Two servings of baked beans a day can keep the doctor away, British researchers have announced.

The study says tomatoes cut the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 20% ─ if eaten in 10 servings per week.

One portion is counted as 150g of tomatoes, half a tin of baked beans, a slice of pizza with tomato puree, tomato-based pasta sauce or a glass of tomato juice.

The researchers, from Universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford, believe a chemical known as lycopene in tomatoes protects against the prostate cancer, which is a major killer of black men globally.

The scientists, Vanessa Er, of the University of Bristol, also said men who doubled their intake of fruit and vegetables to the recommended five portions a day reduced their risk by nearly 25%.

The study examined the diets and lifestyles of nearly 14,000 men aged between 50 and 69.

Those who ate at least ten portions of tomatoes a week turned out to  be 18 per cent less likely to develop prostate cancer compared to those who had none, or very few.

However, they urged men not to eat too much baked beans, pizza and pasta sauce because of the high levels of salt.

Er said: “Our findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention.

“We also found men who ate more fruits and vegetables had a reduced risk of prostate cancer. The risk reduction figure for men who ate five or more portions of fruit or vegetables, compared to those who ate less than two and a half portions, was 24%.”

She urged men to rely on whole foods rather than supplements and stick to a diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables.

She also suggested staying healthy and active and maintaining “an ideal weight”.

But experts are of the opinion that there is no yet sufficient proof that tomatoes can prevent against prostate cancer.

However, experts said there was not enough evidence for conclusive proof that tomatoes protected against prostate cancer because it is difficult to separate the effects of one type of food from another.

A healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables together with regular exercise is by far the best option is always recommended by doctors.

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