Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekend Wisdom: Tomato Tidbit

As one who dislikes raw tomatoes, I pick up on anything that reinforces my choice to not eat them.  I have extolled their nastiness here, so I won't go into that again, but thanks to my friend Charlotte, over at Dirt du Jour, chalk one up on the side of eating them cooked, not raw.

She brought to my attention a news article reporting on studies that state the virtues of lycopene.  No surprise there.  We all know that lycopene is a valuable anti-oxidant that is beneficial to our skin, and helps protect us against certain types of cancer as well as osteoporosis. Lycopene also provides some protection from the sun's UV rays.

But did you know that cooking those tomatoes greatly increases the body's ability to absorb that lycopene?  Just like carrots, cooking them makes them better, healthwise. Yeah, I don't like raw carrots either.  Maybe my body just senses what is good for it. (Not sure why I crave English toffee, however.)

Not only that, but when eaten with a small amount of oil or fat (such as cheese on pizza), the ability of lycopene to be absorbed by the intestines is enhanced.¹

Let me say that again:  Cooked tomatoes are better for you than raw ones. That means you should eat more ketchup, tomato soup, chili soup, pizza, spaghetti sauce, and drink more tomato juice.

Lucky me, I like all those things.

¹Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, "Health properties of tomatoes," WebMD, date accessed March 24, 2013.


Christys Cottage Wildlife Garden said...

We grow tomatoes in the summer and I love them fresh. Funny, I'm not crazy about cooked tomatoes, but I eat them because I know they're good for me!! Thanks for a very informative post!

Kensington_ Mom said...

I love this! As a tomato lover, this is great news. I, however, must admit that I love raw tomatoes. In fact I eat them like an Apple but with a dash of salt. I also love all the things you mentioned in your last sentence, but I have been telling myself it is just not healthy to have so much. You've given me reason to reconsider.

Anonymous said...

I usually prefer my tomatoes cooked. However we like them, I don't think it should be necessary to justify in terms of health effects, especially since the scientists seem to change their minds about those things every five years. Just eat whatever you think is delicious - within reason!

Kylee Baumle said...

Christy ~ I wish I did like them raw, but I just don't. They have a weird taste to me! It's nice that we can enjoy them both ways, isn't it? :-)

Kensington Mom ~ I'm sure the sugar that's in ketchup and other forms isn't all that good for you, so it's a balancing act, I suppose. I just found it really interesting about the lycopene/cooked tomato thing!

gardeninacity ~ I agree! No matter how you eat them, tomatoes are good for you! They DO change their minds about so many things, it's hard to know what to believe about this or that anymore!

Lona said...

That is such interesting facts to know. I love tomatoes and I need to eat more now. LOL!

Nelson said...

It is surely a "Tomato Tidbit". And the most good news is the information regarding cooked tomatoes. As it is better than the raw ones. That means you should eat more ketchup, tomato soup, chili soup, pizza, spaghetti sauce, and drink more tomato juice.

katie said...

Sooooo, that means pizza is a health food right? Yay!!!

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