Tomatoes are rich source of many nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, B7, excellent vitamin C, folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, chromium, choline, zinc, and phosphorus. usually tomatoes are used in the puree form for making curries or gravies for vegetables, pastas, stews , etc
Tomato paste is produced by simmering fresh tomatoes until they begin to break apart. Then they’re strained to remove the skin and seeds, and cooked for at least several hours, until their moisture evaporates and they become a thick paste.
Unlike other foods which we know are more beneficial when consumed raw and fresh with very little processing to retain nutritive value, tomatoes are an exception to this norm.
Seems counter-intuitive. No?
Here’s why tomato paste provides more health benefits than whole tomatoes!
Processing of tomatoes increases the availability of the antioxidant lycopene in the body. Lycopene has shown to have benefits in heart disease, blood pressure problems, prostate cancers, osteoporosis and many others.
Mediterranean style cooking involves cooking of tomatoes in olive oil which further enhances absorption of the fat soluble vitamins from the tomatoes.
Health benefits of tomato paste
- Carotenoids in tomato paste can reduce the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol particles thereby preventing blockage of blood vessels
- Lycopene rich tomato paste has protective effects on the skin. it reduces redness of the skin exposed to UV light
- Some research supports the role of lycopene in reducing risk of asthma by protecting the lungs from infection.
- With its strong anti-oxidative potential, tomato juice is an ideal sports drink since it can combat the oxidative stress generated due to exercise in the body.
- Studies have also shown that consuming 300ml of tomato juice daily reduced the waist circumference and body weight in young women
So, next time if someone talks about whole food being much better than processed equivalent, you’ll know of something that doesn’t fit this norm!
Stay healthy with eKincare – your personal health manager!
Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.