I frequently hear that fresh foods are more healthy than processed food.

FoodProcessing published an article claiming:

Researchers at the University of Missouri found that processed tomato products fed to rats have better cancer-fighting benefits than tomatoes picked off the vine. That jives with recent studies that found processed tomato products, particularly tomato paste, may fight prostate cancer better than a fresh red tomato.

When all the relevant evidence is tallied, is there a case that either tomato paste or fresh tomatos are healthier?


This is because lycopene (red carotenoid pigment found in tomatoes that is responsible for most of their cancer fighting properties) becomes more easily absorbed by the human body when the tomatoes are cooked! On top of that, tomato paste is a form of concentrated cooked tomatoes, which means there's more lycopene per gram of the paste than per gram of raw tomato. Those two factors combined make tomato paste the healthiest form for consuming tomatoes!

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