SERVING SIZE: 1/4 whole
SPECIES: Solanum lycopersicum
How Can This Ayurvedic Food Make You Feel Great?
Ever since the Spaniards brought tomatoes to Europe, they have been subject of controversial debate. Southern Europe said yes, embracing the tomato, which would fundamentally change Mediterranean and especially Italian cuisine. Northern Europe said no, calling the tomato 'wolf peach' instead because they belong to the often poisonous nightshade family. In the East, the controversy continues - Chinese medicine says yes, they clear summer heat. Ayurveda says no, they stimulate heat and desire, and cause toxic build-up. Whatever your personal philosophy on tomatoes, they are a near ubiquitous addition to world cuisine. So what is the secret behind the explosion in tomato's popularity?
Tomatoes & Desire
Any Italian chef will testify to the passion and warmth of tomato. Cooked tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes are downright zesty and pungent. They have a meaty, hearty feel that warms the belly.
I'll never forget my walks through the New Mexico desert as an Ayurveda student. Wild relatives of the tomato were growing everywhere, quite comfortable in the hot, dry high-altitude deserts. The red color of tomatoes seemed to echo the warmth of the southwestern climate. This climate is best approximated by August in other landscapes, which is exactly when tomatoes ripen. Astringent taste and dryness dominate the body and emotions in late summer, just like in the New Mexico desert.
Tomatoes are plump, juicy with a hint of sweetness and ripe just in time to restore your virility and juiciness in the dry season. The sourness rehydrates your salivary glands, moistens your mouth and stimulates your taste buds which tend towards blandness in early autumn.
Heat Up Your Digestion
Tomatoes are strongly acidic, making them both stimulating and sour, and even irritating to some. Sourness not only hydrates salivary glands, but the entire digestive tract as well. Tomato's acidity heats up your digestion and makes your digestive glands juicy. Tomato's high acidity may also irritate the GI tract, and should be avoided by those with GI inflammation. The more tomatoes are cooked, as in tomato sauces and sun-dried tomatoes, the more these irritating qualities become concentrated, pungent and hot.
For die-hard tomato fanatics, such as my Italian-American family, a pinch of baking soda in the sauce will neutralize some of these irritating acids, but also much of the flavor. Note: The flesh of tomato is easy to digest, while the skins and seeds may be more irritating and too difficult for some. In that case, tomatoes are easily skinned and seeded. Cherry tomatoes are generally less irritating.
Cool Your Blood
Raw tomatoes cool the blood on hot summer days. Their high vitamin A content clears Liver Heat and supports detoxification. So go ahead, pick a juicy tomato off the vine and bite in.
A Funky Fruit
As a member of the nightshade family, tomatoes also have a funkiness - a residue that ultimate irritates the body, especially the joints. Crush a tomato leaf and sniff; you will experience the funkiness of nightshades first-hand. The leaves and stems contain tomatine and solanine, both poisonous substances. Use caution with tomatoes if you have arthritis, are easily irritated, or have an aggressive, hot-blooded temperament.
On the other hand, tomatoes are high in lycopene a potent antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic. They are high in vitamin A, a Pitta pacifying substance that benefits the liver, blood and eyes. They are also high in vitamins C and E.
BUYING & PREPARATION
Remove the seeds and skin for delicate constitutions. Cooked tomatoes are easier to digest and more stimulating.
COOKING TOMATOBrowse Recipes
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WHY EAT AN AYURVEDIC DIET?Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. An Ayurvedic diet is tailored to your individual body type and the specific imbalances you are working with at any given time. Ayurveda shows you your specific body type’s needs and what should be favored in your Ayurvedic menu. Watch as you eat less but feel more satisfied because what you are eating truly nourishes you. Since Ayurveda believes all disease begins in the digestive tract, food is your first medicine. By eating a healthy diet that’s ideal for your body, you experience optimal health.
Is Tomato Good for My Ayurvedic Diet?
AYURVEDIC MEDICINAL QUALITIES
Experiences are PersonalExperiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary. The list of actions below has not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
QUENCHES-THIRSTAn herb or substance that relieves thirst.
SIALOGOGUEA sialogogue increases saliva. Sour foods are often great sialogogues, and increase output of all exocrine glands. Salty taste is very moistening as well. Bitter, pungent and sweettastes also increase salivary output but to a lesser degree. Astringents
Heart & Circulation:
HYPOTENSIVEAn herb that lowers blood pressure.
ANTICARCINOGENICHerbs that inhibit or prevent the activity of a carcinogen or the development of cancer.
APHRODISIACHerbs that increase sexual arousal through various actions including increased circulation, relaxation, stimulation, or tonics that strengthen glandular health.
Skin Care & Beauty:
RUBEFACIENTAn herb used topically that causes dilation of the capillaries and an increase in blood circulation. The skin will appear red or flushed.
GENERAL-LAXATIVEPromotes a bowel movement. General laxative is an umbrella term that refers to several different types of laxatives...
STOOL-SOFTENERAn herb that softens stool that is hard and difficult to pass. They are the safest and most gentle type of laxative. Some foods are even stool softeners, such as warm milk with ghee.
HEALTH & WELLNESS PRACTITIONERS!
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Eat Well for Life With Ayurveda: Balance Your Dosha
HOW DOES EATING AYURVEDICALLY MAKE YOU FEEL?Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. Food digests with ease when right for your body type (dosha). Healthy digestion is seen as the cornerstone of well-being in Ayurveda. Healthy digestion generally prevents illness. If you do get sick, a strong digestive fire reduces the severity of illness and increases your resilience. It also improves your mood. Once you begin eating Ayurvedically, you will feel refreshed, vital and strong.
View Other Ingredients for SummerTomato is recommended for Summer. Check out these other Summer foods here.
Comments & Impressions of 'Tomato'Do you like 'tomato'? Why or why not? What makes it unique? Is there something you'd like to know about 'tomato'?
(5.00 out of 5 stars) 3 reviews, 114 likes
Lemons, limes, and vinegar may help replace the sour taste of tomato. Tahini, or beans pureed with water may replace the heartiness of tomato in a soup as long as they are not too heavy for your digestion.
Dear Isabela, Eggs and tomatoes are generally a bad food combination. The acidity curdles the eggs. -John
I have no problem with my home grown tomato's cook or raw but canned stewed tomato's or sauces give will me joint pain.
I'm still relatively new to Ayurveda - love and appreciate this site though so much, have recommended it to others, thank you! As I experiment with leaving go of this once beloved soup addition vegetable, would it be a better choice for a soup to use lets say a Tablespoon or two of tomato paste over a can of diced tomatoes?
Glad you are enjoying the site! Tomato paste and diced tomatoes will have the same properties. If you are going to use tomatoes, either one is fine - however we always favor fresh food over canned.
a traditional home remedy forThis information has not been validated by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Blood and CirculationAtherosclerosis
Mind Stress SleepConflict makes me depressed, lazy, Depressed, Depressed when stressed, Slow, monotonous speech
DigestionDry Mouth / Tongue, Limited sense of taste, Quickly full / early satiety
PoopImpacted Fecal Matter
Reproductive HealthLow libido
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.