Tuesday, February 2, 2010

You Say To-mah-to, I Say To-may-to!

Whichever way you say it, there's no changing the fact that tomatoes are one of the healthiest and tastiest produce around. Is it a vegetable or a fruit? Who cares? I don't. But I do know that tomatoes are good for you and me. Here's why you should eat tomatoes  - raw, in a sauce, roasted, or stewed - any chance you get: lycopene.

Lycopene is a phytochemical, a chemical inherent to plants, that is a powerful antioxidant. It can fight cancer and heart problems. It can reduce risks of colon, breast, cervix, and skin cancers. It can lower bad cholesterol levels. It is effective in fighting stress. It can renew cells and speed up regeneration for healthier cells and tissues. It can even prevent macular degeneration.

So now that you know the benefits, here's the thing about lycopene: The fresher-the-better rule does not apply to it. You get more lycopene from processed and canned tomatoes than from fresh ones. This is due to lycopene being locked within the cell walls of tomatoes. The heat of cooking and processing breaks down those walls and releases lycopene. So for more lycopene, pick up a can of tomatoes today.  

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