Tomatoes are an excellent dietary source of lycopene, a phytochemical molecule known as a carotenoid, which is responsible for the vibrant red, orange and yellow colours of a lot of vegetables and fruits.
Lycopene is probably the carotenoid which has potentially the most powerful impact on the fight against cancer.
Although most studies on the tomatoes’ anticancer effects focused on prostate cancer prevention, it appears likely that tomatoes could play a role in preventing other cancers too
Cooked tomato products are especially rich in lycopene. Exposure to heat ruptures the cell walls which allow the molecule to be better extracted, bringing about changes in the structure letting it be more easily assimilated by the body.
Consuming tomato-based products is an easy way to help reduce prostate cancer risk. Eating 2 tomato sauce-based meals each week could lower prostate cancer risk by a remarkable 25%
Lycopene is a non-provitamin A carotenoid that is responsible for the red to pink colors seen in tomatoes, pink grapefruit, and other foods. Processed tomato products are the primary dietary lycopene source in the United States.
Unlike many other natural compounds, lycopene is generally stable to processing when present in the plant tissue matrix.
Recently, lycopene has also been studied in relation to its potential health effects.
Although promising data from epidemiological, as well as cell culture and animal, studies suggest that lycopene and the consumption of lycopene containing foods may affect cancer or cardiovascular disease risk, more clinical trial data is needed to support this hypothesis.
In addition, future studies are required to understand the mechanism(s) whereby lycopene or its metabolites are proven to possess biological activity in humans, so…
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