Print Friendly and PDF

Broccoli and Tomatoes Combination Creates Anti-Cancer Superpower

Elizabeth Renter
May 23rd, 2013
Updated 05/08/2014 at 10:30 am
Pin It

broccoli on table 263x164 Broccoli and Tomatoes Combination Creates Anti Cancer SuperpowerThere are numerous studies available that showcase the effects broccoli can have on cancer cells and tumors. Most of them are connected to the compound sulforaphane, which has been found to fight cancer cells while not damaging surrounding healthy cells. The same can be said for the compound lycopene found in tomatoes. But as effective as the compounds are by themselves, one study published in the Journal of Cancer Research has actually found that when used together, they become a virtual anti-cancer superpower.

The Power of Broccoli and Tomatoes

“When tomatoes and broccoli are eaten together, we see an additive effect,” explained John Erdman, University of Illinois food science and human nutrition professor. “We think it’s because different bioactive compounds in each food work on different anti-cancer pathways.”

Erdman and colleagues conducted their research on laboratory rats, implanting them with cancerous prostate cells(scary thought, I know). Then the rats were fed various diets. Some were fed 10% tomato powder and 10% broccoli powder, while others were given only tomato powder, or only broccoli powder. Some were only given lycopene and some were given the prostate drug finasteride. Finally, the last group was castrated.

The group of rats that experienced the most benefit was those rats who received both broccoli and tomato powders. Their prostate tumors shrunk significantly more than the other groups.

The researchers say that men would need to eat about 1.4 cups of raw broccoli and 2.5 cups of fresh tomatoes to get the same benefits.

According to the American Cancer Society, about one-in-six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, behind only lung cancer. About 1 man in 36 men will die of this type of cancer.

While traditional-medicine will tell you “early detection” is crucial to survival, prevention is an even better solution.

Foods like broccoli and tomatoes are far more affordable than cancer treatment, and a diet that prevents cancer is simultaneously the diet that prevents ailments like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and much more. In other words, eating healthful can prevent disease – period.

The research linking broccoli alone to cancer prevention and treatment is bountiful, but you won’t likely get a prescription from your doctor to the farmer’s market. This kind of healthcare is the sort you need to take on yourself. Don’t wait to start eating healthfully, you will thank yourself later.

Additional Sources:


Prostate Cancer Foundation

From around the web:

  • Khun Siwalai

    We make an awesome Broccoli Tomato Soup

  • Linda

    Hi Brett, check a page on Facebook I have been compiling for months now – it is: or tell your sister about it anyway! I think you will be amazed at how many possiblities besides the AMA approved "slash and burn" method are really out there! Namaste.

  • Frank Cooper

    I am a little surprised by this article, as the outer bran of commercially grown rice has the greatest exposure to pesticides and herbicides. The rice bran oil found in supermarkets should be avoided. Maybe the writer is talking about organically grown rice bran oil and that would be very good for all the reasons mentioned above. I just felt this article needed some further explanation. Regards Frank Cooper, Nutritionist & Naturopath, Melbourne, Australia

    • Frank Cooper

      Sorry, my post post should have gone under the rice bran oil article, aoplogies.

  • SuziellyM

    Eat it in raw or cooked?

    • Linda

      Raw and organic is ALWAYS the preferred method of consuming any fruits or vegetables, once cooked you lose much of the vitamins and minerals.

    • Sid

      The article mentions raw broccoli. The tomato does not release the lycopene unless it is cooked to some degree. I like to blanch the tomato remove it from the boiling water and then squash it in a pan to release the juice, where I cook it on low heat for a few minutes adding a little sea salt and peppers, etc.