Did you know that tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are actually berries of a plant that belong to the nightshade family?
Although technically a fruit, a tomato is generally regarded as a vegetable and is a rich source of vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K. Though mature tomatoes are usually red, they also come in a variety of other colors such as yellow, orange, green and purple.
Lycopene, a plant antioxidant in tomatoes, is effective in lowering LDL cholesterol. Clinical trials show that tomatoes reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.[2,3] They also protect the inner layer of blood vessels and could decrease the risk of blood clotting.[4,5]
Tomatoes For Cancer Prevention
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that spread beyond their normal boundaries and often invade other parts of the body. Studies have found that tomatoes decrease the risk of stomach, prostate and lung cancers.[6,7]
The high content of lycopene inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis (cell death) and decreases the metastatic capacity (the ability of cancer cells to spread to other parts of the body) of cancer cells.[8,9,10] Another recent study found that the high concentration of carotenoids in tomatoes can protect against the development of breast cancer in women.[11,12]
How To Take It
1. Have two raw tomatoes twice daily to reduce your risk of cancer.
2. You can also check out these wholesome tomato recipes that are easy-to-make and packed with health.
- Roasted Tomato Soup For A Hearty Vata Meal
- Halibut With Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Tomato & Watermelon Gazpacho
Advisory: The content made available at Z Living has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or by any other governmental agency. It is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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1. Palozza P, Catalano A, Simone RE, Mele MC, Cittadini A. Effect of lycopene and tomato products on cholesterol metabolism. Ann Nutr Metab. 2012;61(2):126-34. Review. PubMed PMID: 22965217.
2. Riso P, Visioli F, Grande S, Guarnieri S, Gardana C, Simonetti P, Porrini M. Effect of a tomato-based drink on markers of inflammation, immunomodulation, and oxidative stress. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Apr 5;54(7):2563-6. PubMed PMID:
3. Basu A, Imrhan V. Tomatoes versus lycopene in oxidative stress and carcinogenesis: conclusions from clinical trials. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Mar;61(3):295-303. Epub 2006 Aug 16. Review. PubMed PMID: 16929242.
4. Palomo I, Fuentes E, Padró T, Badimon L. Platelets and atherogenesis: Platelet anti-aggregation activity and endothelial protection from tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Exp Ther Med. 2012 Apr;3(4):577-584. Epub 2012 Feb 9. PubMed
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5. PALOMO I, FUENTES E, PADRÓ T, BADIMON L. Platelets and atherogenesis: Platelet anti-aggregation activity and endothelial protection from tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 2012;3(4):577-584. doi:10.3892/etm.2012.477.
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7. Giovannucci E. A review of epidemiologic studies of tomatoes, lycopene, and prostate cancer. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2002 Nov;227(10):852-9. Review. PubMed PMID: 12424325.
8. Chen J, Song Y, Zhang L. Lycopene/tomato consumption and the risk of prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2013;59(3):213-23. PubMed PMID: 23883692.
9. Holzapfel NP, Holzapfel BM, Champ S, Feldthusen J, Clements J, Hutmacher DW. The Potential Role of Lycopene for the Prevention and Therapy of Prostate Cancer: From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Evidence. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013;14(7):14620-14646. doi:10.3390/ijms140714620.
10. Lin PH, Aronson W, Freedland SJ. Nutrition, dietary interventions and prostate cancer: the latest evidence. BMC Med. 2015 Jan 8;13:3. doi: 10.1186/s12916-014-0234-y. Review. PubMed PMID: 25573005; PubMed Central PMCID:
11. Sato R, Helzlsouer KJ, Alberg AJ, Hoffman SC, Norkus EP, Comstock GW. Prospective study of carotenoids, tocopherols, and retinoid concentrations and the risk of breast cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2002 May;11(5):451-7. Review. PubMed PMID: 12010859.
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