Tomato-Based Foods May Reduce Your Cancer Risk
Now There's A New Reason To Continue Eating Some Old Favorites
(NAPSI)-Now there is another healthy reason to continue enjoying tomato-based
favorites like pizza, spaghetti with tomato sauce, and tomato ketchup on your
hamburger: powerful scientific evidence has demonstrated a diet high in processed
tomato consumption reduces the risk of developing certain cancers.
Studies have shown a link between lycopene, the carotenoid which gives
tomatoes their red color, and a reduced risk of several types of cancer. A
recent Harvard study found that men who ate ten or more servings per week
of lycopene-rich foods, such as tomato sauce, canned tomatoes and ketchup
had a one-third lower risk of developing prostate cancer than men who ate
fewer than two servings a week. Other studies show a link between lycopene
and a delay in the growth of cancer cells in the breast, lung and uterus.
"The evidence has shown most health benefits stem from tomato products
or foods made from them like pizza," says Dr. Steven Clinton, a researcher
at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.Ê"Lycopene appears to be more
efficiently absorbed from sauce, paste or tomato ketchup than it is from raw
tomatoes. Not only does the processing concentrate the amount of lycopene
present, but it has also been suggested that the processing of tomato products
may increase lycopene absorption." Thus, in the case of this disease-fighting
carotenoid, processed tomato products are a better choice than fresh tomatoes.
Since the body does not produce lycopene, the beneficial effects of this
carotenoid can only be obtained through foods. Inexpensive and easy to prepare,
tomato-based products combine well with chicken, fish, rice, pasta or other
vegetables. And, don't forget a serving of processed tomato products accounts
for one serving of fruits and vegetables in the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.
To maintain a healthy diet, it's comforting to know that a pantry full
of processed tomato products is not only a family favorite but potentially
a powerful aid in the battle against chronic disease.
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