nutritional properties and characteristics of the so-called “superfoods” They have turned them into key foods that cannot be missing from the new healthy diet.
Foods such as chia seeds, avocados or broccoli have become popular and have increased demand significantly.
Among those known as “superfoods”, tomatoes stand out (Solanum lycopersicum). This is a vegetable from America, which came to Europe and Asia along with the Spanish colonialists.
Properties of tomatoes
- Low Calorie: it contains only 18 calories per 100 grams due to its high water content (95%).
- Sweet and sour taste: its pleasant taste is due to simple sugars and organic acids such as citric and malic.
- Promotes Digestion: organic acids make it appetizing and digestive.
- Low fiber, but effective: contains 1.8% fiber, which is enough to improve intestinal transit.
- Antioxidant vitamins: rich in vitamins C, E and A (beta-carotene), which prevent aging and strengthen the immune system.
- B vitamins: especially B1, B6 and folic acid, good for energy and nervous system.
- Mineral abundance: rich in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, covering part of the daily requirement.
- High content of lycopene: contains approximately 3000 mcg/100 g of lycopene, an antioxidant with a characteristic red color.
- Strengthens bones: The lycopene present in tomatoes promotes bone health, especially in postmenopausal women.
- Cancer protection: Tomato provides significant protection against various forms of cancer in organs such as the kidneys, prostate, lungs, intestines, and stomach. Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, is more effective than vitamin E in fighting cancer. and enhanced when combined with other carotenoids such as phytoin, lutein and beta-carotene. The latter can also be converted to vitamin A, essential for skin, eyes, bone growth and regeneration, and the formation of embryonic tissue.
- Cardiovascular health: Studies show that a daily dose of 7 mg of lycopene (equivalent to two and a half tomatoes) improves the flexibility of blood vessels, thereby reducing the risk of recurrence in patients with heart disease. A previous study followed 1,000 men aged 46 to 65 for 12 years and found that people with higher levels of lycopene in their blood 60% less risk of heart attack.
- Improves cellular health: the tomato also stands out for its ability to protect body cells. The lycopene it contains plays a fundamental role in prevention of premature aging and in rreduced risk of disease such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, blindness and deafness.
What is better to eat raw or boiled tomatoes?
Foods derived from boiled tomatoes stand out as the main sources of lycopene.. This connection absorbs three times more efficiently after heat destroys cell membranes and allow your release.
Therefore, the richest forms of lycopene are purees, especially sauces and concentrates. This concentration increases even more when prepared at home with seasoned ripe tomatoes and olive oilsince the latter makes it easier to assimilate.