Organic Tomatoes Rich in Antioxidants

By Charlie Nardozzi

People choose organically grown produce over conventionally grown produce for a variety of reasons, such as minimizing pesticide exposure and preference for the taste. New research supports the idea that organically grown produce is better for your health, as well.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have completed a 10-year study evaluating the flavonoid content of tomatoes grown on organic and conventional farms. Flavonoids are touted as antioxidants that may help prevent illnesses such as cancer and dementia. Researchers tested dried samples of tomatoes grown organically and conventionally, and found the flavonoids quercitin and kaempferol were 79 percent and 97 percent higher, respectively, in the organic tomatoes. Also, the flavonoid levels increased over time, suggesting a potential greater long-term advantage of eating organically grown tomatoes.

Plants produce flavonoids in response to stress, and researchers theorize that organically grown crops have more insect and disease stress than conventionally raised crops, resulting in the higher levels.

For more information on this research, go to: Journal of Food and Agricultural Chemistry.

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