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Superfoods for the urban garden

When you think of it, eating healthy has never been easier.

In fact, urban gardeners have probably already grown their share of superfoods; maybe without even knowing it. On the other hand, if they haven’t and didn’t, the usual and yet ultra-healthy culprits are easily within reach.

TOMATO

Tomatoes top my list of superfoods because they’re relatively easy to grow, have a wide list of varieties to choose from and are readily obtainable in the region. They’re also a major ingredient in more than a few types of cuisine and can spruce up even the simplest of meals.

But availability, ease of cultivation and preparation, as well as numbers of species isn’t what makes tomatoes superfoods. What makes them so is their worth to our overall good health.

Tomatoes have always been a source of fiber, as well as vitamins, A, C, B6 and magnesium with no fat or cholesterol. But now, they’ve even taken it up a notch.

Already a source of the cancer fighting antioxidant lycopene, the newly developed Indigo series tomatoes are rich in the flavonoid compound anthocyanin, another disease fighting agent combatting heart disease and anti-inflammatory ailments.

Found in nature mostly in red, blue or purple flowers and fruits, the rich color is thought to be an attractant for pollinators (flowers) and animals (fruits).

Two years ago, Oregon State University developed the Indigo Rose tomato. Varieties are now sold in seed and plant form by Territorial Seed Company and others.

Indigo series tomatoes are cultivated like customary red tomatoes. They come as determinate (bush) and indeterminate (vine) species with different harvest times, just like their crimson cousins.

Sources: Purple Tomato Debuts as Indigo Rose, Judy Scott, January
27, 2012

Next: The other superfood: Cucumbers

Indigo Tomatoes FAQ’s

http://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/purple_tomato_faq

Indeterminate (Vining) Indigo Tomatoes

http://www.territorialseed.com/product/13098

http://www.territorialseed.com/product/15525

http://www.territorialseed.com/product/15526

Determinate (Bush) Indigo Tomatoes

http://www.territorialseed.com/product/15527

Semi-determinate Indigo Tomatoes

http://www.territorialseed.com/product/15528

Superfood List Links

http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/nutrition/eat-healthy-america-52-superfoods-25519

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/superfoods-everyone-needs

http://skinnyms.com/50-super-foods-the-ultimate-shopping-list/