Knowledge of eating tomatoes

Natural pigment tomato red

Lycopene is one of the most widely distributed carotene natural pigments in nature. In the leaves of plants, the color of lycopene and other carotenoids is masked by chlorophyll. When the plants enter mature stage, the content of lycopene and other carotenoids can be revealed when the content of chlorophyll is reduced.

In 100 g of lycopene-containing fruits and vegetables, the content of lycopene is 0.2 to 20 mg of tomato, 2.3 to 7.2 mg of watermelon, 5.23 to 5.50 mg of guava (pink), and 0.1 to 5.3 of papaya. Mg, grapefruit (pink) 0.35 to 3.36 mg, carrot 0.65 to 0.78 mg, pumpkin 0.38 to 0.46 mg, sweet potato 0.02 to 0.11 mg, and apricots 0.01 to 0.05 mg.

Natural storage of lycopene

Tomatoes contain more than 20 carotenoids, such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, and lycopene accounts for about 80% to 90%. It can be said that tomatoes are the natural repository of lycopene.

The content of lycopene increases rapidly with the ripening of fruits, and the color of tomatoes can roughly determine the content of lycopene. In fresh tomato fruits, generally 3 to 5 mg of lycopene per 100 g of tomatoes. In the highest-content variety, up to 20 mg of lycopene is contained per 100 grams. In yellow tomatoes, there is only 0.5 mg lycopene per 100 grams. Summer tomatoes have higher lycopene content and lower winter content. The lycopene content of tomatoes grown in greenhouses is lower than that of tomatoes grown outdoors in summer, both in summer and winter.

A convincing vanguard of anticancer

Studies have shown that lycopene has the strongest role in scavenging reactive oxygen species in various natural carotenoids and has the effect of preventing various epithelial cancers such as prostate cancer and lung cancer. In human blood, the concentration of lycopene is inversely proportional to the incidence of cancer.

In 1994, Italian scholars conducted a comparative study of 2,706 patients with various gastrointestinal cancers and 2879 normal persons and found that increasing the intake of tomatoes had a protective effect on the digestive tract. Compared to people who do not eat tomatoes, the chance of developing digestive cancer can be reduced by 50% for at least one tomato a day.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States conducted a four-year follow-up study of more than 46 fruits and vegetables eaten by 48,000 men and found that they consumed at least 10 tomato products, such as tomatoes, tomato sauce and pizza sauce, per week. The chance of developing prostate cancer decreased by 34%. Women with high concentrations of lycopene in the body have less cervical cancer than women with lower concentrations of lycopene in the body.

Nourishing the eye and re-exerting supernatural powers

From the perspective of medical theory, lycopene can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease because it can prevent the oxidation of LDL in the blood. Some scholars have concluded from studies in 10 European countries that eating tomato products containing at least 40 mg of lycopene per day (equivalent to drinking two glasses of tomato juice) can significantly reduce the oxidation and occurrence of low-density lipoproteins in blood. Heart disease danger.

Cataracts and age-related macular degeneration are common eye diseases in the elderly. According to Maris Palman of the University of Wisconsin, a person with a high concentration of lycopene in the blood may have a 50% reduction in age-related macular degeneration compared with people with low concentrations of lycopene in the blood.

How to keep lycopene

When the tomatoes are heated during processing or cooking, some double bonds in the lycopene molecules contained in the lycopene molecules will change from trans to cis-structures, making the lycopene molecules bent and easily absorbed by the body. In addition, since lycopene is a fat-soluble nutrient, it is easy to absorb lycopene by cooking oil in tomatoes or oiling tomato products. However, lycopene can easily decompose and fail in the presence of light, heat and oxygen. Therefore, long-term high-temperature heating should be avoided, whether in the factory or in the home, in order to preserve more lycopene in products and dishes, thereby enhancing health care. effect.

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