A Tomato a Day May Help Keep This Cancer Away

loacally grown tomatoes

A plant-based diet has many health benefits, as you already know. Here is one example that you probably already have in your vegan pantry!

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It is the fruit that we often use as a vegetable – the humble tomato. Packed with antioxidants, the tomato is already known for being a positive force against such cancers such as stomach, prostate, and breast. Now, new research has found that eating tomatoes daily may also be associated with a lower risk of skin cancer.

At The Ohio State University, a research team led by Jessica Cooperstone found that mice that were fed a diet of 10% tomato powder daily for 35 weeks had a 50% lower risk of developing skin cancer tumors when exposed to ultraviolet light.

Tomatoes are especially known for lycopene, a carotenoid that gives the tomato its red color. But there is so much more in this popular fruit. Tomatoes are also rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.

The researchers believe that carotenoids may protect the skin against the UV light damage that can lead to skin cancer.

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There are many varieties of tomatoes to choose from, in a wide range of colors from red to orange to yellow – even deep purple! Tomatoes of all colors provide outstanding nutrient benefits. Choose tomatoes that are well-shaped and smooth skinned without wrinkles, cracks, bruises or soft spots. Ripe tomatoes will yield slightly to pressure and will be noticeably sweet smelling.

Canned tomatoes are of course another option and, in fact, may even have a greater nutrient density as it is more fruit in a compact serving. However, warns World’s Healthiest Foods, choose canned tomatoes produced in the US to avoid cans that may be lined with lead. Because tomatoes are acidic, they are especially at risk for migration of this metal into food,

Journal Reference:
Jessica L. Cooperstone, et al. Tomatoes protect against development of UV-induced keratinocyte carcinoma via metabolomic alterations. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-05568-7

Additional Resource:
World’s Healthiest Foods

Photo Credit:
Via Wikimedia Commons

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Comments

Great article Jessica. I wanted to point out that many retail private label packers have quietly switched their can linings to non-epoxy linings that do not have added BPA. Contacting your local store to find out which cans are non-epoxy.