Lycopene is the incredible natural substance (part of the carotenoid group) responsible for the deep red colour in many foods, especially tomatoes.
However, this fact is not what lycopene is most famous for. Most people are familiar with lycopene because of the health benefits it provides, from powerful antioxidants to cancer-fighting agents. Keep reading to learn more.
A few quick facts on lycopene
The health benefits of lycopene were surprisingly only discovered in the late twentieth century. However, in a short space of time, scientists and medical researchers have established the significant role it plays in our health.
You can find lycopene in certain fruits and vegetables. Once you consume foods with lycopene, your body will use it is as an antioxidant.
However, for your body to benefit from it, you need to consume enough of it. Some foods that contain a high concentration of lycopene include the following:
• Pink grapefruit
How lycopene functions
Lycopene is a very effective antioxidant. Even more so than it’s carotenoid cousin beta-carotene!
Its powerful actions are effective in maintaining the strength, thickness and fluidity of your cell membranes. Cell membranes are the guardians of cells. They’re responsible for screening what goes in and out of your cells. They allow good nutrients in and kick the bad ones out.
Strong, healthy cell membranes are vital to prevent diseases.
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The health benefits of lycopene
Lycopene is best-known to help prevent many forms of cancer
. However, it also helps prevent and treat the following illnesses and diseases:
• Heart diseases
• Skin aging
Lycopene as a dietary supplement
Lycopene is available as dietary supplement in mixed formulations or by itself. It’s typically available in a soft gel or oil based form.
There currently aren’t any reported side effects from eating foods rich in lycopene or taking lycopene supplements. However, to be on the safe side, I suggest you always follow the prescribed dosage.
And there you have it – lycopene is a substance that has great health benefits for your body! Most health agencies encourage individuals to increase their intake of food that’s high in carotenoids – lycopene included.
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