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Tomatoes are a popular food as well as a superior source of lycopene, a phytonutrient, or more specifically a carotenoid, one of a group of yellow, orange, and red pigments found in plants. Lycopene is a potent antioxidant that has proven itself in study after study to have properties that enhance prostate health. Tomatoes are the best foods for prostate health (or at least at the top of the list) especially when they are processed.
Although fresh tomatoes are nutritious, their lycopene antioxidant potency increases when they are processed. Processing breaks down the cell walls of tomatoes, which makes the lycopene more accessible to the body. Thus tomato paste, sauce, soup, and juice offer more antioxidant protection for the prostate than do fresh tomatoes. The results of many studies show that processed tomato products really enhance prostate health.
For example, a Brazilian study found that men with BPH who consumed 50 grams of tomato paste daily for 10 weeks had a greater than 10 percent decline in their PSA levels compared with levels before the study. Another study evaluated about 48,000 men and found that those who ate lots of tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, and pizza had a 35 percent reduced risk of developing prostate cancer and a 53 percent lower risk of getting aggressive prostate cancer.
Researchers from Germany’s University of Bonn say that just one serving of tomatoes or a tomato product every day could protect against the DNA damage that can set the stage for prostate cancer. Tomatoes are also good for managing benign prostatic hypertrophy and keeping PSA levels down.
Because processed tomato products are available year round, it is easy to make them a part of your diet. Something as simple as a glass of tomato juice daily can be helpful in promoting prostate health.