Tomatoes can help lower cancer risk. Another reason to include more tomatoes in your diet concerns their connection to cancer. A study funded by the World Cancer Research Fund International found that men who consumed canned and cooked tomatoes five to six times a week had a 28 percent decreased risk of prostate cancer compared to men who never consumed tomatoes. That’s a significant benefit, as the WCRFI notes that prostate cancer is the second most common cancer worldwide. The study’s author noted that cooked tomatoes were particularly valuable, as cooking increases the bioavailability of lycopene.
Tomatoes can promote healthy vision. The lycopene found in tomatoes doesn’t stop at reducing risk for stroke. Lycopene also has been linked to promoting healthier eyes. The health supplement experts at 1MD NutritionTM note that routine exposure to light and environmental toxins makes eyes vulnerable to oxidative damage and disease caused by an excess of free radicals. Lycopene and other antioxidants scavenge free radicals and prevent cell and tissue damage, thus protecting eyes from conditions that can lead to blindness.
Tomatoes can help lower “bad” cholesterol. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition linked high tomato consumption to a roughly 13 percent reduction in “bad” cholesterol. A separate study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that women who ate at least 10 servings of tomato-based products a week experienced significant improvements in total cholesterol. This link is important, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that high levels of bad cholesterol increase individuals’ risk for heart disease and stroke.