Alert
Close

Tell your senator to end the gridlock and renew the Older Americans Act now. Learn more

Highlights

Open

 

 

FREE FUN!

AARP Games - Play Now!
AARP Auto Buying Program

  

Contests and
Sweeps

most popular
articles

Viewed

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

This wholesome powerhouse may even keep diabetes at bay

En español | Nothing says summer like a garden bursting with tomatoes on the vine. Now a handful of studies show that the ubiquitous fruit — or vegetable (it's classified as both) — not only guards against several types of cancer but also may reduce your risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, even diabetes.

tomato, high in nutrition

Tomatoes contain the powerful antioxidant lycopene. — Photo by Travis Rathbone

The primary nutrient behind tomatoes' healing power is lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that works by neutralizing free radicals (errant oxygen molecules that cause cellular damage in the body). Research has shown that eating foods high in lycopene protects against a wide range of cancers, from prostate cancer to lung and breast cancers.

See also: 7 Superfoods that ease pain. 

Tomatoes also can help prevent heart attacks, primarily by lowering cholesterol. In one study, drinking 13 ounces of tomato juice daily for three weeks lowered LDL "bad" cholesterol levels by almost 13 percent. Preliminary research also suggests a link between dietary lycopene and increased bone mass.

But lycopene may not be the tomato's only star nutrient. Another appears to be 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid, which researchers at Kyoto University in Japan recently found lowers cholesterol and fat in the bloodstream. (Left unchecked, these lipids can lead to such diseases as arteriosclerosis and even type 2 diabetes.)

Three or more servings a week of tomatoes are optimal, experts say.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Advertisement

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

denny's restaurant member discount membership

Members save 15% all day, every day when dining at participating Denny’s restaurants.

Pepperoni Pizza, Papa Johns Superbowl promotion for AARP members

Members save 25% off regular menu price orders at Papa John's

Outback membership benefit aarp festive steak dinner

Members save 15% on lunch and dinner every day at Outback Steakhouse.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points

  

Advertisement