Tomatoes are sometimes called love apples, and now there’s a new reason why.
Scientists at the University of Portsmouth, England, had a group of six healthy men consume a 14-ounce can of cream of tomato soup each day for 14 days. The result: The levels of the carotenoid lycopene in their sperm rose 7 to 12 percent. Tomatoes get their red coloring from this carotenoid, and lycopene also seems to be what many infertile men don’t have much of (though the link needs further exploration). According to the researchers, one theory is that lycopene, a strong antioxidant, mops up some of the free radicals that can cause infertility. The researchers used soup instead of fresh tomatoes because lycopene is better absorbed with processing.