The pigment in red tomatoes is known as lycopene and this is why it makes great sense to add this delicious fruit to salads and sandwiches and anywhere else in your diet that you can. Lycopene is an antioxidant, and we all know that antioxidants protect our bodies against free radicals with their neutralizing effect.
Not only do tomatoes taste good but they also pack a greater wallop in the fight against cancer than the powerful nutrient called beta-carotene. Studies have even shown that lycopene tends to concentrate in men’s prostate gland which means it protects it from growth of tumors.
Tomatoes fight six types of cancers, and recent research suggests that they do not have to be red to supply the necessary cancer fighting nutrients. No longer are we limited to the color red when it comes to tomatoes. The red tomato has made room on the grocery store shelves for other colors as well. They can be found in tangerine, yellow and purple varieties which make for more colorful salads for sure.
Some studies have even shown that tangerine and orange tomatoes may provide lycopene that absorbs better than that found in red tomatoes. The truth is that there are two different forms of lycopene. Red tomatoes contain trans-lycopene and orange and yellow tomatoes contain tetra-cis-lycopene.
In a Portugal study conducted recently, various varieties of tomatoes were compared according to bioactive components. Here is what was found during the study:
Four tomato varieties showed an abundance of a flavonoid known as qercetin-3-0-pentosyl-rutinoside.
- Amarelo (yellow) and Batateiro (round) tomatoes were abundant in cis p-coumaric acid.
- Comprido (long) and Coracao (heart) tomato varieties were found to have abundant 4-O-caffeoylquinic acid content.
The highest levels of phenolic compounds were found in yellow tomatoes.
When you go shopping next time, done forget to pick out some delicious looking tomatoes and don’t be afraid to choose some different colors such as yellow. They are good for you and will boost your health and increase your immunity. Put some in your salads, on your sandwiches, or eat them all by themselves.
They are so good, and from what you have learned here, they are also good for you. Who said healthy had to taste bad?