0711 GMT April 08, 2020
While most raw vegetables are superior to cooked ones, tomatoes are a notable exception, the researchers say.
New research has indicated that the antioxidant power in tomatoes can be boosted through cooking the veg.
The reason is related to the myriad benefits of a phytochemical abundant in tomatoes known as lycopene.
Study reveals that cooked tomatoes have greater available lycopene which has powerful antioxidant properties comparing to raw ones.
Lycopene's ability to counter oxidative stress is thought to be largely responsible for its role in fighting cancer and heart disease.
“That's because lycopene is tightly bound within a tomato's cell walls; heat breaks down those walls, thus releasing more lycopene for absorption and use by the body.”
The research unveiled that men who consumed 10 servings of tomato products a week reduced their risk of prostate cancer by as much as 45 percent.
Lycopene can also ward off the threat of other cancers, such as those of the colon, stomach, cervix, skin, and breast, the research suggests.
Lycopene may reduce the risk of macular degenerative diseases as well as atherosclerosis and heart disease by lowering LDL levels (bad cholesterol).
Tomato sauce and soup and even ketchup can be better sources of lycopene than fresh tomatoes, experts say.