tomatoes & health, Simple Tomato Sauce

Healthwhy canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and even ketchup are good for you

Beauty tomato lotions, creams and cleansers

Editors' Picksrating tomato pastes and canned tomatoes

Ingredients tomato paste and its Sicilian cousin, estratto

Tomatoes & Health

Which is more nutritious, a summer tomato just off the vine or ketchup? The answer, though it might surprise you, is ketchup. That's because foods made with cooked tomatoes (tomato paste, tomato soup, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce) and sun-dried tomatoes are more concentrated sources of lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant. (Lycopene is the plant pigment that makes tomatoes red and watermelon pink.) Several research studies have shown that lycopene can reduce the risk of prostate cancer; other studies suggest that it can help ward off cervical cancer. Although tomatoes are fairly modest in vitamins and minerals, nonetheless, because we eat so many of them—both raw and cooked—they rank high as an overall source of vitamins A and C in the American diet.

Primo Paste

Tomato paste is nothing more than peeled, seeded tomatoes cooked down until thick. In an F&W taste test of eight supermarket varieties, the winner was Pastene, described as "sweet but with an intense tomatoey flavor." The top specialty paste was Amore, judged as "light and clean, with a summery taste." Amore is packaged in tubes instead of cans, so it stays fresh for months after being opened. Amore tomato paste and estratto—an artisanal paste from Sicily that's made by drying pulp in the sun—are available from

Beauty of Tomatoes

Lancôme Impactive is a face cream whose ingredients include tomato extract, which contains the antioxidant lycopene ($38 for 1.7 ounces; 800-526-2663).

Kiehl's Lycopene Facial Moisturizing Lotion contains lycopene, plus beta-carotene and vitamin E, two other skin-repairing antioxidants, in a lightweight lotion ($35 for 1.7 ounces; 800-543-4572).

Face Stockholm Vegetable Toner pairs tomato extract with softening lemongrass essential oil in a water-based toner that dissolves soap and cleanser residue ($20 for 8 ounces; 888-334-3223).

BeComing Transfirm Contouring Treatment with tomato, shiitake mushroom and olive-leaf extracts prevents the breakdown of skin-firming collagen and elastin ($35 for 1.7 ounces; 866-423-2663).

DDF Anti-Oxidant Cleansing Bar is a face soap containing lycopene, plus moisturizing glycerin, vitamin C and five other antioxidants ($20 for 4.3 ounces; 800-437-7546).