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3 ways tomatoes keep you healthy

Most people don’t care if tomatoes are a fruit or a vegetable - as long as they’re juicy and delicious. They’re the most popular home-grown crop in the United States since not only are they great fresh, but they really punch up a homemade sauce, soup, or casserole.

Tomatoes contains lycopene, a unique nutrient that may ward off cancer, plus they’re high in vitamin C, folate, and potassium. This means tomatoes are great protection against heart disease and can even boost your immune system. And by the way, they’re a fruit.

 

* CONQUERS CANCER - if you had to pick just one food as a cancer fighting superstar, would it be tomatoes? If not you’d be missing out on the amazing carotenoid lycopene. Found only in a handful of plants, lycopene not only gives tomatoes their brilliant color, but may also lower your risk of developing cancer, according to a Harvard Medical School review of 72 different studies.

You’ve already heard how deadly tomatoes can be to prostate cancer - if you eat 10 or more servings a week, they lycopene could cut your risk of prostate cancer in half. But also the more tomatoes and tomato products you eat, the less likely you are to develop stomach, long, breast, colon, mouth, or throat cancer, as well.

* HEALS YOUR HEART - Tomatoes don’t stop at cancer, either. An army of nutrients works as closing down one heart-stopping condition after another. Lycopene breaks down cholesterol in such a way that it keeps your arteries free-flowing. Folate cleans up homocysteine, an amino acid that links with cholesterol to give your heart double trouble. And in s study from Europe, drinking 11 ounces of tomato juice every day - about as much as in one soda can - really put the crunch on LDL or “bad” cholesterol. If that’s not enough, tomatoes are chock-full of potassium, a mineral crucial for lowering blood pressure. So slice up a tomato and you’re slicing your risk of heart disease and heart attack.

* BEATS BACTERIA - Experts say, drink just one 11-ounce can of tomato juice and you’ve boosted your immune system more than by eating foods like spinach or carrots. Nutrients in the tomatoes first encourage your body to produce more T cells, white blood cells that direct attacks against foreign substances like bacteria and viruses. Then the antioxidants in the tomatoes protect these white blood cells from free radicals. The bottom line - tomatoes offer a double whammy against anything that tries to slow you down.

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