With all the health news coming to you from all directions, you may sometimes wonder about that one nutrient which will work wonders for your health and happiness. Look into your kitchen and open your fridge. Here it is, a powerful phytonutrient, lycopene. Phytonutrients are antioxidants found in plants and other veggies that grow from the ground.
Yes, lycopene is an all mighty phytonutrient easily found in our daily staple, tomato. Our dear tomato gets its rich red colour from this nutrient, though all fruits and vegetables that are red in colour don’t contain lycopene.
Lycopene: How will it help me?
Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps to keep away deadly illnesses like cancer and other age-related ailments.
Profit from it: Lycopene
It is known to hinder the growth of several types of cancer like uterine cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and such. Patients suffering from this frightful ailment could possibly accelerate their recovery by consuming extra lycopene through their food. But please ensure you have the go-ahead from your doctor first.
Mighty and Robust: Protects you from toxins:
As an undisputed team leader of antioxidants, it is a ‘mahadeva’ of protective components. This goodness actually breaks the jaws of all the toxins we may have ingested from our processed foods.
Improves Heart Health
Protect your dhak dhak dil from various age-related conditions. Lycopene also is believed to lower high blood pressure.
Keeps Your Bones Strong
Do you hear your bones cracking? Then it is time to invite lycopene on your plate. This nutrient keeps the bones healthy and strong by relieving the oxidative stress in your ‘haddi’ which results in brittle bones.
Boost your immune system:
This wonder stirs up the body’s defence mechanism to speedily attack microorganism that causes serious disease.
For your eyes:
Lycopene makes a rock solid vitamin for eye protection. Some studies even suggest that this nourishing component may prevent cataracts in some cases. So ‘eye’ will go for it!
Good for your skin too: This nutrient benefits your skin and hair in several other ways. The laundry list of ‘wow factor’ ranges from anti-ageing to preventing hair loss, dandruff and greying. So girls and boys, go for it.
Rich source of lycopene:
Tomato: Of course naturally. The darker they are, the richer it is in lycopene. Adding oil to tomato and cooking it activates the goodness many times more than eaten raw.
Grapefruit: This pink fruit is a superpower in Vitamin C in addition to lycopene, a close second to tomatoes.
Watermelon: The rich red colour of this fruit lures you, is it? With a good reason. It is full of lycopene, other vitamin and minerals. Apart from being a diuretic, watermelon is a good source of fibre.
Carrots: Again cliché, good for your eye, skin, health…and the list goes on.
Papaya: One of the leading star in the lycopene department. If you don’t get other fruits like mango or pink guava, your soldier papaya will save the day for you.
Oranges: Full of Vitamin C and other goodness, need we say more?
Guava...preferably pink because of lycopene. Also, this fruit has fibre and is packed with Vitamin C and other goodness.
Mango: When in season, you have more than a reason.
What more do we know?
- Lycopene is a fat-soluble nutrient, which suggests that it should be consumed with fats like cooking oil, olive oil. Give your food more pizaaz with fat which helps our body to absorb this superstar nutrient.
- Ingest lycopene in its natural form. Though supplements are available, the combos of the compounds in the supplements don’t have the collective boost for your health.
- It protects our basic genetic, DNA.
Please note: All those of us who are prone to kidney stones and the likes should consult their physician before embarking on tomato, papaya or any other lycopene eating spree. The same caution has to be applied when it comes to grapefruit.
So, say “Aye”. What are we waiting for?