Tomatoes are one of people's favorite health foods. They are easy to get all year long, though summer is the best season, and are low in calories but give a feeling of satiety. They also contain lycopene, an antioxidant that can slow aging.
Tomatoes contain 14 kcal per 100 g. An average tomato weighs 160 g, which roughly translates into 22 kcal, making it an excellent choice for those trying to lose weight. The lycopene found in tomatoes, which is what makes them turn red when fully ripe, helps improve vascular function, strengthen the immune system and prevent cancer.
Tomatoes have different lycopene content depending on the varieties. The deeper the red color and the smaller the size, the more lycopene they contain.
In order to maximize the effect of the antioxidant, it is best to cook the tomato in cooking oil because Lycopene melts into the oil when heated. On the other hand, a better way to absorb tomatoes’ water-soluble nutrients like vitamins and minerals is to eat them raw. And it is not a good idea to sprinkle them with sugar because the vitamin B in tomatoes is used by the body to digest the sugar rather than being absorbed.
It is advised to soak tomatoes in water for more than five minutes before rinsing to get harmful chemicals such as pesticides off.