When eaten in quarters or slices in salads or on sandwiches, tomatoes add a nice taste, a cool texture, and a fair amount of crunch. These tactile sensations are vitally important to a long-term eating strategy.
When eaten raw, tomatoes deliver ample amounts of fiber and vitamin C and a fair amount of vitamin A. The yellow fluid that surrounds tomato seeds is also a “mystery protectant” for your heart. The only real mystery is that hardly anyone knows about it!
Surprisingly, the not-so-lowly tomato’s strongest claim to a magic food status is that they are even more healthy when cooked. Our preference is to cook them with garlic and extra virgin olive oil.
Cooking makes the lycopene in tomatoes more bioavailable. Lycopene is a carotenoid that helps protects against certain types of cancer and promotes heart health.
The cooking/lycopene connection has turned up in studies dealing with prostate cancer. Men who eat the most cooked tomato foods show a decrease in prostate cancer.