Cooked tomatoes 'better for you than raw'
Scientists say cooked tomatoes are much better for you than raw ones.
They say sauces and stews made from the fruit fight heart disease and increase its effectiveness against cancers.
The research dispels the popular notion that processed fruits and vegetables have lower nutritional value than fresh produce.
Scientists in New York say the heat of cooking makes the tomatoes' healthy compounds easier to absorb.
Experts at Cornell University also found cooking reduces the level of vitamin C.
But they say this loss is more than outweighed by the benefits.
Dr Rui Hai Liu and colleagues heated tomato samples to 88 degrees Celsius for two minutes, 15 minutes and 30 minutes.
Levels of healthy lycopenes, which give tomatoes their red colour, increased in each case as did antioxidant levels.
Trans-lycopene rose by 54%, 171% and 164% during the three treatments. Cis-lycopene levels rose by 6%, 17% and 35% and antioxidants increased by 28%, 34% and 62%.
Story filed: 10:59 Monday 22nd April 2002