My Raw Foodie friends will hate me for this article. Because I proved them WRONG! It’s first time I’ve ever been able to win an argument with them. The problem being is they’re usually right. You know the enthusiasts that believe it’s “Raw Or Nothing”.
It’s Hard To Argue With Raw Foodies!
The raw food enthusiasts believe that raw foods are full of nutrients and that any processing whatsoever ruins them. They generally won’t even concede the point that a person is better off sautéing some spinach in garlic and olive oil then not eating spinach at all. The say you’re lowering the nutritional value and they aren’t wrong.
Their downfall came with the befuddling tomato. The tomato was once thought to be poisonous and continues to baffle people today commonly referred to as a vegetable.
Raw Tomatoes Are Full Of Nutrients
The tomato, whether you call it a fruit, vegetable or berry is loaded with vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent source of vitamins C, B6 and K, betacarotene, biotin, niacin, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, iron, zinc and selenium. Like other fruits and vegetables, when you cook them those vitamins and minerals start disappearing.
But It’s All About The Lycopene!
The tomato stands apart in its abundance of lycopene. Lycopene is one of the most powerful antioxidants. In general antioxidants scavenge free radicals. Thereby preventing those free radicals from causing cell mutations thought to be the cause of cancer and other diseases. Lycopene is thought to be effective in preventing and fighting many forms of Cancer. In particular, lycopene is thought to be vital in preventing and treating prostate cancer.
If You Have A Prostate You Want Lycopene
1 out or every 6 men will be diagnosed wit prostate cancer. That statistic alone makes the lycopene in tomatoes a valuable commodity. Sounds like the raw food enthusiasts win again? Wrong!
Cooking tomatoes greatly increases the amount of lycopene. Sure it does decrease the other nutritional benefits, but you can get those nutrients from numerous other sources. When it comes to tomatoes, lycopene is where it’s at.
Cooked Tomatoes More Valuable Than Raw!
In tests cooking tomatoes at 88 degrees celsius for 30 minutes showed a 164% increase of lycopene with a corresponding 29% drop in vitamin c levels. In fact cooking tomatoes with some type of fat, such as olive oil increases the amount of lycopene absorbed.
The anti cancer benefits of Lycopene trump the loss of other nutrients due to cooking. Those nutrients are easily attained by juicing various other fruits and vegetables. Even the staunchest raw foodies have to admit Cooked Tomatoes Are Better Than Raw!
How To Get Your Lycopene!
One simple and cost effective way to get your daily dose of lycopene is tomato juice. You can see by the chart below that tomato juice is the best source for Lycopene. While typically both costly and loaded with sodium when purchased from the store, ther is an alternative.
Use Organic Tomato Paste To Make Tomato Juice
Tomato paste is just concentrated tomatoes. Much like frozen orange juice concentrate, you can make tomato juice from tomato paste. Just combine 4 cans of water for every can of Organic tomato paste. Very low in sodium which allows you to control the amount of sodium you have in your tomato juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.