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For years, many of us were taught that cooking vegetables broke down their vitamins and minerals. However, when it comes to tomatoes, cooking may actually help some of the vegetable’s health benefits. A Cornell University study has found that heat from cooking breaks down the tomatoes thick cell walls which releases greater amounts of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant linked to lower rates of cancer and heart attacks. However, cooking does lower Vitamin C levels in tomatoes by 29 percent. The best advice: Eat tomatoes in a variety of forms for full health benefits.

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