The Wonder Food

If you read my previous blog , you already know that I’m passionate about tomatoes – I can talk about them all day long and sometimes into the night, much to the chagrin of my patient wife. With almost 40 years of planting, nurturing, picking, grading and consuming greenhouse tomatoes, I ought to be an expert. Some people consider me just that. But the truth is this: I’m learning something new about tomato growing every day. With so many advances in technology, the possibilities to improve are infinite. I’ve had a taste of this (pardon the pun) with green technology that’s made our California expansion the most sustainable greenhouse in the world. I also know that one can invest endless money on technology, but plants don’t lie. That’s the “art” of growing. You have to walk the greenhouse every day and get in touch with the crop. Balancing “art” with “science” is critical to success.

In the weeks to come, I’m going to write about green technology. But today I want to share some health advancements that have come out of several clinical studies*. I use to finish my tomato talks with “. . . and by the way, they’re really good for you.” I don’t do that anymore because people want to know how tomatoes affect health and longevity. I don’t have all the answers, but I can tell you that studies involving the tomato are cropping up all over the world of medical science. Here’s a very brief summary of the latest research conclusions.

1. Tomatoes are known to help prevent cancer, heart disease and muscular degeneration. They contain large amounts of vitamin C as well as vitamin A, potassium and iron. But the wonder ingredient is the anti-oxidant, lycopene.

2. Tomatoes are top of the list in lycopene. Lycopene is why tomatoes are red. It is not produced naturally by the human body; instead we must eat fruit and vegetables to absorb it. Some studies have found that lycopene reduces the risk of cancer by as much as 40%, particularly in the prostate, lungs and stomach.

3. Tomatoes rank #1 in health and longevity. This ranking comes from best-selling author and syndicated medical journalist, Jean Carper The others, (in order of the top 10 ranking) are olive oil, red grapes, nuts, whole grains, salmon, blueberries, garlic, spinach and tea.

4. Antioxidant foods are also anti-Alzheimer foods. Columbia University mentions tomatoes, cabbage-family vegetables, dark & leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts and fish as allies in the ongoing war against Alzheimer disease.  

The good news, you don’t have to bite into a terrible tasting vegetable to deliver the nutritional benefits. This is especially true when you choose the home-grown flavor of Houweling’s Tomatoes.

With my regards,


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