2. Tomatoes + Olive Oil
Lycopene — a carotenoid antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables like tomatoes and watermelon a pink or red color — is one of the key reasons why tomatoes are so good for you. However, when you eat tomatoes with olive oil, the antioxidant activity of the lycopene is increased.2 Lycopene is a fat-soluble nutrient, which means eating it with some dietary fat is essential in order for it to be properly absorbed. But this doesn’t explain the whole picture.When researchers combined tomatoes with sunflower oil, the activity of lycopene did not increase, which suggests there’s something especially beneficial about the olive oil. If you’re a fan of tomato sauce, you’re in luck as well, as lycopene is one example of a nutrient that becomes more bioavailable when it’s cooked. Research shows that cooking tomatoes (such as in tomato sauce or tomato paste) increases the lycopene content that can be absorbed by your body. It also increases the total antioxidant activity. So one of the healthiest ways to consume tomatoes may be in an organic tomato sauce, drizzled with organic olive oil.