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Ask the Expert Archive

Do tomatoes have to be cooked in order to reap the vitamin benefits? If so, how long must they be cooked?

Tomatoes and all fruits and vegetables offer vitamin and mineral benefits in all forms (fresh, frozen, cooked, dried, canned, or 100% juice). There is some evidence that heating tomatoes makes their lycopene more available to the body, yet heat also begins to reduce their vitamin C content – bottom line is that no matter how you like to enjoy your tomatoes, they will provide you with numerous vitamins and minerals. See our Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Tomatoes.
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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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