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Lycopene in tomatoes has been the subject of numerous studies the last several years. Lycopene has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. The antioxidant function of lycopene has been linked in human research in the protection of DNA inside of white blood cells. Prevention of heart disease has been shown to be another antioxidant role played by lycopene.
Lycopene from tomatoes has been repeatedly studied in humans and found to be protective against a growing list of cancers. These cancers now include: colorectal, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung and pancreatic cancers.
It is very easy to add tomatoes to your diet. My two favorite ways are by using grape tomatoes for healthy snacks and salsa. I hate store purchased salsa, it never tastes the way it does in a restaurant. This is a recipe I found that makes delicious salsa.
I Love Salsa
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and very coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, dieced
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes
1 (28 0z.) can crushed tomatoes (garlic flavored) or diced tomatoes if you like it chunky
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. cumin
1 sweet yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
juice of one lime
Chop the jalapenos and garlic. Toss into a large bowl. Continue to chop the rest of the vegetables and add them to the bowl. Once the vegetables are all chopped add the can of tomatoes and stir with the chopped vegetables. Combine the lime juice, cayenne pepper, cumin, red wine vinegar and salt with all of the other ingredients in the bowl. Mix all ingredients well. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
Source: adapted from a recipe http://annies-eats.com