Tomatoes are rich in the cancer-fighting phytonutrient lycopene, which gives tomatoes their vibrant, red color. Lycopene’s antioxidant properties have been studied for their potential anticancer properties, particularly in prostate cancer.
While diet and lifestyle factors, environment, and genetics have all been considered risk factors for prostate cancer, there’s been interest in studying how foods high in lycopene can reduce prostate cancer risk. While exciting, these results are still inconclusive.
Not only do tomatoes have lycopene in their arsenal, one tomato has 20% of your daily vitamin A and 28% of daily vitamin C. Both of these vitamins are also antioxidants that reduce cell damage from free radicals.
Vitamin A can be turned into beta-carotene once in the body. Researchers are currently investigating the ability of beta-carotene to fight breast cancer and lung cancer. In addition to being an antioxidant itself, vitamin C replenishes other antioxidants, as well as supports our immune cells.
Canned tomatoes are a great substitute for fresh in sauces, chili, and stews, especially in wintertime when fresh tomatoes are not readily available. Canned tomatoes are a useful staple to keep in your pantry. Keeping a couple of small cans of tomato paste on hand will add quick doses of flavor to many meals.
When tomatoes are out of season, use canned tomatoes for cooked recipes that call for fresh ones, such as our buttery Tomato Risotto or classic soup recipes like our Provençal Tomato Soup or Grandma’s Minestrone.