Well-researched lycopene, a red-pigment antioxidant in tomatoes, has anticancer benefits, but that’s only one of tomatoes’ protective components. “Lycopene slightly reduces cancer growth, whereas the whole tomato greatly reduces tumor growth,” says professor John Erdman Jr., PhD, of University of Illinois.

Protection power: Erdman says there’s strongest evidence for tomatoes protecting against prostate cancer—even delaying preexisting prostate cancer growth in men. Emerging research suggests tomatoes might protect against skin cancer, too.

Eat: As few as three tomato servings a week may provide prostate cancer protection. The body benefits most from cooked or processed ripe tomatoes.


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