Canned tomato paste, juice, and sauce deliver the most lycopene, an antioxidant that has long been studied for its heart health benefits, including reducing inflammation and possibly lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow, and affecting fats in the blood. While raw tomatoes are also good for you, oil and heat make it easier for your body to absorb lycopene. Other essential nutrients in tomatoes support heart health, and it may be this precise combination that delivers the goods. So go ahead and slather whole-grain pasta with marinara sauce, request extra pizza sauce, or drink a Bloody Mary to get more lycopene in your diet.
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