Thursday, September 06, 2007

How Healthy are Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are really a good food! In their raw natural state, tomatoes are naturally alkaline, a great water rich food, they are full of nutrients, and a great source of Vitamin C. Therefore, they are great sliced on sandwiches, in tortilla wraps, and make wonderful additions to salads.

However, we often ruin foods with tomatoes: tomato sauces, tomato paste, tomato juice, catsup, and salsas are all cooked which changes this great alkaline food to a very acidic food. Not only that, we have somewhat taken great dishes from other countries and "Americanized" them with our cooked tomato bases! The Americanizing of these foods often means they are less healthy, and they usually create acid indigestion!

Did you know that traditional Mexican foods:
* do not contain tomato sauce in their pot of beans (they usually just add salt, pepper or red chili pepper)
* do not contain tomato sauce in their enchilada sauce (it's red chili pepper)
* do not contain tomato sauce in their Spanish Rice (it's red chili pepper again)

Further more, real authentic Mexican food is traditionally topped with chopped cilantro, fresh diced onion, and/or red chili pepper, instead of the American way of smoothering everything with salsas, sour cream, and cheese.

Our family visited Italy a few years ago - and we found out something most amazing! We ate at some of the most authentic restaurants where we ordered pizza, and of course, a variety of pastas. Did the pizza have tomato sauce on it? NO! It was a flat bread with cheese and other toppings. The pasta also came in a variety of ways, but I don't think we found any with tomato sauce.

Think about this! When the Europeans came to America after Columbus' discovery, they found some very unique foods that were unfamiliar to the Old World. They included: turkey, duck, corn, squash, pumpkin, cashews, pecans, peanuts, strawberries, pineapple, potato, sweet potato, and............tomato (amongst many other foods)! So when we add the tomato sauces to our many ethnic foods, it's just because we have traditionally Americanized them!

Tomatoes are a great food, but they are best eaten in their raw pure state! Try leaving the acidic tomato sauces and such out of most of your foods - for better health, and above all, for better digestion!

For Your Best Health,
Erleen Tilton

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