Fresh, cooked, dry, in salad or sauces, tomatoes are tasty in all their forms. But did you know that in addition to being delicious, tomatoes have amazing health properties? To take care of your health with tomatoes, there are some things to know.
For starters, tomatoes are low in fat and calories, in fact they are mostly water, fibers and plenty of good vitamins (A and C) and minerals (especially potassium). One of the compounds present in tomatoes is lycopene, a carotenoid pigment responsible for its deep-red color when ripe. If this pigment can be found in different types of fruits and vegetables (watermelon, red bell pepper, pink grapefruit, etc.), tomatoes are the second most important source of lycopene, after guava. It goes without saying that they are also much more accessible. But why consume lycopene? Well because it has several interesting biological and physiochemical properties, the most important being its strong antioxidant quality. In addition, compare to its other carotenoid counterparts, it is two to three times as powerful to fight against cell degeneration.
These properties have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic disease by eating lycopene-rich foods. Studies have shown that a diet rich in lycopene, including a high consumption of tomatoes and tomato products, prevents the occurrence of several types of cancer as well as atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
Types of field production and cooking matter when taking care of your health with tomatoes
But when it comes to fighting chronic diseases, not all tomatoes are the same. As a matter of fact, tomatoes grown outdoors during summer, and harvest when ripe show higher lycopene content than those produced greenhouse and/or picked green. All the more reason to eat seasonal foods! Another interesting fact to take care of your health with tomatoes is that even though the manufacture of tomato reduces lycopene concentration compared to fresh tomatoes, it improves its bioavailability. In other words, for the same type of tomato, eating it in a form of a sauce provides you with more benefits than in a fresh form. In addition to that, eating tomatoes or tomato-based products together with oil or a source of fat makes lycopene absorption even more effective.
Who said pizza wasn’t healthy?
Find out more about the eco-social project of the Re Fiascone tomato: www.refiascone.it/