So, this big burly beefsteak tomato's walking through the vegetable patch with a petite cherry tomato. The cherry tomato can't keep up with the speedy big boy, so the beefsteak says, "Hey, cherry tomato—catch up!"
Comedy club material? Not really. But there's nothing funny at all about the health benefits of tomatoes. Lycopene in tomatoes helps protect not only against prostate cancer, but breast, pancreatic and intestinal cancers, especially when eaten with fat-rich foods, like avocado, olive oil or nuts.
Scientists have a fancy term for lycopene absorption: bioavailability. I always tell my patients that they can get the most nutritional benefit from tomatoes by eating them cooked, in sauces, soups, stews and salsas. Cooking some high-lycopene foods zaps the nutrient, but tomatoes are different. Cooking actually increases the lycopene content bioavailability to your system.
Tomatoes are a very good source of potassium, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate. Diets rich in potassium have been shown to lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. And niacin can be used to raise your healthy cholesterol (HDL).
Take full advantage of the health benefits of lycopene.
Here's a refreshing and good-for-you ChefMD®-approved recipe featuring roasted plum tomatoes.