Plow Maker Farms
Why You Should Eat Orange Tomatoes
Picture: An orange Tangerine tomato poses for a close up. Don't let the modest demeanor fool you; this simple fruit packs a flavorful nutritional punch.
Tomatoes have a high concentration of lycopene; a colorful antioxidant that may help reduce cancer risk and decrease inflammation. Lycopene can be present in different forms in fruits and vegetables. Recent studies have found that orange tomatoes, like Tangerine, have a form of lycopene called tetra-cis-lycopene while red tomatoes have a form called trans-lycopene.
Scientists studied red and orange (Tangerine) tomatoes to see which forms of lycopene were most effective. In this cross over study, volunteers consumed 2 ounces of either a red or a orange tomato sauce daily. These men and women eliminated other food sources of lycopene for one week prior to and during the study. Volunteers' lycopene levels and oxidative damage were measured each week.
Both red and orange tomatoes increased lycopene concentration and reduced oxidative damage. However, total lycopene concentrations increased more after consuming Tangerine tomatoes when compared to red tomatoes. Likewise, there was less oxidative damage in the volunteers consuming orange tomatoes when compared to people consuming red tomatoes.
Due to this, researchers found that orange Tangerine tomatoes were a better source of lycopene than red tomatoes. The lycopene in orange tomatoes, tetra-cis-lycopene, is easier for the body to absorb.
Burri BJ, Chapman MH, Neidlinger TR, Seo JS, Ishida BK. Tangerine tomatoes increase total and tetra-cis-lycopene isomer concentrations more than red tomatoes in healthy adult humans. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2009;60 Suppl 1:1-16. doi: 10.1080/09637480701782084Pubmed.