Prostate Health Through Tomatoes
Although no one claims there is a miracle food that can completely prevent Prostate Cancer, there are studies that have shown tomataoes, particularly the ingredient lycopene found in tomatoes can in fact assist in Prostate health. Tomatoes have been found to act as an antioxident which is a key factor in preventing cell damage caused by what are reffered to as "free radicals" that puts stress on our immune system which explains how antioxidents aids the body in the prevention of several cancers.
In a study published in the journal of Cancer Prevention Research which invloved men ranging in ages of 50- 83 with existing prostate abnormailities, Dr. Richard van Breeman UIC professor of medical chemistry concluded, "that lycopene may help prevent prostate cancer," after the study showed that "results of men who received lycopene vs those who were given placebo showed what he called 'a significant increase' of the antioxidant level in the blood."
That is good news for pasta and pizza lovers who worried their favorited foods were more in part a "sinful pleasure" than a routine of a healthy diet. In fact the tomato sauce in both pizza and pastas contain more available lycopene than fresh tomatoes do. According to Mary-Jo Sawyer, a registered dietitian with VCU Medical Center, states in her article "Practical Nutrition" for Richmond Times-Dispatch that not only do "tomatoes have the highest concentration of lycopene, it is absorbed better from cooked tomatoes, as in tomato sauce, rather than raw ones." Sawyer goes on to say that the cells that lycopene helps protect also prevents premature aging and heart disease.
While tomatoes can be consumed anywhere from green salads or deli sandwiches that are popular during summer to stove top dinners that hit the spot when the seasonal degrees drop off, it is comforting to know that incorporating tomatoes, along with a healthy diet and exercise, can help maintain prostate health.