Tomatoes are known as having many health benefits, including better digestion, improved eyesight, reduced blood pressure, etc, but a new study shows that these healthy veggies can even fight cancer.
According to the new study, whole tomato extract is able to inhibit gastric cancer cell growth as well as malignant features. But what’s really interesting is that the study suggests that tomato’s antitumoral effects are not related to its specific components such as lycopene, but rather to its entirety.
Gastric or stomach cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in the world, and the third most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide. This is because this type of cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms until the later stages, making it hard to diagnose early.
Its causes are numerous, including genetic causes, H. pylori bacterial infections, stomach polyps, and bad eating habits, which include the consumption of a lot of salty, processed and smoked foods.
Tomatoes vs. Cancer
In the study, whole tomato extracts from two different Southern Italy cultivars – San Marzano and Corbarino – were able to inhibit both the growth and cloning of malignant cells. What this means is that the future studies will not only focus on implementing lifestyle habits for prevention (in other words, eating more tomatoes) but also on the consumption of tomatoes as a support to conventional anti-cancer therapies.
However, since the researchers examined two different tomato species, it’s evident that more studies need to be done in order to find out which species have which effects.
Tomatoes are regularly consumed in a Mediterranean diet, which has been linked with a decreased risk of various cancers, including the stomach cancer. For this reason, it’s a good idea to adopt at least some of the principles of this healthy diet-plan which consists of lots of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, fish and healthy fats like olive oil. Unsurprisingly, tomatoes are a staple of the Mediterranean diet, so make sure to eat them regularly.
If you’re already eating healthy and don’t wish to significantly change your diet, then at least make an extra effort to consume more tomatoes.