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Cooking red tomatoes: healthy lycopene increases


Cook tomatoes more often
When cooking, healthy ingredients of fruits and vegetables are lost in whole or in part. This rule applies to a whole series of "inner values": the sensitive vitamin C and many secondary plant substances are destroyed, minerals and water-soluble vitamins are washed out. An exception is the secondary plant substance lycopene. It is found to a large extent in tomatoes, especially in their skins, and is the reason why the delicious fruits should be cooked more often.

Just like beta-carotene (provitamin A), lycopene belongs to the group of carotenoids, the yellow-red plant dyes. In terms of quantity, lycopene is way ahead in terms of quantity: it makes up about 90 percent of its total carotenoid content. Numerous studies indicate that lycopene has several health-promoting effects: On the one hand, it has an antioxidative effect, i.e. it breaks down aggressive oxygen compounds and thus helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and arteriosclerosis. Secondly, lycopene has anti-carcinogenic properties. In the early stages of cancer development, it suppresses the conversion of damaged cells to cancer cells and may thus prevent certain types of cancer from developing.

The lycopene is heat-stable and is largely preserved during cooking and careful processing. At the same time, the water content of the fruit is reduced so drastically that the proportion of lycopene in heated tomatoes is considerably higher than that in raw tomatoes: 100 grams of tomato puree contain 21.7 milligrams of lycopene, but the same amount of raw tomatoes only contains 2.5 milligrams . In addition, the dye from heated fruits is more readily available. Reason enough to add variety to the menu and to cook tomatoes more often or to make ketchup yourself in the future.
Eva Neumann, aid

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