Studies show that cooking certain foods makes it easier for the body to absorb nutrients. Tomatoes are one of these foods. Cooked tomatoes allow the body to absorb more lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. You'll also get a nice dose of vitamins A and C.
Whether stewed, crushed or pureed -- canned tomatoes are a cost-effective meal starter. You can buy a can of tomatoes at your grocery store for around a dollar, and often for less if you buy generic or on sale. A 14.5 ounce can provides about 3.5 servings -- a cost of about 28 cents per serving.
Even better, if you combine lycopene with a small amount of fat -- say, olive oil -- absorption is even better. So go ahead and have Italian tonight. Don't forget the whole-wheat pasta.