What do you know about tomatoes? They are a type of vegetable, grow in sunny countries and they are the main ingredient of many delicious recipes, included the typical pasta sauce. Thanks to the last scientific studies, there’s something more to know and one reason more to eat them!
Tomatoes and Lycopene should be your best friends
Tomatoes are rich in Lycopene, the pigment responsible for the deep-red color of tomato and some fruits. But that’s not all: lycopene, part of the carotenoid family, are also one of the free radical-fighting antioxidants. Free radicals are responsible of damaging molecules that cause many diseases. Antioxidants, such as lycopene, destroy them and save your cells form destruction.
Recent scientific researches show that lycopene helps prevent to lung, stomach and prostate cancers. Also, there are some proves of cancer reductions to pancreas, colon and rectum, esophagus, oral cavity, breast and cervix.
Which are the sources of lycopene?
The best sources of lycopene are tomatoes and tomatoes product, which are where about 80% of lycopene in an average diet comes from. But pay attention how you consume them: lycopene compounds are best available to the body when tomatoes are cooked and eaten in a meal that provides a small amount of fat, such as when they are mixed with olive oil. This is one of the few cases where fresh food maybe is not the best. So, frozen and heated tomatoes exhibit excellent lycopene stability than normal temperature storage.
Here, the products with major size of lycopene:
- Tomato juice with 25.0 mg/one cup
- Tomato paste with 13.8 mg/2tbsp
- Tomato sauce with 8.0mg/ ¼ cup
- Watermelon with 14.7 mg/ one slice
- Pink grapefruit 4.9 mg/123g
- Raw tomato with 3.7/ one medium tomato
An industrial scale, lycopene extraction and purification procedure with minimal loss of bioactivities is highly desirable for food, feeds, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. High-quality lycopene products will offer many potential benefits to the food industry.
Did you feel the need to tomatoes? Read our infographic about pasta sauce to inspire you!