Stay Healthy – Eat Tomatoes
Sup up on lots of tomato sauces and you’ll do wonders for prostate health at the same time. That’s a medical fact that’s becoming well-established, as study after study confirms cooked tomatoes are one important key for men staying healthy.
That’s because of lycopene, the pigment in tomatoes that makes them red.
In a study of over 40,000 health professionals, Harvard investigators found that men who ate more than 10 servings of tomato-based foods daily (like cooked tomatoes and tomato sauce,) had a 35 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer than those who ate the least amount of these foods. The benefits of lycopene was more pronounced with advanced stages of prostate cancer.
In another study of prostate cancer, researchers looked at blood levels of lycopene and found that the risk of developing prostate cancer, especially aggressive cancer, decreased with increasing blood lycopene levels.
The Secret is Lycopene
Men taking 50mg of lycopene daily had significantly higher level of lycopene. In this study, researchers found that high level of lycopene in the blood was associated with low PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels. High PSA levels in blood are often a sign of prostate cancer.
Enjoy the benefits of lycopene by eating more tomatoes and processed tomato products. Indeed, research showed that lycopene is better absorbed by the body when tomatoes are processed. It is due to the fact that lycopene is bound to tomato’s cell structure; processing releases lycopene from the cell structure.
What Is Lycopene?
Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red. The redder the tomato, the more lycopene is present. Numerous studies suggest that lycopene levels in the blood may be associated with reduced incidence of prostate, digestive tract, breast, lung and cervical cancer as well as cardiovascular disease and age-related macular degeneration, the most common form of blindness for elderly people in the western world.
Does Lycopene Prevent Cancer?
Cancer risk is determined by many factors, however diet is an important one. The importance of eating fresh and processed fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet is now well recognized. Tomatoes and tomato products proven to be rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that picks up free radicals in the body, can play a key role. While it is still too early to conclude that any single food can prevent cancer, the research to date is promising.
How Does Lycopene Work?
Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps to prevent and repair damaged cells. Antioxidants are compounds that fight free radicals in the body and have been shown to inhibit DNA oxidation that some studies indicate may lead to some cancers.
How Can I Get More Lycopene?
The human body does not produce lycopene, but it’s readily available through the diet. Minor sources include guava, rosehip, watermelon and pink grapefruit, but about 85% of dietary lycopene comes from tomatoes and tomato products such as sauce, paste, ketchup, juice, and soup. Research confirms that lycopene from tomatoes is absorbed much better into the bloodstream if it is first heat processed.
Benefits of a Lycopene Rich Diet
In recent years, numerous studies have indicated that a lycopene-rich diet is associated with a lower risk of certain chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Benefits of lycopene:
- As an antioxidant: Human studies conducted at the University of Toronto on dietary lycopene confirmed that it acts as an antioxidant. As lycopene levels in the blood go up, the levels of oxidized lipoprotein, protein and DNA compounds go down. This, in turn, may lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.
- Reduces Prostate Cancer: A study of 48,000 men by Harvard Medical School estimated that consuming tomato products twice a week, as opposed to never, was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer of up to 34%. Of 46 fruits and vegetables evaluated, only tomato products showed a measurable relationship with reduced prostate cancer risk.
- Inhibits Cancer Cells: Research conducted into breast, lung and endometrial cancer at Ben Gurion University and Soroka Medical Center in Israel shows that lycopene is even more effective than the other bright vegetable carotenoids alpha- and beta-carotene, in causing a delay in the cell cycle progression from one growth phase to the next.
- Reduces Heart Risk: A study, conducted by the University of North Carolina, compared fat samples from 1,379 American and European men who had suffered a heart attack with those of healthy men. It found that those with high levels of lycopene were half as likely to have an attack as those with low levels.
- Reduces Blindness: Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the most common form of blindness for elderly people in the western world. Lycopene is the only micro-nutrient whose serum level is shown to be inversely related to the risk of ARMD.
- Reduces Atherosclerosis: prevents oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease Drinking 2 – 3 8-oz glasses of a processed vegetable juice such as V-8(R) would provide in excess of the 40 mg per day of lycopene suggested for reducing LDL cholesterol.
Can’t I Get the Same Benefits From Eating Fresh Tomatoes?
Yes, tomatoes are rich in lycopene, however cooking fresh tomatoes with a little oil will enhance the body’s absorption of lycopene. Research confirms that the lycopene in tomatoes is converted by the temperature change involved in processing to a form that the body can absorb more easily. A study showed that lycopene is absorbed 2.5 times better from tomato paste than from fresh tomatoes.
How Can I Ensure I Get Enough Lycopene?
As outlined above, Three 8 oz glasses of tomato juice a day will provide 40mg, the amount suggested for reducing cholesterol levels. Standardized supplements with a guaranteed lycopene content like Prostate Power Flow are a safe and convenient way to ensure you get a good daily intake of lycopene no matter how busy you are. Two capsules of Prostate Power Flow (the recommended daily dose) has a guaranteed 5 mg of pure lycopene. There is no RDA for lycopene, and the recommended intake as a therapeutic is 1 to 20 mg daily.
Order Prostate Power Flow for prostate health with Saw palmetto, lycopene, zinc and selenium.