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Archive for June, 2015

TomatoPie_001It can be sweet yet tart, it may show it`s real colors as yellow, orange, red, and green. This delightful fruit has over a thousand different varieties that can decorate your plate in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. This food is used in more recipes than almost any other food. Although it is a fruit, it is used most often as a savory part of a recipe. But it can also be made into a delicious pie. Do you have a clue which food I am talking about?

Rhubarb? Lychee? Dragon Fruit? Paw Paw? Cherries? Nope!

Keep guessing!!

 

 

 

The star of thousands of recipes, drum roll…………………

 

 

 

The Tomato!!

Tomato, Tamato however you say it, meh… It doesn’t conjure up thoughts of exotic flavors or leave us envisioning it wearing the cape of super nutrition. The tomato is so widely used it’s nutritional super hero status has been forgotten or at the least minimized. We have taken the TOMATO for granted! Shame on us.

I think the tomato is lost in a sea of new super-foods, yet it may be one of the most versatile and most powerful of all  foods.! How many ways can the tomato be used? The versatile tomato; tomato juice, tomato soup, tomato sauce, tomato paste, BBQ sauce, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, marinara sauce, salsa, you get the picture. But what I don’t hear are people talking about is the mighty tomato; it’s health benefits, its great flavor, its boldness or tartness.  The humble tomato has been overlooked and it is now time to bring it to the front where it rightfully belongs. If you think about it, the tomato is what makes many dishes shine. Without it as an ingredient what would spaghetti sauce be, or salsa or seafood gumbo or Manhattan clam chowder? I’m sure you can think of dozens of more dishes where the TOMATO is the star, right?

Tomato’s cross all cultural food boundaries. From African, Mexican, Latin, Spanish, Caribbean, Greek, Italian, Oriental, European and certainly American cuisines.

During the spring and summer growing season in the southeast where I live, nothing is better appreciated than a hand-picked organic tomato sliced and made into the famous BLT or bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich. Everyone has their favorite condiments to go with it and favorite bread. Most of which aren’t so healthy. They slather mayo on white bread then top it off with iceberg lettuce and bacon for a BLT.  I have to admit it does have a marvelous (hear Billy Crystal’s “marvelous darling”) taste but it can be artery clogging also.  There is a much healthier version.  Use Ezekiel bread, fresh organic tomato, Vegenaise, low sodium turkey bacon, Himalayan salt and fresh cracked organic black pepper a dash of cumin and romaine or a crisp butter lettuce. This is a yummy sandwich!!

Disclaimer : If you have an auto-immune condition eating tomato’s and other nightshade plants may make the conditions worse. These plants affect everyone differently. Try a little and if you don’t have any problems try more.

Let’s talk about why the tomato should be a routine part of your culinary pallet.

There are literally thousands of different types of tomato’s meaning you are not stuck with just a Beefsteak or Roma tomatoes. Tomato’s are loaded with vitamins, minerals and many powerful antioxidants. We always hear about lycopene but the tomato, my friend, is packed with several antioxidants! In fact, the tomato comes in different colors like orange and yellow and the lycopene in the orange and yellow tomatos are better absorbed, than the lycopene from the red tomato.

While all tomatoes have good antioxidant capacity, four varieties of tomatoes turned out to have a higher average antioxidant capacity compared with other tomato varieties regardless of whether they were grown conventionally or organically. The New Girl, Jet Star, Fantastic, and First Lady tested highest but only marginally higher in antioxidant capacity. This means all tomato’s have good antioxidant, anti-aging power. What makes the tomato an antioxidant superstar is the variety of antioxidants they contain. If you want super antioxidant power from the tomato don’t peel them. A lot of the antioxidant power is in the peeling. A cooked tomato is going to have a higher absorption rate of the antioxidant lycopene but not necessarily of the other antioxidants. Tomatoes have several types of antioxidants giving them a big cross-section of health promoting benefits.

Tomato’s provide cardiovascular health benefits and reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels. They help prevent fatty acid oxidation which can damage our cardiovascular system and heart. Many of the phytonutrients in tomato’s have shown the ability to help keep blood platelets from clumping. This helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Tomato’s are a good source of Vitamin A, rich in Vitamin C and a great source of many B Vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, Choline, Folate and Biotin. Tomato’s are a great source of Vitamin E, Vitamin K, a good source of many minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, phosphorous. Tomato’s are also a great source of fiber and 1 cup of tomato’s has 3 grams of protein!

