By the time you finish reading this article, you will be more aware of the many health benefits of lycopene.
So, what exactly is it?
It is a compound found in certain fruits and vegetables. It belongs to the group of substances known as carotenes and is the pigment responsible for giving vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit, their red color.
What are the health benefits?
It has been found to possess many benefits, and also has strong antioxidant properties. Because it is a potent antioxidant, it can be extremely effective in fighting free radicals which can damage cells in the body. This can help to reduce the risk of cancer and strokes.
Indeed, several studies have suggested that a diet high in lycopene may be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer.
The beneficial effect of antioxidants on heart disease has been well documented. In a recent study, it was found that men with a high concentration of lycopene in their body were only 50% as likely to have a heart attack compared to men with lower concentrations.
Research has shown the following other suggested benefits of lycopene:
Lycopene is not produced naturally in the body. It must be obtained through a person's diet. Tomato products, such as tomato juice, ketchup, spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce for example are, by far, the major sources in the typical western diet. In fact, these foods provide over 80 percent of the compound consumed in the U.S. Other fruits and vegetables such as watermelon and pink grapefruit also provide this anti oxidant, but in smaller amounts.
So, eating a lot of tomatoes will help. However, this nutrient can also be taken in supplement form but this might not be the answer as it may not provide all of the benefits associated with eating tomatoes. The overall benefits could be due to the mix of different vitamins that are contained in tomatoes.
For this reason, a good multi-nutritional supplement may be better as they contain ingredients that address many of the causes of cellular aging, of which free radical damage is only one. Please remember that with all supplements, make sure that you follow the instructions on the packet.
So, look for a good multi-nutritional supplement that contains lycopene rather than buying a single ingredient supplement. Not only will you be more likely to benefit, but you may also get better value for money.