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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