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What is tomato sauce used for? “I did not expect that”

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The tomato certainly represents one of the symbols of our Mediterranean diet, in addition to being a food with important nutritional properties capable of offering multiple health benefits to the body. In particular, the tomato is rich in micronutrients and antioxidants and is one of the best sources of carotenoids, especially lycopene, the well-known pigment that gives it its typical red color. Scientific research has shown that lycopene is better absorbed by the body when tomatoes are cooked because they have more bioavailable amounts than normal tomatoes.

Let’s see the benefits: 1. Antioxidant Explosion: The antioxidants present are able to counter the oxidative stress underlying aging and chronic disease. The presence of vitamins C and E contributes to reinforce this antioxidant value of the product. Lycopene, on the other hand, apart from also having anti-inflammatory properties, has important anti-cancer properties.
2. Excellent for eye and skin health: Tomato sauce, thanks to the significant presence of lycopene, can have extremely positive effects on eye and skin health; carotenoids are able to offer protection against UV rays, significantly reducing the damage caused by prolonged exposure.

3. Weapon to fight against osteoporosis: Lycopene can be useful in the fight against osteoporosis and scientific evidence shows how it can play a protective role in regulating bone metabolism, increasing bone mineral density and reducing the risk of fractures. However, the density of the bone matrix depends on the balance between certain cells called osteoblasts (responsible for the synthesis of the bone matrix) and the osteoclasts (important in bone remodeling).
4. Cardioprotective action: Regular consumption of tomatoes is associated with a decrease in total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and therefore, consequently, with a lower cardiovascular risk, thanks to the presence of vitamin C.

Which tomato sauce to choose? It is certainly always better to choose the one based only on tomatoes because many tomato sauces on the market contain high amounts of salt and added sugars; so it is good to opt for sauces that only contain tomatoes and nothing else. Small tip: in order to improve the absorption of carotenoids and in particular lycopene, it is always useful to season it with extra-virgin olive oil. Be careful though. Be aware that tomato sauce can have negative effects in certain circumstances so it is not recommended to consume it, especially for those who suffer from gastritis or gastroesophageal reflux disease.

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