Lovely Lycopene: 5 Hidden Health Benefits of Tomatoes


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The Benefits of Lycopene

Lycopene may aid the body in fighting heart disease and some cancers. Although there's conflicting evidence (in 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration refused to approve the marketing and sale of lycopene as a cancer preventative supplement), there is some defense for the persistent belief that lycopene, or lycopene in conjunction with other phytochemicals in tomatoes, may help in the fight against pancreatic and prostate cancer as well as a number of other ailments [source: Reinberg].

Whether you're willing to hop on the lycopene bandwagon or not, there's ample evidence to support the belief that tomatoes are a good source of nutrients that the body needs to replenish itself and stave off disease. The next time you're at the store, adopt a tomato. Either fresh, stewed, juiced, pureed or sun-dried, eating tomatoes is a delicious way to stay healthy.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

Sources

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  • Cooking Nook. "Nutritional Facts About Tomatoes." Undated. 10/22/09.http://www.cookingnook.com/facts-about-tomatoes.html
  • Daniells, Stephen. "Scientists Probe Tomato's Benefits Beyond Lycopene." 12/3/07. 10/19/09.http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Scientists-probe-tomato-s-benefits-beyond-lycopene
  • Davidson, Alan. "The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford Press. 1999
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  • Gutierrez, David. "Beyond Lycopene: Scientists Study Health Benefits of Phytoene and Phytofluene From Tomatoes." Natural News. 6/27/08. 10/18/09.http://www.naturalnews.com/023527_cancer_Prostate_health.html
  • Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. " Potassium Lowers Blood Pressure." 7/05. 10/21/09.http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0705c.shtml
  • Heinz Ketchup. "One of the World's Most Beloved Super Foods." Undated. 10/15/09.http://heinz.com/health--wellness/focus-foods/dietary-preferences.aspx#diet/
  • Medical News Today. "FDA Says Lycopene Not Cancer-Protective." 7/27/07.10/18/09.http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/77958.php
  • New York Times Health. "Vitamin K." Undated. 10/20/09.http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/nutrition/vitamin-k/overview.html
  • Reinberg, Steven. "FDA Denies Lycopene Supplement Health Claims." 205. 10/18/09.http://sexualhealth.e-healthsource.com/?p=news1&id=529054
  • Smith, Andrew F. "The Tomato in America - Early History, Culture and Cookery." University of South Carolina Press. 2001.
  • The Metabolic Syndrome Institute. " Tomatoes Rich Diet Shown to Increase HDL Cholesterol." 1/13/07. 10/21/09.http://www.metabolic-syndrome-institute.org/news/2007/2007.01.13.php
  • W. H. Foods. "Tomatoes." Undated. 10/17/09.http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=44
  • Westfall, Lisa. "Tomatoes a Great Way to Get Essential Fiber and Vitamins." This Week Community News. 8/26/09. 10/21/09.http://www.thisweeknews.com/live/content/food/stories/2009/08/26/calorie_countess.html?sid=104
  • Your Total Health. "Tomatoes." Undated. 10/18/09.http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/tomatoes.html

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