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.
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.
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