Tomato is one of the most used foods in Mediterranean cuisine. Its nutritional properties are the most diverse. In addition to being rich in vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, it is also an important source of ascorbic acid and carotenoids. All of these substances play a key role in keeping our body healthy. But the role of the tomato in the context of cancer prevention is less well known. Few people know that to prevent these 2 widespread cancers it is important to eat a lot of tomatoes, according to an article by the Veronesi Foundation. Some studies have revealed the power of this real red gold, now essential for cancer prevention through nutrition.
Few people know that to prevent these 2 widespread cancers it is important to eat a lot of tomatoes
The benefits deriving from the intake of tomatoes are mainly due to the action of carotenoids. These substances have a strong antioxidant power, especially lycopene, contained in abundance in tomatoes (so much so as to cause the typical yellow-red color).
Recent studies have revealed that carotenoids are not only strong antioxidants but also strengthen the immune system. This would make them effective anticancer and, consequently, make tomatoes an essential food in cancer prevention.
In particular, there are two tumors on which the tomato would have a greater effect. The first is prostate cancer, a part of the body where we find a large accumulation of lycopene. A research monitored 50,000 subjects for 12 years, showing that those who eat tomato puree once a week reduce the risk of prostate cancer. An even more recent research, however, has testified to the beneficial effect of tomatoes on ovarian cancer. The data reported by the Veronesi Foundation recommend increasing the consumption of tomatoes, in compliance with the dictates of the Mediterranean diet.
How to prepare the tomato to optimize its benefits
The presence of nutrients in tomatoes (as in all foods) varies according to storage and cooking. For example, when we cook tomatoes, we lose about 60% of vitamin C. At the same time, however, cooking can enhance the qualities of lycopene, which are lost when we process raw tomatoes. In general, cooking food favors the absorption of carotenoids, because cooking breaks the bonds that bind them to vegetable proteins. Studies confirm that the best way to absorb lycopene through tomato is to eat it in the form of puree. The processing of this food enhances the bioavailability of carotenoids.
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(We remind you to carefully read the warnings regarding this article, which can be consulted WHO”)