Health Benefits Of Lycopene...Another Slice Of Pizza?



What are the health benefits of lycopene?



If you had to name some of the best known antioxidants, lycopene would be one of them.

They are part of the family of antioxidant carotenoids, found in fruit and vegetables.

Up until recently beta-carotene has been the star player in the carotenoid family...but now lycopene (along with lutein) have gained their respectability with science.

Do not underestimate lycopene though...it is one of the most important dietary carotenoids.

Believe it or not the richest source is tomato sauces. In fact you get more benefit from the sauces than you do with raw tomatoes. Yes, don't feel so bad when you eat your next pizza, especially if it has tomato sauce toppings!



Interestingly, pizza can possibly offer the most protection. Why? Well researchers suspect that lycopene may be better absorbed when cooked with fat, such as the oil and cheese in pizza.

In fact one study found that men who ate ten or more lycopene-rich tomato meals weekly had as much as a 45-per cent reduced risk of developing prostate cancer

If you diet is rich in lycopene then apparently the risk of pancreatic and cervical cancers are reduced. And also a 48-per cent reduction in heart attacks had been reported in a recent Europen based study (compared to diets low in lycopene).

Lycopene is also found (in smaller amounts) in watermelon, pink grapefruit and guava.

Final point, it is not conclusive that lycopene on its own, or whether lycopene combined with other nutrients found in tomatoes, protects against cancer.

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