Tomatoes Help Prevent Cancer
One of the most common fruits, the tomato, is often underestimated. Tomatoes offer versatility and flavor and can be used in a wide array of everyday dishes. Besides being great on the tastebuds, tomatoes are also loaded with nutrients that are great for the body.
Cancer Preventing Properties of Tomato
Studies have revealed that consuming raw tomato and its products could be associated with a reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. This protective effect could be connected to the fact that it has several bioactive components with antioxidant properties.
Tomatoes contain quercetin, naringenin, rutin and chlorogenic acid as the main phenolic compounds. These have been associated with the inhibition of atherosclerosis and cancer due to their ability to prevent lipid peroxidation and the occurrence of free radicals.
Recent studies have revealed that Quercetin inhibits cell proliferation by causing cell cycle arrest and inhibits the proliferation of breast cancer cells.
Chlorogenic acid has been found to be effective in preventing the formation of cancer-causing digestive nitrosamines.
Vitamins A and C
According to the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Cancer Institute, intake of fruits and vegetables that are high in Vitamin A and C could lower the risk of cancer. Tomatoes and tomato-based products have been recommended as such.
The red hue of tomato comes from a ingredient called ‘Lycopene’. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that helps inhibit the proliferation of cancerous cells – mainly in the breast, lung and endometrium regions. There is also evidence to suggest that Lycopene helps protect against prostate cancer.
Glutathione is a naturally occurring antioxidant produced by your cells to fight destructive free radicals. Glutathione helps create lymphocytes – the lack of which causes immuno-deficiency diseases and reduction of antibodies. Glutathione is best obtained from raw tomatoes.
Beta Carotene, an important constituent in Tomato, is an antioxidant that helps reduce damaging free-radicals and chronic illnesses. When consumed as part of whole foods, fruits or vegetables, beta-carotene has been shown to boost the immune system and reduce risk of cancer.
Tomatoes are packed with cancer-fighting nutrients. A tomato a day might just be what you need to keep cancer away.