Colorado has shorter growing seasons than most places, and our garden crop of berries is winding down, but ending with a bang. We’ve been choosing oodles of stunning big, luscious mature heritage tomatoes, and have so many it’s hard to know what to do together!
Tomatoes are regarded as a health food in most circles; famous for having abundant supplies of anti-oxidants like beta-carotene, folate, lycopene, potassium, vitamin C, and other flavonoids, as well as other nutrients. Lycopene has also been clinically proven to prevent or slow cancerous tumor development as well, helping to fight against lung, colon, stomach, breast, breast, and cervical cancers too.
Tomatoes contain other antioxidants too including beta-carotene, phytoene and phytofluene, that fight inflammation and ailments like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and arthritis. Their strong antioxidants also shield against elevated blood pressure, and help to reduce cholesterol, in addition to improving blood vessel health.
Tomatoes also protect against one of the leading causes of blindness, macular degeneration, in older people. When going through a review of your diet, remember the generous quantity of vitamin C in tomatoes slows down aging, and keeps skin looking young and wrinkle-free, as well as supplying nutrients which protect and help reconstruct strong bones.
All seems great, right? But can berries be awful for you in any manner?
Well it is dependent upon the quantity of berries you eat, and whether you are sensitive to nightshades. Although tomatoes arrive loaded with valuable nutrients, remember that they are a nightshade vegetable that can aggravate health conditions for some people.
Many credible medical establishments, such as the Cleveland Clinic, promote avoidance of nightshades to relieve arthritis pain and other inflammatory diseases. This study shows a positive connection between an improvement in arthritis symptoms and the removal of nightshades.
If you already struggle with allergies or food sensitivities, or even possess any kind of autoimmune or inflammatory disease, you must look closely at nightshades. Some nightshades can also exacerbate asthma and breathing problems as well.
Nightshades are a set of plants which are a portion of the Solanceae family. Many nightshades are extremely common–in actuality, most of us consume them daily. The major plants that we eat the majority of the are in the nightshade family contain berries, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant. There are lots of others as well, but they’re usually not consumed in huge amounts by many people. The 4 listed above would be the nightshades most consumed in large quantities.
Nightshades are known to cause a form of inflammation by means of a compound known as “solanine” which may irritate the digestive tract, and even trigger breakdown in red blood cells. You will want to consider the pros and cons of consuming these before including too many in your diet. Nightshades can cause worsening of gout in a lot of people, in addition to exacerbating irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, heartburn, and other GI issues. Solanine is primarily found in potatoes, although the tomato edition of this is known as “tomatine”.
This alkaloid is focused in the green parts of the plant. As you would not consume the green leafy part of a tomato, green tomatoes, as in ‘fried green tomatoes’ contain more focused tomatine amounts. Tomatine and solanine alkaloids can irritate the gastrointestinal system and also affect brain neurotransmitters like acetylcholine.
Tomatoes may also worsen acid reflux and heartburn ailments in a lot of people and the seeds can be quite detrimental to individuals that tend toward diverticulitis (an inflammatory disease of the large intestine).
So while tomatoes can have plenty of health benefits if consumed in moderate amounts, should you just happen to have joint pain, arthritis or heartburn, it might be worth it to lay them off and the remainder of the nightshade family for a month or so to determine if they’re causing an issue for you, or worsening your symptoms. However, the nightshade family includes a whole lot of relatives, so its important make sure to include all of these if you’re going to prevent them.