It takes from 8 to 14 kilograms of fresh tomatoes to make a single kilogram of sundried tomatoes. Can you imagine how nutrients-dense sundried tomatoes are? After spending 4–10 days in the sun, ripe tomatoes lose most of their water and become concentrated delicacy with rich tomato flavour. Actually, they are a treasure chest full of many essential nutrients: proteins, dietary fiber, vitamins A, C and B6, iron, potassium, and lycopene.
Sundried tomatoes are heavenly tasty on a burger, in a sauce, salad or made into a spread. But they are far more than just a delicious food.
A number of studies suggest that sun-dried tomatoes may reduce stroke and cancer risks. Last but not least, lycopene may act as a natural Viagra, but without Viagra-like side-effects.
If you’ve never tried sundried tomatoes, you should.
Sundried Tomatoes Nutritional Value
After spending 4–10 days in the sun, ripe tomatoes lose most of their water and become concentrated delicacy with rich tomato flavour. It takes from 8 to 14 kilograms of fresh tomatoes to make a single kilogram of sundried tomatoes.
Sundried tomatoes not only keep all their nutritional value, but even improve it. A 100-gram serving of them contains:
- calories – 213
- total fat – 14g (21% of the Daily Value, DV)
- total carbohydrate – 23g, including 6g of dietary fiber (24% DV)
- protein – 5g (10% DV)
- vitamin A – 25% DV
- vitamin C – 102mg (169% DV)
- vitamin B6 – 3mg (20% DV)
- sodium266mg (11% DV)
- potassium1565mg (44% DV)
- iron – 3mg (15% DV)
Sundried tomatoes are high in lycopene and vitamin C. They are also naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free, and gluten-free.
Sun-Dried Tomatoes Natural Healing Power
Sundried tomatoes are a nutrient powerhouse. Just take a close look at their content for one more time. Antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, fats, proteins … they contain so many goodies. But today, we’ll talk only about one of them – lycopene.
Sundried tomatoes is the richest source of lycopene
Sun-dried tomatoes are the best source of lycopene that has extremely important health benefits. Sun drying of tomatoes increases the concentration of bioavailable lycopene: they contain up to four times more content of bioavailable lycopene compared to raw tomatoes. Cooking tomatoes and serving in oil-rich dishes greatly increases assimilation of lycopene from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. Experts also advise that eating sundried tomatoes (as well as fresh ones) with healthy fats such as sunflower oil, avocado, cheese, nuts or yoghurt can increase the absorption rate of lycopene by as much as five to seven times.
Tomatoes and tomato-based sauces account for more than 85% of the dietary intake of lycopene for most people.
According to Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, lycopene-rich tomatoes linked to lower stroke and prostate cancer risks. Eating tomatoes in any form more than two times a week can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 21 to 43 percent. “We don’t really understand it entirely yet, but lycopene may have specific properties that protect the cell in a way other antioxidants may not.”
The Observed Safe Level for lycopene is 75mg/day, according to one preliminary study (Shao A, Hathcock JN, 2006, “Risk assessment for the carotenoids lutein and lycopene”, “Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology”).
However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “…concludes that there is no credible evidence supporting a relationship between lycopene consumption, either as a food ingredient, a component of food, or as a dietary supplement, and any of these cancers.”
Sun-dried tomatoes – natural Viagra?
A number of studies suggested that erectile dysfunction could be cured with lycopene. Lycopene has been shown to help relax blood vessels and increase blood flow to the penis, just like Viagra, but without Viagra-like side-effects. Don’t believe it? It won’t hurt to try. Don’t forget that lycopene is a fat-soluble thing; it is absorbed best when combined with fat.