A new review, still in the peer-review process and not yet published, suggests that men can lower their risk of developing prostate cancer by eating tomatoes and other foods that contain lycopene — a naturally occurring phytochemical that gives vegetables and fruits a pink or red hue.
The study conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that men who consumed higher amounts lycopene had an 11 percent decreased risk of prostate cancer than those who consumed less.
“Because lycopene is present in only a few foods, and approximately 85 percent of lycopene in the American diet comes from tomatoes and tomato products, people can really focus on eating tomato-containing foods,” John W. Erdman Jr., a professor at UIUC and the senior author on this research, told the American Institute for Cancer Research. “That’s a pretty easy way to reduce risk of cancer.”
Aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common among men in America, according to the American Cancer Association website. One in every seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.