Did You Know | Health

Study Says Ketchup Can Reduce Risk Of Cancer

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Whether I put it on my burgers, french fries or mac and cheese, ketchup has always been my go-to condiment.

But as I get older, I've become more aware about how consuming too much ketchup would negatively affect my health, and have reluctantly cut down my intake.

However, I may be back to my old habits, as scientists at Spain's Universitat Politecnica de Valenicia suggest cooked tomatoes, pasta sauces and even ketchup can help reduce the risk of cancer.

The study claims that cooked tomatoes have more health benefits compared to their raw counterparts, RSVP Live reports.

When tomatoes are cooked, a chemical called lycopene increases its probiotic effect, leading to higher levels of healthy bacteria in the gut.

The researchers looked into the correlation between ingesting cooked tomato sauces and gastric cancer, which resulted in the surprising findings.

It was discovered that the tomato extracts were able to inhibit the cancer cells' ability to spread, eventually killing them all off.

However, according to the study's author and cancer specialist Daniela Barone, the benefits of eating tomatoes "seem not related to specific components, such as lycopene, but rather suggest that tomatoes should be considered in their entirety."

Scientists allege the study's results can open doors to more research on preventing stomach cancer through unconventional means.

The History of Ketchup

Even though the National Geographic claims 97% of people in the United States have ketchup tucked away in their home, it turns out the condiment doesn't have American roots.

When British explorers traveled to China and Vietnam between the 17th and 18th centuries, they encountered a fish sauce, and when they returned, they tried to recreate the the fermented dark sauce.

But, their version is not what we're used to today as it included ingredients like mushrooms, walnuts, oysters, and anchovies - but not tomatoes.

The first recipe involving tomatoes was written by scientist and horticulturalist, James Mease in 1812, who called the fruit, "love apples."

Fast forward to 1867, and a man named Henry J. Heinz teamed up with Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley to create a product that didn't contain harmful preservatives such as coal tar and sodium benzoate.

Heinz created a type of ketchup for American consumers, with ingredients that included red, ripe tomatoes, and an increase of vinegar to give the product a longer shelf life.

Homemade recipes for ketchup eventually left the pages of cookbooks, as everyone knew the recipes couldn't compete with the iconic Heinz brand.

The rest they say is history.

Will you be adding more ketchup to your diet? Let us know in the comments!

[H/T: RSVP Live, National Geographic]

Maya has been working at Shared for 11 Months. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com