Lycopene is a red pigment and a strong antioxidant belonging to the carotenoid family of phytonutrients.

As one of the most widely researched nutrients, lycopene has been found to provide powerful protection against cancers-especially prostate cancer and lung cancer.

Lycopene may also play a role in preventing heart disease by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

HEALING TIP: Fresh tomato sauce with extra virgin olive is a treat for the tastebuds! And the oil will help to maximize your body’s absorption of lycopene.¬†Like its other carotenoid cousins, lycopene is lipid soluble and best used by the body when it is cooked and eaten with a small amount of healthy fat. Research shows as little as 3-5 g of fat in a meal helps to ensure carotenoid absorption.

Lycopene - Found in:

Tomatoes, Watermelon, Grapefruit, Papaya, Guavas,
Aggarwal S, Rao AV. Tomato lycopene and its role in human health and chronic diseases. CMAJ. 2000; 163:739-744.Aggarwal S, Rao AV. Tomato lycopene and low density lipiprotein oxidation: a human dietary intervention study. Lipids. 1998; 33:981-984.Arab L, Steck S. Lycopene and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000; 71(suppl); 1691S-1695S.Gann PH, Ma J, Giovannucci E, et al. Lower prostate cancer risk in men with elevated plasma lycopene levels: results of a prospective analysis. Cancer Res. 1999; 59:1225-1230.Gartner C, Stahl W, Sies H. Lycopene is more bioavailable from tomato paste than from fresh tomatoes. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997; 66:116-122.Giovannucci E. Tomatoes, tomato-based products, lycopene, and cancer: Review of the epidemiologic literature. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1999; 91:317-331.Johnson EJ. The role of lycopene in health and disease. Nutr Clin Care. 2000; 3:35-43.

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

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