Raw tomatoes are good for you (lotsa vit C), but cooked tomatoes are even more nutritious. After 30 minutes of simmering, the molecular trans- form of lycopene changes to cis-, a more more absorbable form. Lycopene is an even more potent antioxidant than vit C. This is why canned (picked at peak freshness and immediately cooked) tomato products are better for you than fresh, especially when they are not in season locally. Tomato paste is even more concentrated in lycopene. Cornell University research.