Eating tomatoes reduces the risk of cancer

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and other plant pigments that reduce the risk of breast, prostate, ovarian, and colorectal cancer.

Tomatoes are low in calories and high in nutrients. One medium-sized raw tomato contains more than 1 g of fiber, 22 calories, potassium, vitamin A and lycopene which provide many health benefits.

Lycopene in tomatoes (most abundant in the skin) can fight many types of cancer. A 2017 review by Hacettepe University, Türkiye, based on 118 studies, on more than 1,700 people, found that people who eat a lot of tomatoes have lower rates of breast, prostate and lung cancer. This is because lycopene in tomatoes has the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and regulate immune function.

Lycopene along with other antioxidants from tomatoes work synergistically to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules in the body that cause DNA damage leading to disease and aging.

The authors of the review found that high lycopene consumption also reduced the risk of estrogen- and progesterone-receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It also prevents ovarian, colorectal, stomach and pancreatic cancers.

A 2018 study by the University of Illinois, USA, on 260,000 people, found that men who ate a lot of tomatoes, including raw, sauced fruits, had a lower risk of developing prostate cancer due to the maximum amount of lycopene absorbed. optimized when cooked.

Similarly, a 2020 study at Loma Linda University, USA, on nearly 28,000 men, showed that men who ate canned and cooked tomatoes 5 or more times per week had a 28% lower risk of prostate cancer. % compared to men who do not eat this fruit.

When tomatoes are cooked, the body can absorb lycopene better. To maximize the protective benefits of lycopene, eat tomatoes with healthy fats like avocado and olive oil. Because lycopene is a carotenoid (plant pigment) that requires fat for the body to absorb.

Eating this fruit regularly has the ability to protect DNA in cells against the development of breast, colon and blood cancers. This is an assessment by the University of Portsmouth, UK, based on 394 previous studies.

Lycopene and β-carotene are two carotenoids in tomatoes that both have anti-cancer effects. Due to their antioxidant properties, lycopene and other carotenoids may fight carcinogenesis by preventing oxidative damage in DNA and proteins.

Lycopene’s anti-cancer mechanisms include regulating gene function and inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death in the body), anti-inflammatory. β-carotene in tomatoes also leads to apoptosis in cancer cells and reduces their growth.

Ferulic acid, a type of phenolic acid, found in tomatoes is an effective antioxidant that also has anti-cancer properties.

Tomato skins and seeds are 60% fiber. Fiber is metabolized by the intestinal microbiota to form short-chain fatty acids such as butyric and acetic acids. Colon cancer cells cannot use these components as an energy source, leading to decreased cell proliferation and increased apoptosis.

The study authors concluded that a tomato-rich diet can increase lycopene levels in the blood, thereby protecting against cancer.

By Editor

Leave a Reply