This is Why Tomatoes are Skin Superfoods

This is Why Tomatoes are Skin Superfoods
iStock/julief514

A diet rich in tomatoes can cut skin cancer risk in half, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports. Pizza, heirloom tomato toast, and gazpacho have never looked so good – or so smart.

Researchers at the Ohio State University found that consuming tomatoes daily cut the risk of skin cancer tumors in mice by half, in the recent study.

Researchers fed male mice a diet made up of ten percent tomato powder for 35 weeks while exposing them to ultraviolet (UV) light. On average, the mice that consumed tomatoes experienced a 50 percent decrease in skin cancer tumors, as opposed to mice who did not consume tomatoes.

What makes tomatoes so skin-protective? The carotenoids, or plant pigments, found in tomatoes (and many other fruits and vegetables) act as photoprotectants, or mechanisms that protect against molecular damage caused by the sun’s harsh rays.

“Following consumption, carotenoids are deposited in the skin of humans where they are, in theory, present and able to protect from UV damage,” the researchers note.

“Lycopene, the primary carotenoid in tomatoes, has been shown to be the most effective singlet oxygen quencher of the carotenoids.”

Also found in watermelon, lycopene is the compound associated with the vibrant red color of tomatoes. Lycopene is also known for its anti-inflammatory effects and is thought to be protective against degenerative diseases including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Tomatoes are abundant in lycopene as well as several other beneficial antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Now in season, tomatoes are a delicious way to eat your way to healthy and protected skin. Enjoy them on pasta, avocado toast, eggs, salads, quinoa, and more.

No matter how many tomatoes you do consume, there’s no replacement for sunscreen. And if you do get burned, repair your sensitive skin ASAP.

As you can see, taking care of your skin isn’t just about finding the right skin care regimen. It’s also about eating the right Food for Your Face™ which will elevate any skincare routine you have.

Related On Organic Authority
The 31 Best Natural Sunscreens of 2017 (Plus a Breakdown of Ingredients)
Scientists are Making Heirloom Tomatoes Taste Like Real Tomatoes Again
Everything You Need to Know About Growing Tomatoes

Kate Gavlick
Kate Gavlick

Kate is a Nutritionist with a Master's of Nutrition from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon and the blogger and photographer of Vegukate. Kate believes in nourishing the whole body with real, vibrant foods that feed the mind, body, soul, gut, and every single little cell. Her philosophy is simple when it comes to food and nourishment: cut the processed junk, listen to your body, eat by the seasons, eat plates and bowls filled with color, stress less, and enjoy every single bite. When she's not cooking in her too tiny Portland kitchen, Kate can be found perusing farmer's markets, doing barre classes, hiking, reading, and exploring.