According to John Erdman, a professor emeritus at the Illinois University food science department, many men might be diagnosed with prostate cancer if they live long enough. This is why every man needs to work towards reducing the growth of cancer and lowering its risk.
But why are tomatoes special? How do they help in reducing the risks associated with prostate cancer? Continue reading to find out more.
Brief Information about Tomatoes
Tomatoes, although fruits are considered vegetables by the USDA, and for a long time, it was thought that tomatoes were poisonous. Why? It belongs to the same family of nightshades.
In the United States, tomatoes are among the best and most popular vegetables, topped only by potatoes. Tomatoes are versatile in their usage. You can use them for many things, from your salads to sandwiches, ketchup, soups, stew, and pasta sauce. You can use them for juice as well.
Tomatoes are good for reducing the risk of cancer because they contain some potent elements. Elements that are responsible for the vegetables’ color and unique abilities. These ingredients include but are not limited to;
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Carotenoids like lycopene (the most abundant in tomatoes), phytofluene, phytoene, carotene (ranging from beta carotene to gamma carotene and gamma carotene), lutein, and neurosporene.
These elements make tomatoes unique, give them their colors, orange, red, or yellow, and make them good for reducing prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer and Tomatoes
As we stated, tomatoes effectively reduce prostate cancer risk because they contain some unique and active elements. But the most important of these elements are the carotenoids.
It’s not that the other elements are not helpful. They are. But while they may help alleviate the effects of cancer treatments, the likes of Vitamin C, fibers, and potassium. The carotenoid’s properties are protective in nature.
The most important carotenoid here is lycopene, which also happens to be the most abundant. Research has proven lycopene to be very effective in reducing the chances of developing prostate cancer. And the substance is not only in tomatoes alone. It is also in guavas, watermelon, and some other fruits and vegetables that are good for people with cancer.
However, in the United States, tomatoes are the major contributor of lycopene in their diets, making them a better option for lowering the risk of developing prostate cancer.
According to research, eating tomatoes every day, either as soup, paste, or even juice, helps to increase the concentration of lycopene in your blood and body. The part of the body concerned is the mucosal cells in your buccal cavity.
It has also been proven by research that lycopene made from tomatoes that have been processed has more bioavailability than the ones from fresh tomatoes. Why? This is because processing tomatoes helps break down the vegetable’s cell-matrix and helps improve the isomerization of lycopene.
In simpler terms, processed tomatoes have more active lycopene than fresh ones.
Is Lycopene the only Cancer-protective Substance in Tomatoes?
Although lycopene significantly reduces the chances of developing prostate cancer, it is not the only substance in tomatoes that does that.
It is believed that the whole tomato, including all its nutrients ranging from the vitamins to the fibers and essential minerals, are responsible for tomatoes’ cancer-protective ability. The other carotenoids also play an important role here.
It was also discovered that isolated lycopene could reduce one’s chances of developing prostate cancer, but not as much as the whole tomatoes could do.
The Bottom Line
After seeing how awesome tomatoes are in reducing your risk of developing prostate cancer, there is no better time to start eating tomatoes than now.
You can use it in soups, sauce, sandwiches, ketchup, salads, and juice. There is no limit to how you can use it. And aside from lowering your risk of prostate cancer, it has many other benefits.