Did you know that using canned foods can provide you with both convenience and better health? Here’s what science has to say about canned tomatoes and higher nutrition intake.
In our modern times, we are all about convenience, especially when it comes to cooking. Although fruits and vegetable are important to include in our diet, many of us may gravitate towards easy, no hassle options that we can make in a pinch. Some of us may even feel guilty when we don’t spend hours in the kitchen prepping and cooking fresh vegetables. The good news is that you do not have to sacrifice valuable time to eat healthy!
Canned goods have been used for years to preserve the summertime crops and ensure that food was available all year round. Perhaps in these modern times, you may feel guilty about consuming processed foods because you are told that they are all bad for health. The truth is that not all processed foods are created equal. Technically, canned vegetables are considered processed, as they are washed, cooked, and prepared to stay fresh on your shelf for many months. With so little time in our busy schedules, why not utilize these canned options to have quick and easy produce available to us at any time of year?
There is a myth that canned vegetables are not as nutritious as fresh ones. This myth is false. In fact, research has shown that those who frequently consume canned foods tend to consume more nutrient-dense foods and have a higher nutrient intake compared to those who don’t consume canned foods . In this study, the group who consumed canned foods between 3-5 times per week had higher intakes of 17 essential vitamins and minerals including potassium, calcium, and fiber . One of the most nutritious processed foods that you can consume are canned tomatoes. This is because tomatoes contain a carotenoid called lycopene that is praised for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Lycopene is absorbed much between when tomatoes are cooked, which makes canned tomato products a great way to boost your nutrition!
While fresh produce is always a great idea, canned vegetables are a sure-fire way to ensure that your diet does not falter in times when you are not able to get to the farmers market. So go ahead and stock up your pantry with some delicious processed foods, including canned tomatoes!
Learn more about the benefits of lycopene with these resources:
- Comerford, K. (2015). Frequent canned food use is positively associated with nutrient-dense food group consumption and higher nutrient intakes in US children and adults. Nutrients, 7(7), 5586–5600. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7075240