Fight Breast Cancer With Tomatoes

Colorful tomatoes of different sizes and kinds

Here's another good reason to add some tomato to your next salad or pile some extra sauce on your plate of spaghetti: Doing so may actually help lower your breast cancer risk by keeping your weight down. 

In an experiment by researchers from Rutgers and Ohio State Universities, women who ate a tomato-rich diet had increased levels of a hormone called adiponectin, which helps the body regulate fat and blood sugar. Adiponectin previously has been shown to lower breast cancer risk, likely by protecting against obesity and insulin resistance. Being overweight is a risk factor for breast cancer. The researchers think lycopene, the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color, and other nutrients in tomatoes pump up adiponectin levels. 

So: Eating more tomatoes keeps your weight down, which then helps ward off breast cancer. That's a win-win. 

But that’s not all. Lycopene also appears to protect against heart disease, age-related eye problems and several other kinds of cancer. 

More Foods that Fight Breast Cancer

Not a fan of tomatoes? No problem! There are plenty of other foods that have been found to help reduce breast cancer risk.

  • Carrots: In a study of African Americans women, those who munched on carrots at least three times a week enjoyed a 17 percent lower risk of breast cancer.
  • Mushrooms: In one study, women who ate at least 10 g of fresh mushrooms a day (the equivalent of one small mushroom) had a 64 percent decreased risk of breast cancer.
  • Peanut butter: Eating two servings of peanut butter a week as a girl decreases the risk of developing benign breast disease in adulthood, according to a study from Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Green tea: Three cups of green tea a day can help lower risk by as much as 50 percent thanks to its high EGCG antioxidant content.
  • Dietary fiber: Researchers found that women on high-fiber diets were 11 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than those with the least. 

More On

Breast cancer survivor Tracy discusses her diagnosis & experience with a bilateral mastectomy

video

Breast cancer survivor Tracy discusses her diagnosis & experience with a bilateral mastectomy
Tracy talks about why she chose to have a bilateral mastectomy when she was diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer and why she hid this information from...
Why Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Need More Diversity

article

Why Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Need More Diversity
In order to improve breast cancer outcomes, clinical trials need more women from racial and ethnic minorities.
5 Workouts for Breast Cancer Survivors

slideshow

5 Workouts for Breast Cancer Survivors
These gentle workouts can help ease pain, fatigue, stress, and weight gain.
How are estrogen receptors related to breast cancer treatment?

video

How are estrogen receptors related to breast cancer treatment?
There are two genes that encode for two different estrogen receptors, alpha and beta. Oncology professor Robert Clarke, PhD, DSc, explains how estroge...
Breast cancer drug trial yields ‘unheard-of’ survival rates

video

Breast cancer drug trial yields ‘unheard-of’ survival rates
A new study has been cited by cancer specialists as a "new standard of care."