You can find tomatoes in the homes of many people. You can eat them raw and add them to your salads and sandwiches. But if you want to get the most out of your tomatoes, cook them first before eating them. Cooked tomatoes really are superfoods, especially if you combine them with healthy fats such as olive oil. Tomatoes truly are superfoods when they are cooked because their lycopene content  is increased during the process.
Benefits Of Cooked Tomatoes
Organically grown tomatoes contain 55% more vitamin C and 139% more phenolic content than non-organic ones. Tomatoes really are superfoods because they are rich in vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin. They are also rich in vitamin K, vitamin B, copper, potassium, and manganese. Furthermore, tomatoes have cancer-fighting properties like flavanols, rutin, kaempferol and quercetin. They also possess caffeic acid, ferulic acid, and coumaric acid. Lycopene, which is the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color, minimizes the risk of cancer and heart disease. Tomatoes really are superfoods because the lycopene inside of them is good for bone health, as well as lung and prostate cancer. If you mix tomatoes with olive oil and take them in the form of tomato paste for 10 weeks, they can reduce sunburn.
Cooked Tomatoes Vs. Raw Tomatoes
This is one of those rare situations where cooked food is much healthier than raw food. Liu published a study on this in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry in 2002. Liu observed that cooking tomatoes for half an hour at 190.4 degrees Fahrenheit increased lycopene by 35%. Notably, the cooking process reduces the vitamin C levels of tomatoes. However, cooking tomatoes increases their antioxidant levels by 62%.
Lycopene Food Sources
80% of Americans consume their lycopene in the form of processed tomato products. This includes ketchup, tomato juice and pizza sauce. This is according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. However, this is not the best way to get your lycopene since these products have high sugar content.
You can get your lycopene from:
- Cherry tomatoes
Eat these fruits from time to time. Be sure that you keep your sugar intake to less than 25 grams a day. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, keep it below 15 grams.
How To Boost The Effect Of Lycopene
A research study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that lycopene is fat soluble. Therefore, eat it together with healthy fats for better absorption in the body. Tomatoes really are superfoods since the cooking process serves to break their cells down, thus making lycopene more available. You can cook tomatoes with olive oil, coconut oil, or Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil. You can also serve tomatoes together with organic beef.
Is Tomato Sauce Good For Gut Health?
Researchers in Spain from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) published their findings in the Journal of Functional Foods. They observed that as both raw and cooked, tomatoes are digestive and their antioxidant levels are reduced. Also, the antioxidants in cooked tomatoes had a positive effect on the L. reuteri, which is a bacteria that’s found in the gut. In addition, the antioxidants in cooked tomatoes were able to preserve their integrity during the digestive process. This led to more of them being absorbed into the body.
Cooked Tomatoes Slow Down The Growth Of Malignant Prostate Cells
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men all over the world. A study done by the University of Illinois revealed that high levels of tomato intake reduce the risk of prostate cancer. This can lead us to conclude that tomatoes really are superfoods. This research was published in the Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Disease journal.
When Tomatoes Do More Harm Than Good
As much as tomatoes really are superfoods, there are cases where you should avoid them. You must avoid canned foods. The bisphenol-A (BPA) in the cans can leak into the tomatoes due to the high acidity of tomatoes. Make sure that you use fresh tomatoes instead or those packed in glass containers. Raw tomatoes contain lectins which are high in sugar content. They can lead to weight gain, inflammation, and a leaky gut. Instead of eating tomatoes raw, be sure that you cook them first. Also, you may consider removing the seeds in tomatoes to reduce their lectin levels. You should limit your consumption of tomatoes due to some of the negative effects that they have on the body.
You may also enjoy reading an additional Off The Grid News article: The Remarkable Health Benefits Of Ordinary Tomatoes 
What do you think about the “superfood” potential of cooked tomatoes? Let us know in the comments below.