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This Plant Compound May Protect Against Cancer And Radiation Therapy


For cancer patients and everyday individuals alike, radiation damage is of serious concern. Protecting against these harmful rays has been nearly impossible. Luckily, a chemical compound present in tomatoes has been found to have a strong component against radiation. Lycopene is a strong dietary antioxidant and gives tomatoes their bright red color. This is another good reason why we need to instill more trust in mother nature.


Lycopene 101


Lycopene is a naturally occurring chemical compound that is responsible for the bright red color of a wide range of fruits and vegetables. The highest amount and concentration of lycopene is found in tomatoes.

In the North American diet, almost 85% of their dietary lycopene is derived from tomatoes and its by-products such as tomato paste and juice. Some of the health benefits you can obtain from tomatoes are:

  1. Prevents and stops the oxidization of free radicals
  2. Aids in the prevention of diabetes
  3. Helps treat infertility
  4. Prevents osteoporosis
  5. Offsets age-related macular degeneration
  6. Prevents skin aging by boosted collagen

When heated, lycopene is one of the many compounds that are more easily accessed and absorbed by the human body. This means that you can increase the health benefits obtained from tomatoes by cooking them.


Study: Lycopene May Protect Against Cancer


In a study conducted at Keele University, dietary lycopene has been found to be able to successfully protect the body against the harmful effects of radiation. This research showed how tomatoes can be useful in limiting the negative side effects of cancer radiation therapies. Here are some of their findings:

  1. Lycopene is the strongest carotenoids reducing agent, thereby leading researchers to believe that it is the ultimate protectant against gamma radiation
  2. Lycopene’s protects cell membranes from damage-by-radiation
  3. Lycopene’s protective effects reduced as oxygen concentration increased, meaning that high oxygen concentrations lycopene will lead to improved cancer therapy using radiation.

Here Are Some Tomato Recipes You Can Try At Home For You To Reap More Of Its Health Benefits:



Bright Roasted Tomato Salsa


Forget the store-bought packaged salsa and make your own healthy and delicious version of this Mexican classic dish.

Ingredients:

1/2 a red onion, finely chopped
12-14 cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
A handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of a lime

Instructions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 475ºF.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil (this is not necessary but makes for easier cleanup). Place the tomatoes on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until slightly browned. Remove and let cool.
  3. Place the tomatoes in a bowl with the onions and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lime juice and olive oil to coat. Mix to combine.


Lycopene-Rich Turmeric Tomato Soup Recipe


This recipe is high in lycopene along with other disease-fighting foods like garlic cloves and turmeric.

Ingredients:

1 can diced tomatoes (don’t drain the sauce)
¾ cup cherry tomatoes, rinsed and cut in halves
½ cup low-sodium vegetable stock
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 minced onion
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
  1. Fry onion and garlic in coconut oil over medium heat for 1 minute.
  2. Add the turmeric and cherry tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are soft.
  3. Add canned tomatoes, stock, ACV, and basil. Bring to boil on medium-high heat, then cover and let simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Blend using a blender or hand mixer until creamy.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.

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