Nutritionists and other health experts advice us to eat a hefty serving of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. While produce contains the most nutritional value during its harvest season, there are certain fruits and vegetables, which are packed immediately after they are harvested, that seal in beneficial compounds. As a matter of fact, some produce may even contain higher levels of key vitamins and nutrients than fresh varieties, and tomatoes are a great example.
Dietitian and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokeswoman, Marisa Moore, says that canned tomatoes have higher amounts of lycopene than fresh tomatoes. Lycopene is a flavonoid antioxidant, and a unique phytochemical compound. Lycopene may help protect the body from harmful oxygen-free radicals, as well as the skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays, offering defense against cancer.
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