Friday, April 11, 2014

Eat more tomatoes and slash cancer risk

lycopene 

Carotenoids are what cause some fruits and vegetables to have bright colors, such as yellow, orange and red. Lycopene is the carotenoid that gives tomatoes their rich colors and is one of the most popular carotenoids found in the diets of many Americans and Europeans. Many carotenoids enable the body to make the vitamin A that it needs in order to be healthy, though lycopene is not one of them.

The cancer-preventing benefits of lycopene

Though the body does not use lycopene to make Vitamin A, it still adds a very valuable component to the diet. Studies have shown a positive correlation between those people with a diet high in tomatoes, and, therefore, lycopenes, and having a lower risk of some forms of cancer. This type of diet has been shown to be particularly helpful for reducing the risk of getting prostate, cervical, skin, bladder, stomach and lung cancer. 

Other benefits of lycopene 

As if the cancer-reducing benefits of lycopene were not enough, there are other health benefits of eating a diet rich in tomatoes. Researchers have found that the risk of heart disease can be lowered by such a diet. The risk of macular degeneration, which is a disease that often occurs as a person ages and can result in blindness, and lipid oxidation, the damage that occurs to normal fat cells that can then cause both inflammation and disease, have also been shown to be reduced by eating a diet that includes a variety of tomato-based dishes.

Lycopene is an impressive antioxidant which helps block the free radicals that can cause disease. Studies have also shown that lycopene helps protect DNA, cellular fats and enzymes while also lowering the levels of bad cholesterol, LDL, and boosting the immune system. While other foods, such as watermelon, apricots, papaya, pink grapefruit and guava, are also a significant source of lycopene, tomatoes contain the most concentrated amount of the carotenoid.

For the rest of the story: http://www.naturalnews.com/044684_tomatoes_lycopene_cancer_risk.html

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