What’s the Difference Between a Tomato and a Tomato? (Fab Five, Part 5)

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Multiple Vitamin – Come On, We All Knew It Was Making The List

There are several reasons why we all NEED to be taking a good multiple vitamin…
Where It’s Grown – It’s easy to think of soil as just the dirt where plants take root, but it’s so much more. The nutrients in the foods we eat are directly linked to microbe activity, organic matter, the mineral composition, plant genetics, and fertilization practices.  The tomato might look much the same as it did 80 years ago, but it’s not.  Average mineral content in selected vegetables, 1914 – 1997. Or your apple… Eighty year decline in mineral content of medium apple. The type of soil matters too, for example, vegetables grown in clay dense soil can have 5 times the nutrients as those grown in sand dense soil.

 photo by Ajith_chatie

When It’s Picked – Fresh tomatoes grown in California have to be picked before they’re ripe if they’re going to be sold in Minnesota.  The tomatoes are sprayed with ethylene gas once they get to Minnesota so they ripen, but nutrient absorption stops the moment they’re picked.  For that reason, frozen fruits and vegetables are often more nutrient dense.
How It’s Preserved – Fresh produce is very sensitive to temperature, handling, light and time.  Frozen produce is blanched in hot water or steamed to kill bacteria, and stops the action of food-degrading enzymes.  Both frozen and canned produce can lose water soluble vitamins like B and C due to leaching.
How It’s Prepared – Both raw and steamed are great options depending on the vegetable.  Steaming your tomatoes can actually release more bio-available lycopene, by breaking down the thick cell wall, but it also reduces the amount of Vitamin C.
Our Diets – The good news is that as a group, it would appear that our customers tend to NOT eat a normal American diet… you guys eat much, much better.  The fact is that the world today makes it very hard to eat a good balanced diet.  There isn’t enough time in the day and processed, cheap food is everywhere.  It’s not all bad news though, what our ancestors gained in eating local, nutrient dense food, they lost in variety.  Never before in history has it been so easy to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and with all the emerging science in phyto-nutrients, that’s a very good thing.
What To Take? – Remember that the RDA values have absolutely nothing to do with optimum amounts.  The RDA for Vitamin C is 60mg… less than that, and you may be at risk of developing scurvy.  I like a food-based multiple with supporting elements such as digestive enzymes, phyto-nutrients, extra antioxidants, and trace minerals.  While there can be issues with taking vitamins in a tablet form, the best companies constantly test to insure their tablets dissolve properly. There are a number of multiples I like, but Pure Essence Labs is my favorite, and a good example of a company that’s getting it right.
Life Essence (For those under 35)

One ‘n’ Only for Men (a one a day for men over 35)

One ‘n’ Only for Women (a one a day for women over 35)

Longevity Men’s Multiple (a more nutrient packed four a day for men over 35)

Longevity Women’s Multiple (a more nutrient packed four a day for women over 35)
Well… that brings us to the end of this series. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it.  I really appreciate all the emails and if you’d like more emails like these, please let me know.


Co-Founder of NutritionGeeks, retired USAPL drug-free powerlifter, volunteer youth wrestling coach, father of 3 amazing boys and interested in all things health

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