Lycopene, also known as a carotenoid, is responsible for the pink or red colour of foods such as tomatoes, watermelons, and sweet red peppers. Lycopene can improve your bone health and acts as a powerful antioxidant, which can protect you against heart disease.
Lycopene is also available as a nutritional supplement in tablet, pill, and gelcap form, in addition to food sources.
Health Benefits Of Lycopene
Lycopene is an antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage and helps to balance free radical activity in the body, which may reduce the risk of certain diseases. For example, there is enough evidence that lycopene may play a role in bone health.
There is mounting evidence that lycopene can assist in maintaining bone strength. Lycopene was found to alter bone metabolism in a clinical investigation (the constant production and breakdown of bone tissue). The researchers discovered that lycopene altered the activity of several genes that support bone density, which gives bones strength.
Antioxidant properties of lycopene may support heart health and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Though more human research is needed to confirm this claim, lycopene appears to be beneficial to heart health. To support healthy heart and vascular (cardiovascular) health, blood pressure and cholesterol must be appropriately managed. However, there is conflicting research on whether lycopene can help with these conditions.
Also read: 7 Reasons Why You Should Have Tomato Soup In Winters
According to a study, lycopene has been shown to increase sperm count by up to 70%. Lycopene's antioxidant qualities may assist improve sperm quality. Because the chemical reduces the chance of prostate cancer, it can further boost reproductive health.
You've certainly heard that using a topical vitamin C or antioxidant serum on your skin can help slow down natural ageing and decrease fine lines and wrinkles. According to the study, the main carotenoids (called antioxidants) found in both skin and plasma are lycopene and beta-carotene, which explains why they're commonly employed in skin care products.
Aids In Healing Sunburn
Lycopene has been shown in studies to protect against erythema (superficial reddening of the skin caused by UV light). Lycopene is an antioxidant that is effective at scavenging free radicals.
Also read: Natural Home Remedies For Sunburn: 6 Best Tips To Cool Down Your Skin
Best Food Sources Of Lycopene
Lycopene is found in all-natural foods that have a rich pink to red colour. Tomatoes are the most abundant source of lycopene, and the riper the tomato, the more lycopene it contains. However, this nutrient can also be found in a variety of other foods.
Here is a list of some foods containing lycopene:
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Tomato purée
- Fresh tomatoes
- Pink grapefruit
- Cooked sweet red peppers