Nutritional Information for Tomatoes

Lycopene is a potent antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables their red color. This includes foods such as tomatoes ( including salsa and pasta sauce), watermelon, and grapefruit. Tomatoes are likely the best source of lycopene, and cooking enhances their antioxidant potential. So go big on the marinara sauce at your next Italian dining!

 

Want More?

Follow us for health and recipe tips

Blue Cure

Benefits of Tomatoes

Cancer Prevention Benefits

Men eating more lycopene- rich foods in their diets have been found to lower their risk of developing prostate cancer. Cooked tomatoes vs. raw have up to 4 times the lycopene content. Even prostate cancer survivors may do better when eating more lycopene-rich foods. It’s important to note the benefit only comes from foods, not lycopene supplements. In fact, men trying to dose up on lycopene supplements thinking they are getting the same benefits as foods with lycopene have been shown to have an increased risk of prostate cancer. 

Men's Health Benefits

Tomato products, including ketchup and pizza sauce believe it or not, make up for the majority of lycopene consumed in the U.S. Although freshly cooked tomatoes are most healthful, the good news is that even salsa, tomato juice, and pizza sauce can help prevent prostate cancer and heart disease. Tomatoes have an ability to reduce the formation of platelets – blood-clotting factors in the blood that prevents bleeding. They work like aspirin does to thin the blood, except unlike aspirin tomatoes don’t damage the stomach lining overtime. The cholesterol-lowering and antiplatelet forming ability of tomatoes make them a great choice for men at risk for heart disease. Lastly, the antioxidants found in tomatoes can build-up in the skin of humans that eat them and help protect against sunburn.

Ways to Use Tomatoes

  • Roast tomatoes with Italian spices and add to soups, stews, pasta dishes.
  •  Enjoy raw or stewed tomatoes on sandwiches or wraps.
  •  Pack cherry tomatoes for travel or hikes.
  • Make homemade marinara sauce or salsa. 
  • Prepare a quick bruschetta with toasted baguette, extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes slices, and bail.
  • Add raw or cooked tomatoes to bean, grain, or green salads.
  •  Toss in tacos or burritos.
  • Make homemade salsa.
  •  Slice and put on top of avocado toast.
Resources for Tomatoes

American Institute for Cancer Research: www.aicr.org

“Foods that Fight Cancer” from AICR: Tomatoes 

Nutrition Facts: www.NutritionFacts.org

Physicians Committee: www.pcrm.org

USDA Nutrient Database: Tomatoes

Citations
  1. Chen P, Zhang W, Wang X, et al. Lycopene and Risk of Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015;94(33):e1260.
  2. Rafi M, Kanakasabai S, Reyes M, Bright J. Lycopene modulates growth and survival associated genes in prostate cancer. J Nutr Biochem. 2013;24(10): 1724-34.
  3. Gontero P, Marra G, Soria F, et al. A randomized double-blind placebo controlled phase I-II study on clinical and molecular effects of dietary supplements in men with precancerous prostatic lesions. Chemoprevention or “chemopromotion”? Prostate. 2015;75(11):1177-86.
  4. Dutta-Roy A. Dietary components and human platelet activity. Platelets. 2002;13(2):67-75
  5. Lazarus S, Bowen K, Garg M.Tomato juice and platelet aggregation in type 2 diabetes. JAMA. 2004 Aug 18;292(7):805-6.
  6. O’Kennedy N, Crosbie L, Whelan S, Luther V, Horgan G, et al. Effects of tomato extract on platelet function: a double-blinded crossover study in healthy humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;84(3):561-9.
  7. O’Kennedy N, Crosbie L, van Lieshout M, et al. Effects of antiplatelet components of tomato extract on platelet function in vitro and ex vivo: a time-course cannulation study in healthy humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;84(3):570-9.
  8. Willcox J, Catignani G, Lazarus S. Tomatoes and cardiovascular health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2003;43(1):1-18.
  9. Garcia A, Koebnick C, Dagnelie P, et al. Long-term strict raw food diet is associated with favourable plasma beta-carotene and low plasma lycopene concentrations in germans. Br. J. Nutr. 2008;99(6):1293-1300.
  10. Rizwan M, Rodriguez-Blanco I, Harbottle A, Birch-Machin M, Watson R, Rhodes L. Tomato paste rich in lycopene protects against cutaneous photodamage in humans in vivo: a randomized controlled trial. Br J Dermatol. 2011;164(1):154-62.
  11. Arab L, Steck S. Lycopene and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71(6 Suppl):1691S-5S.
  12. Perdomo F, Cabrera Fránquiz F, Cabrera J, Serra-Majem L. Influence of cooking procedure on the bioavailability of lycopene in tomatoes. Nutr Hosp. 2012;27(5):1542-6.

Leave a Comment