Tomatoes make it onto my superfood list due to their particularly high lycopene content. Lycopene is a potent anti-cancer antioxidant, also found in other red foods such as watermelon, that is particularly protective against prostate cancer.
I love to eat fresh tomatoes but somehow juicing, mashing or cooking the tomatoes makes the lycopene more bioavailable. Consequently tomato puree and passata are better sources of lycopene than raw tomatoes and a good example of why you should eat your veggies both cooked and raw.
As with my other superfoods it's super easy to add extra tomato into your diet:
- use passata with herbs as a quick easy pasta sauce
- add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to your bologneise or lasagna to give it an extra rich flavour
- top wholemeal toast with a mix of tomato puree and tinned sardines and grill for a quick snack
- make your own healthy pita pizza with a wholemeal pita, spread with tomato puree plus your favourite pizza toppings and grilled for a few minutes.
- when eating out go for tomato based sauces whether it's a pasta or curry dish that you're ordering. These are usually the lower fat healthier options anyway.