Let’s Hear it for Lycopene!
One hundred percent juice, like all forms of fruits and vegetables, is full of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that a body needs. One of these important antioxidants is lycopene. Lycopene is responsible for the red and pink colors found in tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon, and other foods. In addition to making food colorful, research on lycopene suggests this pigment can positively affect overall health. Lately, we’ve seen a lot of research demonstrating lycopene health benefits; let’s take a look at a few:
- Lycopene and skin health: Want to keep that skin looking younger? Recently published research suggests that the lycopene in tomato products and tomato juice can protect the skin from sun damage including sunburn, even reducing the risk of developing keratinocyte carcinomas, a type of skin cancer.
- Lycopene and aging: It won’t just keep your skin from aging; lycopene has been connected with a reduction in cell DNA damage What does that mean? It means that consuming more lycopene-rich foods has the potential to slow down the body’s aging process.
- Lycopene and cancer: Known as an antioxidant, many pieces of research have looked at lycopene’s cancer fighting properties. Lycopene- rich tomatoes and products made from the fruit like tomato juice were found to lower the risk of prostate, lung, and breast cancer.
- Lycopene and overall health: Looking for more benefits? Eating foods high in lycopene have been linked to superior cholesterol, improved blood vessel function, and a decrease in blood pressure. There’s even research that has also shown an association between lycopene and reduced risk of heart disease.
If reading these new benefits doesn’t have you craving tomato juice, what will? The amount of lycopene increases when tomatoes are cooked or processed making tomato juice, tomato paste, and tomato sauce all pack a healthy dose of lycopene.
Not a fan of tomato products? Don’t worry, there are other lycopene-filled juices out there give too! Look for brightly red or pink colored juices like watermelon juice or pink grapefruit juice.