Last week UK researchers published a new study showing that a tomato rich diet can protect against prostate cancer, with 10 portions a week linked to an 18% lower risk.
10 servings sounds a lot, but it’s not much more than one a day.
Why tomatoes? The benefits are down to lycopene, the pigment which gives tomatoes their colour. Lycopene is a potent antioxidant which protect cells against damage.
A lower risk of prostate cancer isn’t the only reason to eat more tomatoes. As well as possible benefits for the heart, tomato rich foods have been found to protect against sun damage and boost muscle recovery after exercise.
Two rules To get the most from your tomatoes two rules apply – lycopene is higher in cooked tomatoes, so eating canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato based sauces will boost lycopene levels more effectively than eating raw tomatoes.
Lycopene is also better absorbed when consumed with fat, so add a splash of olive oil to sauce, or serve cooked tomatoes with oily fish to benefit.
With just 50 calories per 250ml glass, why not make a post workout tomato juice a habit? Or start your daily dose with my shakshauka eggs.