Great article, and very well researched. I’ve heard that eating tomatoes or the sauce is good for the prostate. Is that true? and what in the tomato provides this benefit?
Hi, Tom. Thanks very much for the kind words regarding the previous article! Regarding tomatoes being a good food for the prostate, you’ve heard correctly!
Tomatoes have earned notoriety as a healthy superfood due to a pigment inside of them known as lycopene. This is mostly what gives red fruits and vegetables their color. Tomatoes contain more of this compound than any other fruit or vegetable.
Lycopene functions as a powerful antioxidant in the body by destroying free radicals in the body. These reactive particles bounce around and cause damage to healthy cells and tissues. This is a primary trigger of degenerative diseases like cancer.
Numerous health journals have associated lycopene with prostate health primarily because of numerous scientific studies which demonstrate that lycopene has the ability to help ward off prostate cancer. Not just prostate cancer exclusively though, but also stomach and lung cancers.
Additional research has also shown lycopene may also be effective in the prevention of pancreas, colon, esophagus, oral, breast, and cervix cancers.
However, not all tomatoes and tomato products are created equal. Research has shown organically grown tomatoes are even more nutritious and may contain up to 139% more lycopene than their conventionally grown counterparts.
This goes to show the potential disadvantage to dousing conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with agricultural chemicals.
Interestingly, research has also shown that when tomatoes are cooked, the lycopene bioavailability in the body actually increases, unlike many other types of vegetables where nutrients become depleted due to being cooked.
Just an FYI: It’s best to avoid canned tomatoes and tomato products as much as possible because can liners tend to contain high concentrations of Bisphenol A, or BPA that dissipates into the food.
For those peeps who don’t know, BPA is a toxic endocrine-disrupting chemical that also mimics estrogen in the body, wreaking havoc on your testosterone levels and disrupting healthy endocrine function.
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Besides eating whole organic tomatoes, I suppose the healthiest way to obtain lycopene would be to make your own organic tomato sauce from scratch.
You could also buy organic tomato sauce that comes in glass jars. I realize this may not be practical for most people, but the inherent benefits are probably worth the extra trouble.
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