Investigative journalist Jo Robinson has spent the past 15 years poring over science journals to find out which tomatoes have the most lycopene, the best way to prepare garlic to get the most allicin, and what type of lettuce is really the best for you. The results of her work are found in her new book, 'Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health,' a user's guide to picking the fruits and vegetables that offer the best nutrition. "It's not about buying exotic, expensive things," Robinson says. To the contrary, Robinson explains, it's far more useful to know how to pick winners among common lettuces, apples, and carrots. Here are 10 fruits and vegetables Robinson thinks we should all be eating more of, and the best way to prepare them to maximize their nutritional impact.
Canned Cherry Tomatoes
Despite the glossy allure a perfectly ripened heirloom may have, as a general rule, the smaller the tomato, the better it is in terms of health value. The smallest known variety, the impossible-to-find cranberry tomato, has the most lycopene of all. But the general principle stands that the smaller the tomato, the more lycopene it has, and in your average supermarket, cherry tomatoes are your best bet. And another one of those surprise fruits that turn out to be better canned than fresh are processed tomatoes – whether they're canned, blended, juiced, or cooked in sauces; these also help to increase the absorbable lycopene. To that point, on-the-vine tomatoes are best avoided at a supermarket because they tend to be picked well before they're ripe and so have a fraction of the same nutritional profile.
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