The tomato is one of the
healthiest salad foods because
it contains lycopene, which
offers protection from
prostate cancer, and
compounds to help prevent
Tomatoes are our major source of dietary lycopene, a carotene antioxidant that fights heart disease and may help to prevent prostate cancer. Tomatoes also have an anticoagulant effect because of the salicylates contained in them, and they contain several other antioxidants including vitamin C, quercetin, and lutein. Tomatoes are low in calories but high in potassium, and contain useful amounts of fiber.
- Excellent source of lycopene, which helps prevent prostate cancer.
- One medium tomato contains nearly a quarter of the day’s recommended intake of vitamin C for an adult.
- Rich in potassium to help regulate body fluids.
- Quercetin and lutein content helps to prevent cataracts and keep heart and eyes healthy.
- Contain salicylates, which have an anticoagulant effect.
The more red and ripe the tomato is, the higher its content of lycopene. Vine-ripened tomatoes also contain more lycopene than those ripened after picking. The tomato peel is richer in nutrients than the flesh and the central seed part is high in salicylates, so avoid peeling and don’t seed unless necessary. The lycopene in raw or cooked tomatoes is better absorbed in your body if it is eaten with some oil, such as a salad dressing.
DID YOU KNOW?
Lycopene is actually more active in processed tomato products such as ketchup, tomato paste, and tomato juice than it is in the raw tomato.