Turmeric, green tea, and ginger. These are the superfoods that always come to mind when talking about cancer-fighting foods, but what about tomatoes? Perhaps you’re already aware of its nutritional benefits, but did you know that it can actually prevent and reduce your risk of getting stomach cancer?
It was according to a study carried out by the Mercogliano Oncology Research Center and Temple University in Italy. To determine the impact of tomatoes on the neoplasctic features of cell lines in gastric cancer, the researchers analyzed the lipophilic extracts of whole tomatoes. After thorough investigations and observations, they found out that the extracts taken from two tomato varieties in particular – San Marzano and Corbarino – can actually stop malignant stomach cancer cells from cloning and growing. The whole tomato extracts prevented the cancer cells from migrating away from the primary tumor which causes them to die.
San Marzano tomatoes are fairly popular in culinary arts and are preferred in making a variety of pizza sauce. The rich volcanic soil near Mount Vesuvius where these plum tomatoes grow gives them their distinctive sweet flesh and low acidity. Their thick skin, meaty texture, and relatively low amount of seeds combine to distinguish themselves from ordinary tomatoes found in the market. The same goes for Corbarino tomatoes as they grow in the same vicinity.
The anti-tumor effects of these tomatoes, according to researchers, do not come from lycopene alone, instead, their findings indicate that the entire tomato needs to be consumed to reap its beneficial compounds. The research is very significant in this present age as stomach cancer is one of the most common types of cancer throughout the globe.
Tomatoes: Full Of Cancer-Fighting Lycopene
The study led by those researchers are just one of the handful of studies that look into the effects of the entire tomato, despite it being a staple in the Mediterranean Diet. Yet, there are different extensive studies done over the years regarding specific components of tomatoes for their cancer-fighting abilities. Lycopene, being one of the highest compound present in tomatoes, has been studied in-depth for its ability to eliminate free radicals. What gives tomatoes its red color is the antioxidants present in it.
According to studies, lycopene can prevent different types of cancer including, prostate, stomach, colon, pancreas, cervix, breast, esophagus, and lungs. Moreover, it can also help reduce a person’s risk of getting cardiovascular disease due to lycopene’s ability to regulate blood pressure as well as lower cholesterol buildup in the bloodstream.
The research was done to only two of the varieties of tomatoes and further research needs to be done to find out whether other types of tomatoes have similar positive effects. It may be possible that other varieties may have a greater effect than other and it would be great to find out which ones have the most powerful cancer-fighting properties.
Start Eating More Organic Tomatoes Today
You can’t possibly go wrong when incorporating more tomatoes into your diet. It’s always wise to choose organic produce and try to buy local whenever possible. Cooking tomatoes increase the bioavailability of lycopene as well as by consuming them with fats, like olive oil or cheese.
There are also different ways of consuming them raw if you’re not a fan of cooking it. An example of it is by slicing and drizzling it with balsamic vinegar or chopping it with other vegetables as part of a fresh homemade salad. Cooked or raw, you don’t need to miss out on this powerful gift nature can provide.