In the study, eating about 10 portions of the fruit a week slashed risk of prostate cancer by 18 percent.Luca Nebuloni/Flickr

Regular consumption of tomatoes can help lower the risk of prostate cancer in men, says a new study.

Researchers from the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford in the UK reached the conclusion after studying lifestyle habits of 13,811 people, aged between 50 and 69. It included 1,806 cancer patients and 12,005 normal people.

High intake of foods rich in selenium, calcium and lycopene was associated with reduced risk of cancer in men.

Selenium is a nutrient found in seafood (oyster, tuna), mushrooms and Brazil nuts that helps the thyroid gland function properly. It is also known to prevent cancer. Calcium can be acquired by eating cheese, dark leafy vegetables, almonds, broccoli, okra, fish and dairy products.

Lycopene is a chemical found in red coloured fruits and vegetables. Mangoes, papaya, grapefruit, carrots, guava, asparagus, red cabbage, red pepper, watermelon and rose hips are some rich sources of the chemical. The antioxidant is highly effective in eradicating toxins posing risk to DNA and cells.

In the study, eating about 10 portions of the fruit a week slashed the risk of prostate cancer by 18 percent.

"Our findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention. However, further studies need to be conducted to confirm our findings, especially through human trials. Men should still eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight and stay active," lead researcher of the study Vanessa Er, from the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol and Bristol Nutrition BRU, said in a news release.

The study has been reported in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

The disease fighting ability of lycopene has drawn wide attention lately. A research released this June showed that eating at least four tomatoes daily lowered the risk of kidney cancer by 45 percent.

The same month, British researchers found a tomato pill- ateronon with seven mg of lycopene as highly promising to fight heart diseases. Last December, researchers also revealed the breast cancer fighting ability of tomatoes.

Lycopene has also shown effective in treating infertility in men, preventing strokes, treatment of asthma and human papilloma virus (HPV) infection.

Some Anti- Prostate Cancer Foods

Nearly 1.11 million men around the world were affected with the deadly disease in 2012, according to Cancer Research UK. You can lower the risk of developing prostate cancer with following foods:

  • Green tea
  • Red wine
  • Broccoli
  • Chili Pepper
  • Soy
  • Grapefruit
  • Cranberries
  • Pomegranate
  • Avocado
  • Foods rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids (fish)
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