"When tomatoes and broccoli are eaten together, we see an additive effect. We think it's because different bioactive compounds in each food work on different anti-cancer pathways," University of Illinois food science and human nutrition professor John Erdman told the web site Physorg.com.
Erdman was one of the lead scientists for the study, which worked by implanting prostate cancer cells into laboratory rats fed a diet of 10 percent tomato powder and 10 percent broccoli powder made from whole foods. These rats did better than their study counterparts that were fed just tomato powder, just broccoli powder, or just lycopene – the red pigment in tomatoes believed to have health benefits. Another set of rats was fed finasteride, a prostate drug, whereas a last set of rats were castrated.
The rats fed the broccoli/tomato combination shrunk the prostate tumors much better than their counterparts.
"What this study scientifically demonstrates is the power of synergy in natural medicine," explained Mike Adams, author of "The Seven Laws of Nutrition." "Isolated chemicals, even phytonutrients, are almost never as effective as whole foods or superfoods in combating degenerative disease," Adams said. "Consumers who base their diets on whole, unprocessed plants, and who supplement with superfoods and whole-food concentrates, are universally healthier than those who don't. Nature has provided the only medicine we need to prevent cancer in about ninety percent of the population."
For men to get the same dietary effect, this translates to eating “1.4 cups of raw broccoli and 2.5 cups of fresh tomato, or 1 cup of tomato sauce, or ˝ cup of tomato paste,” Kirstie Canene-Adams, one of the project’s lead scientists, said to Physorg.com.
“The lesson here, I think, is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables prepared in a variety of ways.”
The study was published in the January 15 issue of Cancer Research magazine.