Tomato, a reddish and oval-shaped vegetable, which belongs to the plant kingdom Solanum Lycopersicum, has been found to possess powerful antioxidants called carotenoids, with the potential to prevent certain types of cancers.
A study published in the National Library of Medicine titled “Lycopene/tomato consumption and the risk of prostate cancer”, found that tomato has been indicated for the prevention of prostate cancer; however, no systematic review has been reported to illustrate its effect recently.
Tomatoes are also good sources of vitamin A, which supports immunity, vision, and skin health; vitamin K, which is good for your bones; and potassium.
The researchers conducted a meta-analysis to determine the effectiveness of lycopene intake and tomato/tomato products in reducing the risk of prostate cancer.
The study led by Jinyao Chen and his team members Yang Song and Lishi Zhang, compared the odds ratio (OR) of prostate cancer incidence among consumers of lower raw tomatoes and higher consumers of raw tomatoes, versus consumption of lower levels of cooked tomatoes and higher levels of cooked tomatoes. Their findings show that tomatoes may play a modest role in the prevention of prostate cancer.
However, they noted that further research would be needed to determine the type and quantity of tomato products and their degree of protection against prostate cancer.
Another study published in the same Library of Medicine but reviewed by different researchers found that after much experiments and studies by Mahyar Etminan and others, eleven case-control studies and 10 cohort studies or nested case-control studies presented data on the use of tomato, tomato products, or lycopene and met their inclusion criteria.
They also found that tomato products may play a role in the prevention of prostate cancer. However, this effect is modest and restricted to high amounts of tomato intake. Further research is needed to determine the type and quantity of tomato products with respect to their role in preventing prostate cancer.
Other Health Benefits of Tomatoes
They protect heart health: Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called lycopene, which is responsible for their red color. Research suggests that in terms of heart health benefits, it’s more effective to eat tomatoes and tomato products than take lycopene supplements.
Improve your vision: Lycopene in tomatoes is also good for your eyes. And that’s not the only peeper-protective nutrient in tomatoes; they also contain lutein and beta-carotene.
Boost digestive health: The fluid and fiber in tomatoes may be helpful if you’re prone to constipation. (According to the USDA one large tomato contains 6 ounces of fluid, and 1.5 grams of fiber.) Just be aware that in some people, the acidity from cooked tomatoes may trigger or worsen acid reflux and indigestion.
Help with diabetes management: Tomato may be a protective food for people with type 2 diabetes: In one study, people with diabetes who supplemented with cooked tomatoes for 30 days experienced a decrease in lipid peroxidation, a chain reaction in which substances called free radicals to attack fat, leading to damage that ups the risk of heart disease. This is particularly important because diabetes doubles the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Judging from the conclusions of various researchers that have conducted intensive studies and experiments on tomatoes, they have shown that high consumption of tomatoes plays a huge role in preventing prostate cancer and other diseases.