Tomatoes are surely good for health and also said to have anti-cancer effect. Researchers from the Ohio State University have found that consuming tomato products like red sauce or salsa with certain foods, can neutralize the fruit’s anti-cancer effect. Tomatoes contain many compounds that can help to protect heart health and lowers one’s risk of developing cancer. But such compounds can disappear if the tomato products are eaten with a food that is high in iron.
One of the compounds that are found in tomatoes is Lycopene, which is a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their signature red color. Consumption of lycopene is linked to a number of potential health benefits by past research, including lowered cholesterol, cancer risk and blood pressure. Tomatoes are otherwise good for health unless they are eaten with commonly available foods that are high in iron. The researchers at the Ohio University found that lycopene levels in the blood of participants who consumed tomato extract shake were significantly lower if they also consumed iron supplements.
Surely iron is an essential supplement and for this reason, many food products are fortified with the nutrient and often includes the cereal grains used to make some types of pasta and bread. Some of the non-fortified food products are often consumed with tomatoes that can also contain high amounts of iron, like the meat is used for meatballs and spinach for salads.
Lycopene is also found in many other plant foods as well including red carrots, watermelons and papayas. But not all red and pink foods contain the caretenoid. The study has indicated that if they are hoping to benefit from the lycopene found in tomatoes, they should consume the fruit with other foods that are low in iron.
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