Tomato’s Health Benefits

  • Tomato’s provide bone building health properties. Lycopene, Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Vitamin A are very important for bone health. Studies show lycopene is particularly important at preventing oxidative stress in bones.
  • Tomato’s offer many cancer preventing benefits, particularly prostate cancer.
  • Tomato’s help prevent our stored fats (triglycerides) from becoming cellular damaging oxidized fatty acids.
  • Tomato’s protect our blood vessels by providing nutrients that keep the cell membranes flexible and protect against blood vessel cell wall oxidative damage.
  • Tomato’s help keep blood platelets from clumping together.
  • Tomato’s help prevent premature-aging by providing a super arsenal of anti-oxidants that protect our DNA
  • Tomato’s provide health promoting and protective benefits for our vision.
  • Tomato’s provide nutrients that keep our skin soft and flexible and help protect against sun damage.

When you look closely at the nutritional profile of tomato’s you will want to have them everyday. Inside that round or oblong shaped fruit is a powerhouse of health promoting and anti-aging nutrition. Check this out.

A 1 cup serving of tomato’s can offer; (source http://www.whfoods.com)

  •  33% RDI of Vitamin C
  •  24% RDI of Biotin
  • 20% RDI of Molybdenum
  • 16% RDI of Vitamin K
  • 12% RDI of Potassium
  • 12% RDI of Copper
  •  11% RDI of Manganese
  • 9% RDI of Fiber
  • 8% RDI of Vitamin A
  • 8% RDI of Vitamin B6
  • 7% RDI of Vitamin B3
  • 7% RDI of Folate
  • 6% RDI of Phosphorus
  • 6% RDI of Vitamin B1
  • 6% RDI of Vitamin E
  • 5% RDI of Magnesium
  • 4% RDI of Chromium
  • 3% RDI of Iron
  • 3% RDI of Zinc
  • 3% RDI of Choline
  • 3% RDI of Pantothenic Acid
  • 3% RDI of Protein

And these antioxidants;

  • Naringenin
  • Chalconaringenin
  • Rutin
  • Kaempferol
  • Quercetin
  •  Caffeic Acid
  • Ferulic Acid
  • Coumaric Acid
  •  Lycopene
  •  Lutein
  •  Zeaxanthin
  • Beta-Carotene
  • Esculeoside A
  •  9-Oxo-Octadecadienoic Acid

Face the fact’s, you have eaten tomato’s and have been disrespecting their nutritional super status haven’t you? It’s time you give the tomato the respect it deserves. Repeat after me; Tomato I am sorry I under appreciated your nutritional super-stardom and promise to always keep you in high regards every time I eat you!

Every time you see a tomato regardless of its color or shape just remember it is a powerhouse of life promoting and healing nutrition and phytonutrients.

I wish you the very best in health and wellness,

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

WebND

The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.

 

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For about $20.00

Healthy Food Is Actually Less Expensive!

One of the comments I get often as a speaker, educator and nutritional consultant is “but eating healthy is too expensive!” This is a perception the public has been given through the influences of the fast food and processed food industry. Let’s look at not just the food cost but also the real cost impact of fast and processed foods and healthy foods. Having been a very sick and obese man and Gwen (my wife) dealing with the effects of fibromyalgia and its symptoms over 9 years ago, I can give you first hand knowledge of the cost differential between cheep fast food and a sedentary lifestyle and a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Our diet was consistently the Standard America Diet of fast food, processed foods and fried foods. We were also very sedentary people. I was over 450 pounds with multiple health conditions and multiple medications. Gwen was very sick and under the care of 3 doctors and taking 7 medications.

I began my health revolution in November of 2006 (I must have been crazy to start a new lifestyle journey during the peak of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and party season) and shortly afterwards Gwen jumped on board the wellness train with me.  In 2006, Gwen and I had out-of-pocket medical cost exceeding $13,000.00 this is after insurance coverage. This was for medical expenses and prescriptions. These cost did not include surgeries or non-routine charges. In 2007, our out-of-pocket medical expenses dropped to less than $7,000.00. In 2008, our out-of-pocket medical expenses dropped to a little over $3,000.00. Our total medical cost for 2009 dropped to less than $1000.00 and has been under $500 per year since. (Except this year because I had to have surgery on my shoulder.) Now we have yearly a physical and routine Chiropractic visits.

