raw is the way to go, but cooking tomatoes releases even more lycopene. Olive oil with tomatoes increases the lycopene absorption in the body. While nothing beats a fresh, ripe tomato, studies also show that canned and jarred tomato and tomato sauce pack the same nutritional benefit.
Personally, a large thick slice of a Jersey Beefsteak tomato with a little cracked black pepper, sea salt and a dripping of olive oil in between two slices of toast, spread with a smattering of mayo is a little bit of heaven on earth. You have to love the Jersey Tomato Sandwich.
Thought for the Week
"External, material objects are never the cause of disease, merely agents waiting to cause specific symptoms in susceptible hosts." ~ Andrew Weil, M.D.
(What did he say? He said, things like germs do not cause disease, people with weak immune systems allow germs to overtake their body, and then they become sick. ~ Dr. J)
Chiropractic Thought for the Week
"A spinal adjustment from your chiropractor may not make your symptoms go away, but it is not meant to. A spinal adjustment opens up the life channels of your body (nerve flow) and improves your overall health and it does that every time in everybody." ~ Reggie Gold, D.C.
Pregnancy / Prenatal Chiropractic Care Information
A recent study published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health reported on how chiropractic care helped a woman have a successful VBAC after previous c-sections. The article discusses the importance of pelvic alignment during pregnancy and how regular prenatal chiropractic care focuses on pelvic structural integrity, soft tissue relaxation and neural impulse flow. Pregnancy care with the chiropractor involves gentle adjustments to the pelvis and the application of Webster’s technique for round ligament tension.