Lycopene is an open-chain unsaturated carotene that imparts deep red color to the tomatoes! Lycopene is insoluble in water and soluble only in organic solvents and oil. The double bond present in them between 2 carbon atoms, yeah…that is the one, is responsible for that deep stain that you get every time you fix tomato based food…on the white plates, cooking vessels and on your shirt / fabrics (if you stained with tomato pickle, ketchup or sauce…its kind of hard to remove)!
Though lycopene is important factor for various bio synthetic pathways (at cellular level). Technically it ain’t that important nutrient for a human body, though we all widely use them in culinary!! Lets keep this info’ aside and look at the bright side!! Anyways, they are powerful antioxidants!! As usual they posses all the beneficial factors that an antioxidant should posses! Yea, Yeah…they neutralize the free radicals, there by reduce oxidative stress and prevents aging(cellular level). So thumbs up!!!
The interesting thing here is…neither eating them raw or juicing will won’t fetch the goodness!! So naturovores, please think again!! Sometimes ‘cooking’, well…again I mean, ‘Proper Cooking’ can only yield lycopene(bio-available)!!!
If you still prefer to eat ‘raw tomatoes’, may I suggest to add a slice of butter to it! If you prefer adding them to your salads, kindly add olive oil/any oil for the dressing!!
Caution: Though lot of people think tomatoes are good for cancer and especially prostate cancer, research has not confirmed it yet! Like most of the vitamins and minerals, high intake of tomatoes(or any lycopene rich fruits) can be dangerous, laterally! As over eating tomatoes shows highest risk of having cancer!! Over intake of calcium rich tomatoes may also considered responsible for kidney troubles! Moderation is key for everything.
Well…all these recipes are going to Sanghi’s tasty bites,’Tomato Event’!!