Why did our medical cost go down?

Our diet and lifestyle change reduced our need for emergency doctor visits, routine doctors appointments, medications, monthly and quarterly blood test and scans of different sorts. The healthier we ate and the more active we became the less we needed doctors and drugs. It’s that simple. The nutrients in healthy foods fixed the root cause of the symptoms we needed medications for. By minimizing the intake of toxic and inflammatory chemicals in fast and processed foods our body could use the bounty of nutrition from real foods and begin repairing our broken bodies. We didn’t have deficiencies in chemicals or medication we had deficiencies in nutrition and activity.

Meat is the most expensive item in your shopping cart. If you just cut your consumption of meat in half and replaced with legumes (beans, pea’s and lentils) you would save a lot of money. When Gwen (my wife) and I changed our diet many years ago we cut our grocery bill in half just by cutting out so much meat. This meant we could buy a lot more veggies, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds for the same amount of money. The bonus is the extra plant-based foods made us much healthier. Today, we have a diet that is at least 90% plant-based.

Why does healthy food look to be more expensive?

Granted, we do have the cheapest processed and refined foods of any country on this planet so its easy to think this way. Processed foods are cheep because our government subsidizes the manufacturing cost to make the foods. (you should be asking why would they do that?) On the other side of this food issue is the fact that very little funding subsidies exist for healthy foods like produce, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils and whole grains. This makes those foods more expensive to buy. There must be a reason the government wants to make processed foods so cheap.

If we review this situation a few points become obvious.

  • Processed and refined foods are cheaper. That’s a given. The dollar menu is really the billion-dollar menu concerning the health impact.
  • Studies show that the consumption of processed and refined foods are the root cause of most illness and disease for Americans.
  • Our most recent data indicate that 75% to 80% of America is suffering from a preventable illness and disease. Preventable means a choice could have been made that could have prevented the illness or disease.
  • Recent studies also indicate that less than 12% of the American population eats the government recommended 3 vegetables and 2 fruits per day. (That’s not enough to promote a healthy body, it’s just enough to prevent some illnesses)
  • If only 12% are eating the recommend 5 a-day, that means 88% are eating the Standard American Diet (cause of more than 75% of America’s ill health).
  • 88% are eating nutrient depleted and toxic chemical laden foods. 75% of Americans are suffering from illness and disease such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, IBS, depression, anxiety, obesity, eczema, psoriasis. I see a relationship between these facts, do you?
  • Your food may be cheap but your health is costing you in doctor’s visits, medications and eventually quality of life.

Tips for buying healthy foods at low prices

  • Every grocery store has a certain day they take produce off the shelf and replace it with fresher produce. Usually a couple of days before they restock produce they will have sales on those items.  Ask the Produce manager and he will gladly tell you when the sales happen weekly.
  • Buy produce in bulk and freeze, can or dehydrate vegetables and fruits. You can also buy in bulk and store root vegetables, winter squash’s and whole grains and keep them in cool dry storage for a long time.
  • Join a local farmers and growers co-op. Just about every city has a few of them. This allows you to buy produce weekly at very reduced rates. You are buying direct from the farmers.
  • Visit your local farmers markets and get to know and support them through your purchases.

As a smoothie and juicing fan; vegetable, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices are part of our everyday life. We see and feel the benefits. However, that’s not the case for most of the American population. America’s diet is primarily processed and refined foods. Our culture has evolved into a society of fast and easy. We eat on the run to any convenient source of quick and easy food, which is high in calories and toxic chemicals and bankrupt in nutritional potential.

Sadly, The truth is, you cannot afford to keep eating processed, fried and refined foods. It is costing you much more than you think. You will pay for it with your health and your pocket book sooner than you may be aware of. I deal with this everyday and I can tell you emphatically that a diet rich in real foods, particularly organic produce can turn your health around. You have to stay away from the toxic and inflammatory chemicals in processed foods.

The actual cost of healthy food is much cheaper than you may be thinking. Our friends at Spark People did a recent blog comparing different meal values for fast foods and processed foods versus healthy food choices of the same value. The blog with comparisons is found at this link.  http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=what_20_will_buy_at_the_drivethru_and_at_the_supermarket

I wish you the very best in health and wellness,

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

WebND

The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.

 

Read Full Post »

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