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Get the Health Benefits of Tomatoes

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Thursday, 17 August 2017 04:37 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In the 1700s, European aristocrats believed that they could get sick from eating "poison apples" — their name for tomatoes.

But according to sources at the Smithsonian Institution, the fruit wasn't the culprit; it was the pewter dishes, loaded with lead, on which the tomatoes were served.

The acidity in tomatoes leached the lead from the metal plates and caused illness and even death from lead poisoning.

Thankfully, these days we can focus on tomatoes' remarkable healing powers, inside and out.

A study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that women who consumed 25 milligrams of a powerful polyphenol compound called lycopene each day boosted levels of the health-protecting hormone adiponectin by 9 percent — and that reduced their breast cancer risk.

You can get that dose of lycopene from just 1/2 cup of your favorite tomato sauce.

Higher levels of adiponectin also are linked to lower risk for diabetes, heart disease, and prostate, lung, and stomach cancers.

And a recent study in Scientific Reports reveals that lycopene can also help prevent skin damage from the sun.

Mice fed a daily diet of 10 percent tomato powder for 35 weeks averaged 50 percent fewer skin cancer tumors when exposed to ultraviolet light, compared with mice that ate no dehydrated tomatoes.

One surprise: Tangerine-colored tomatoes delivered a higher dose of lycopene than red ones.

So make a nice pasta sauce using extra-virgin olive oil or cook up a velvety pot of tomato soup, adding onions (not sugar) for sweetness.

Cooking tomatoes can unleash lycopene's health-benefitting powers by more than 150 percent.

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A recent study in Scientific Reports reveals that lycopene can help prevent skin damage from the sun.
lycopene, skin cancer, tomatoes, Dr. Oz
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2017-37-17
Thursday, 17 August 2017 04:37 PM
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