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Nothing Like Home Grown Tomatoes
January 21, 2016
Like the old song says, not many things beat a fresh home-grown tomato. Not only are tomatoes delicious, they are extremely good for you. If you are lucky enough to have a garden or know someone with a garden then you already know the taste difference between store-bought and home-grown tomatoes. Luckily, more and more grocery stores have an organic section that comes pretty close to the wonderful taste of backyard garden tomatoes.
Why am I making such a big deal about tomatoes! The health benefits of this fruit (yes it is a fruit) are enormous. Tomatoes have vitamin C and other antioxidants which help with inflammation in our bodies and help fight infections, a multitude of diseases and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin K, potassium, manganese, vitamin A and fiber. I could go on and on but I don’t want to bore you!
Now, if you actually pull a tomato from your backyard garden, you not only get all the health benefits from the tomato, but you also get the benefits of healthy microbes from the soil which help your intestines and digestion. There has been a lot of research recently about our intestinal microbiome, meaning all the good “bugs” or bacteria in our intestines that help us digest, stay healthy and believe it or not, help our immune system. Remember eating dirt as a kid? Maybe not, but it is ok to go out and play, plant a tomato plant, let your kids dig in the soil, pick that tomato, rinse it off and eat it! AS LONG AS IT IS ORGANIC. I started a backyard garden with organic soil, organic seeds and NO PESTICIDES! I am no expert but I will share my tips on what works and what doesn’t from time to time.
If you want to read more about the latest research on our gut microbiome and how it affects your health, check out the book, The Good Gut by Justin Sonnenburg and Erica Sonnenburg, PhDs.
If you are interested in starting an organic backyard garden and you live in Arizona, check out the book Extreme Gardening by Dave Owens, “The Garden Guy.