Organic Tomatoes Contain More Antioxidants Than Conventional Tomatoes
Eating organic food won't just keep you from ingesting potentially harmful chemicals. A recent study suggests that organic tomatoes might actually contain more antioxidants - known as phenolic compounds - than conventional tomatoes.
The researchers examined the phenolic compound content of conventional and organic Daniela tomatoes and determined that they contained 34 phenolic compounds. They then compared the levels of these compounds in the two types of tomatoes and found that organic tomatoes had statistically higher levels of these important antioxidants.
The researchers hypothesized that this difference in nutrient value is due to the fact that organic produce does not use nitrogenous fertilizers. This forces plants to activate their own defense mechanisms, which increases the level of antioxidants.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Barcelona. The findings were published on April 4, 2012, in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Previous studies have shown that tomatoes may help reduce high levels of cholesterol and improve heart health. Tomatoes are an important part of the “Mediterranean Diet,” which has been shown to be one of the healthiest diets in the world.
If you decide to increase your tomato consumption by adding more processed products such as conventional soups, pasta sauces and ketchup to your diet, be sure to check the sodium and sugar contents, as they can be quite high.