Researchers from the university in Bristol had analysed the lifestyles and diets of 20,000 UK men aged 50 to 69 years.
They observed that men who ate over 10 portions of tomatoes every week in the form of baked beans, tomato juice, and fresh tomatoes saw a reduction of 18 percent in the risk of prostate cancer.
Researchers also found that eating at least five servings of vegetables and fruits every day reduces the risk by at least 24 percent, when compared to men who consumed just two-and-a-half servings and/or less.
Researcher Vanessa Er, associated with the School of Social and Community Medicine of Bristol University, said their findings indicate that tomatoes are important in preventing prostate cancer.
Vanessa also said more studies in the form of human clinical trials are needed to confirm the new findings. Men who consume a variety of vegetables and fruits stay active and maintain a healthy weight, she added.
Tomatoes’ cancer-fighting properties are said to be due to the antioxidant lycopene that has the ability to protect against damage to cells and DNA.
The UK researchers also studied two other dietary components that were linked with the risk of prostate cancer: selenium, which is present in flour-based foods like pasta and bread, and calcium, which is found in dairy products like cheese and milk.
The researchers observed that men who indulge in optimal intake of the above three dietary components recorded a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Later, speaking on the findings, Dr Iain Frame of the Prostate Cancer UK said there is insufficient evidence to make tangible suggestions on which particular foods men should consume in order to cut down on their prostate cancer risk.
However, Dr Frame said what is known is that men should not rely heavily on any one variety of food item like tomato. The best option for men is to have a healthy diet of fresh vegetables and fruits along with regular exercise, Dr Frame added.