A significant amount of research substantiates the benefits of tomato products in lowering the risk of colon and prostate cancers. This is thought to occur because of tomatoes’ high carotenoid content, specifically lycopene and beta-carotene. Tomato paste has been recommended over whole fresh tomatoes because of the concentration of the protective carotenoids. Yet, the peels of the tomato are normally eliminated during processing. Research has again confirmed that Mother Nature knows best: consuming whole, natural foods is best! When tomato paste that included the peels was compared to traditional paste made without peels, subjects absorbed 41-75% more of the carotenoids when eating the whole tomato product.
PositiveTip: Choose whole foods for the best nutrition–including whole tomato preparations!