Recent studies have shown that the primary “carotenoid” found in tomatoes – especially concentrated cooked tomatoes – is a natural biological protective agent and chemical against sun damage.
Naturally, given the typical tomato growing season (around May to August or October) tomatoes are exposed to serious sun rays, and for good reason. That is, as, like most vegetables, fruits, and of course trees, the sun provides the necessary nutrients for positive, healthy growth.
According to a study released this month by Scientific Reports, consuming tomatoes regularly – or even using tomato paste on your body – can offer serious protection again both UVA and UVB rays, which in turn will reduce the likelihood of exposure to various keratinocyte carcinomas (forms of cancer.)
It’s worth pointing out, however, that this does not necessarily mean that consuming (excessive) amounts of tomatoes daily is an alternative to applying sunblock regularly! In fact, a lot of people don’t realize it, but even on cloudy days, there can be significant UV exposure, damage, and development of skin cancer later on in life.
Interestingly enough, clinical studies also showed that other forms of cancer such as lung, prostate, and even stomach cancers can be prevented through regular consumption of tomatoes – thanks to the lycopene content in each one you take a bite out of.
Tomatoes and its significant health benefits to preventing cancer and blocking UV-ray damage are indeed impressive in of itself. But, unlike other (raw) vegetables or fruits, in this case, it’s best to cook the tomatoes first – make a paste – and even eat it on your favorite pizza to get the most cumulative nutrients effects! This is because cooking tomatoes activate more of the “lycopene” than those left uncooked – much similarly to the health benefits and lycopene contents made bioavailable in other fruits like tangerines.
While current scientific studies and reports do verify to an extent that tomatoes and tomato sauce will help prevent short-term sun damage, whether or not it can protect against the long term effects is still something researchers are trying to find out.
What makes this study and scientific research most significant is that test participants were also found to have higher levels of procollagen, which is the precursor of collagen – this again emphasizes the nutritional values tomatoes have on your skin.
Many people already consume tomatoes daily, merely for this reason alone – and experience smoother, more supple skin in doing so!
Picture Credit: sphaeroid