It is rarely contested that tomatoes are good for you. In the wake of recent scientific inquiry, however, researchers are saying that tomatoes may be better for health and well-being than previously thought.
A study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that consuming tomatoes may reduce the extent of heart disease, life mood and protect against certain forms of cancer.
The authors of the new article, health researchers for ConAgra Foods, noted that it is fortunate that the tomato happens to be the most consumed non-starchy vegetable in the U.S. In particular, the group focused on the tomato’s lycopene and antioxidant content.
Lycopene is a red pigment found in a number of fruits and vegetables. The study’s authors noted that tomatoes are the richest known source of the substance, whose bioavailability actually increases when tomatoes are cooked.
Studies have associated lycopene with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Likewise, the antioxidants in the red vegetable are believed to improve heart health and reduce inflammation.
Tomatoes are also an excellent source of vitamins A and C, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For those who have little access to tomatoes and other types of produce, may be able to provide them with their daily allowance of vitamins, minerals and lycopene.