Lycopene is a natural compound and carotenoid that provides red pigmentation to the foods it is in. Some of the best sources of lycopene are found in fruits and vegetables including:
- Pink Grapefruit
- Pink Guava
- Red Bell Peppers
Lycopene is also an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals to reduce oxidative stress and protect bodies from damage. Some conditions that are linked to oxidative stress are cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. As a result, Lycopene may help prevent or alleviate those health issues.
What Is Lycopene Used For?
Cancer: Some studies have shown that Lycopene has the ability to limit lung, breast, and prostate tumor growth. There has been a lot of research conducted on lycopene benefits for men in regards to prostate cancer. In some studies, men who consumed more tomato products were less likely to have a risk of prostate cancer.
Heart disease: Lycopene aids the heart by lowering cholesterol levels. When you have high cholesterol, it puts strain on your arteries, which can cause cardiac arrest and strokes. Lycopene works to lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL) that are “bad” and boosts high-density lipoproteins (HDL) that are “good” cholesterol. It can also help individuals with metabolic syndrome.
Alzheimer’s disease: Oxidative stress and aging contribute to the effects of this disease. Lycopene counteracts the destruction of brain cells to help improve your memory and cognitive function and fight Alzheimer’s disease.
Blood clotting: Lycopene may lower your body’s blood clotting ability. To be safe, avoid taking lycopene supplements two weeks before surgery.
Pregnant or breastfeeding: If you’re expecting or have welcomed a new baby, you don’t need to worry about eating foods that have lycopene. However, little research has been conducted on supplements, so it’s best to consult with your doctor prior to taking any new supplements.