How to beat breast cancer with spaghetti sauce

Men who want to dodge prostate cancer already know to fill up on lycopene-packed tomatoes. (Lycopene is the antioxidant-rich carotenoid that gives tomatoes their bright red color.) But new research suggests that older women might want to start following suit. Because as it turns out, regular tomato consumption may cut a woman’s risk of breast cancer after menopause.

This research looked at breast cancer risk with respect to its relationship to BMI. Overweight women are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease than their slimmer counterparts.

Naturally, it follows that any measure that can help to control fat accumulation and blood sugar will act as an effective cancer deterrent, too.

So researchers compared the effects of diets rich in either tomatoes or soy among 70 postmenopausal women.

This study featured two separate 10-week periods. During the first half, the women ate tomato products containing a minimum of 25 mgs of lycopene per day. During the second phase, the women ate a minimum of 40 grams of soy protein per day.

Results showed that after 10 weeks of filling up on lycopene, the subjects’ adiponectin levels rose by nine percent. (Adiponectin is a hormone that plays an important role in regulating sugar and fat metabolism.)

The women who ate soy, on the other hand, experienced a drop in adiponectin levels. (So much for that processed GMO garbage being a “health food,” huh?)

Of course, tomatoes are out of season in the middle of winter. But that doesn’t have to keep you from filling up on lycopene. In fact, cooked tomatoes–like the ones in spaghetti sauce–actually pack more of this critical carotenoid than the fresh variety.

And a generous helping (overtop grilled chicken or a hearty bowl of zucchini “noodles”) is just what this doctor ordered.

“Effects of Tomato and Soy on Serum Adipokine Concentrations in Postmenopausal Women at Increased Breast Cancer Risk: A Cross-Over Dietary Intervention Trial.” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Published online ahead of print.