The tomato is native to Southern and Central America. In 1519, Cortez discovered tomatoes growing in Montezuma’s gardens and brought seeds back to Europe where they were planted as ornamental curiosities, but not eaten.
Most likely the first variety to reach Europe was yellow in color. In Spain and Italy they were known as pomi d’oro, meaning yellow apples. Italy was the first to embrace and cultivate the tomato outside South America.
The French referred to the tomato as pommes d’amour, or love apples, as they thought them to have stimulating aphrodisiacal properties.
French botanist Tournefort provided the Latin botanical name, Lycopersicon esculentum, to the tomato. It translates to “wolfpeach”. Peach because it was round and luscious and wolf because it was erroneously considered poisonous. The botanist mistakenly took the tomato for the wolfpeach referred to by third century writings as a poison in a palatable package which was used to destroy wolves. Moreover, rich people in that time used flatware made of pewter, which has a high-lead content. Foods like tomatoes, high in acid, would cause the lead to leach out into the food, resulting in lead poisoning and death. Poor people, who ate off of plates made of wood, did not have that problem, and hence did not have an aversion to tomatoes. This is essentially the reason why tomatoes were eaten only by poor people until the 1800′s, especially Italians.
Latest cancer researches
There are more than 150 cancer research articles to date. Most of them are on proliferation and apoptosis. However a genuine effect on inhibiting inflammation is noted. This food possesses an action on estrogen and should help in hormone dependent cancer like breast cancer and prostate cancer. Tomato is a good weapon against cancer.
Known active molecule
Lycopene, a non-provitamin A carotenoid, is the red pigment in tomatoes and is known as a potent antioxidant. It’s soluble mostly in oil.
Type of cancer targeted
One fresh tomato or 1 tsp (5ml) of tomato paste a day
Cancer Protection Level