Tomatoes originated from South America. The first tomato plant is believed to have originated in the highlands of Peru where it was transported to Mexico and domesticated by 500 BC. The first type of domesticated tomato was probably a small yellow variety grown by the Aztecs. The name comes from the Nahuatl word tomatl, which means the swelling fruit.
Now your penchant for eating spaghetti with tomato sauce or any tomato casserole dish has not only a double but also healthy purpose!
Studies indicate that lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can protect and repair our body organs from damage and also commonly found in tomatoes, can help lower the risk for prostate cancer in men. According to many clinical studies, men who include lots of tomatoes in their daily diet may reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer by as much as 35%, and a whopping 53% less chance of developing aggressive prostate cancer.
A much recent study from the University of Illinois at Chicago also discovered that tomatoes are highly beneficial to African-American men who are historically at the highest risk of developing prostate cancer.
The American Dietetic Association released a statement before that tomatoes and lycopene may be one of the body’s best defence against the more aggressive types of cancer!
The Best Reasons for Eating Tomatoes
Why tomatoes? Tomatoes are famously known for possessing lycopene which is powerful antioxidants. Meaning they help protect our cells from damage caused by extra oxygen produced in the cells by “free radicals”. These free radicals existing in our body help fight and destroy harmful substances. However, sometimes they tend to destroy some of our healthy cells as well. So what antioxidants do is to monitor and prevent free radicals from destroying our healthy cells.
Antioxidants also help keep our immune system at the tip-top shape – a quality that explains how it prevents the development of prostate cancer.Lycopene also was found to be able to provide heart and eye health. As well as immunity against diseases, and instrumental in controlling cholesterol. Experts are also baffled why tomatoes are more effective while eaten cooked. They theorized that the lycopene in tomatoes is probably better absorbed while in a cooked state.
Tomatoes as Anti-Cancer Foods Tomatoes are not the only food that has lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid which is an element that gives a lot of fruits their pinkish or red colour. Papaya, watermelon, guava, strawberries, apricots, and pink grapefruits have lycopene too. So, it only means these fruits can be eaten as a defence against prostate cancer.