No added salt concentrated tomato paste.
BENEFITS OF TOMATO AND TOMATO PRODUCTS
- Cancer: As an excellent source of the strong antioxidant vitamin C and other antioxidants, tomatoes can help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer.
- Blood pressure: Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake may be just as important because of its vasodilation effects.
- Antioxidants: The process of making tomato paste makes some of the antioxidants in tomatoes more bioavailable. Antioxidants are compounds that scavenge free radicals in the body associated with disease and aging.
- Heart health: The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and choline content in tomatoes all support heart health.
- Diabetes: Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One cup of cherry tomatoes provides about 2 grams of fiber.
- Skin: Collagen, the skins support system, is reliant on vitamin C as an essential nutrient that works in our bodies as an antioxidant to help prevent damage caused by the sun, pollution and smoke, smooth wrinkles and improve overall skin texture.
- Constipation: Eating foods that are high in water content and fiber like tomatoes can help to keep you hydrated and your bowel movements regular. Fiber is essential for minimizing constipation and adding bulk to the stool.
- Pregnancy: Adequate folic acid intake is essential for pregnant women to protect against neural tube defects in infants.
- Depression: The folic acid in tomatoes may also help with depression by preventing an excess of homocysteine from forming in the body, which can prevent blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain.
Lycopene is a naturally occurring chemical that gives fruits and vegetables a red color. It is one of a number of pigments called carotenoids. Lycopene is found in watermelons, pink grapefruits, apricots, and pink guavas. It is found in particularly high amounts in tomatoes and tomato products like ketchup, tomato paste, processed tomato products, and red pepper.
Researchers showed that lycopene is absorbed much easier and faster in the processed tomato products like ketchup, tomato paste and puree, tomato sauces, than the natural fresh tomato, from which lycopene is partially absorbed. Due to the increased sectional area of the processed tomato as a result of processing which causes the significant decrease of particle size, the digestion process would be much faster, and therefore the absorption of lycopene would be much easier and efficient. It is recommended to consume the foods containing lycopene with oil, or fat, since lycopene is soluble in fat, and therefore, the efficiency of getting benefits from its presence increases.