Which tomatoes are high in lycopene?

Which tomatoes are high in lycopene?

Lycopene is a potent antioxidant found in zillions in the unexceptionable red fruit of the unobtrusive tomato. Thought to be one of the key reasons that the Mediterranean nutrition is so healthy, it’s not only good for your soul but unconfined for your heart and gut too. Here are just some of the tomatoes that contain the highest levels of lycopene.

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What is lycopene?

Lycopene is a unexceptionable red recipe found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, but expressly in tomatoes. A powerful antioxidant with the worthiness to mop up rabble-rousing self-ruling radicals in the body, it’s moreover believed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Lycopene benefits gut health by shifting the wastefulness of microbes in favour of ‘good bacteria’ and increasing bacterial diversity which is now considered a cornerstone of digestive health.

Does cooking reduce the lycopene content of tomatoes?

Roma tomatoes growing on vine
‘Crimson Plum’ is a ‘Roma’ style fruit with rich, deep flavour and solid meaty flesh
Image: Tomato seeds ‘Crimson Plum’ from Suttons

Cooking can deplete the levels of nutrients like vitamin C in some fruit and vegetables. But the opposite is true of the lycopene found in tomatoes. In fact, considering cooking breaks lanugo some of the lamina walls in the fruit, it unquestionably increases the bioavailability of the compound, making it easier to absorb. That’s unconfined news if you love to make your homegrown tomatoes into succulent tomato sauces or chutneys.

Which tomatoes contain the most lycopene?

Small ripe tomatoes growing on vine with singular unripe fruit in background
‘Crimson Cherry’ is the platonic variety for small pots, baskets, or any outdoor containers
Image: Tomato seeds ‘Crimson Cherry’ from Suttons

Maybe it’s the love and superintendency you show your plants; maybe it’s all that rich organic matter you dig into your soil each year; but research shows that homegrown tomatoes contain increasingly lycopene than commercially produced fruit. That said, some varieties are naturally higher in this healthy antioxidant recipe than others. Here are a few lycopene-rich tomato varieties to try:

  • Crimson Cherry’: Of all the tomatoes, cherry and roma varieties are the highest in lycopene, and, for us, Crimson Cherry comes top of the heap. The fruits are delightfully sweet with a tangy finish that makes them platonic for summer salads. An widow bonus, the plants are bred for blight-resistance, making them a top nomination for gardeners everywhere.
  • Crimson Plum’: An spanking-new option for sauces, this Roma-style tomato features firm mankind with few seeds. Stuffed with lycopene, it’s flipside variety that offers superb sear resistance.
  • Sungold’: For a golden tomato with heaps of lycopene, try this variety. An RHS medal winner that continues to yield into winter in a tomfool greenhouse, it’s a hit with gardeners.
  • Sweet Aperitif’: Flipside sweet cherry tomato, this little gem is upper in lycopene and renowned for its heavy cropping. A combination of upper sugar and upper wounding content makes this a sweet welter which remains refreshingly tangy.

Lycopene is just one of the many antioxidants found in colourful fruit and veg. Interested in why growing your own could requite you measurably increasingly nutritious food? Read our guide for increasingly info.

Lead image: Tomato seeds ‘Sweet Aperitif’ from Suttons

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