By Elliot Fisher MS, CSCS, PES, NSCA-CPT
There are many nutrients in food that help promote health. One important but under looked nutrient is lycopene! Lycopene is a carotenoid that can be found in many reddish colored fruits and vegetables. It is a strong antioxidant that can help prevent different forms of cancer, most notably prostate cancer.(1) Prostate cancer is one of the more common forms of cancer in men and 1 out of 8 men will be diagnosed with it.(2) Lycopene can also help with diabetes, cardiac health, inflammation, bone and skin diseases, as well as reproductive health.(3) One of the best sources of lycopene is cooked tomatoes. Cooking tomatoes greatly increases the bioavailability of lycopene.(4)
Sources of Lycopene: (5)
Guavas 5204 mcg/100 grams
3041 mcg/100 grams
Tomato paste 18984 mcg/quarter cup
Tomato sauce 16784 mcg/half cup
Minestrone soup 1433 mcg/cup
Watermelon 4532 mcg/100 grams
Grapefruit 1419 mcg/100 grams
Papaya 1824 mcg/100 grams
Red Bell Peppers 484 mcg/100 grams
Persimmon 159 mcg/100 grams
Asparagus 30 mcg/100 grams
Red Cabbage 20 mcg/100 grams
Mangos 3 mcg/100 grams
Adding foods high in lycopene can be very advantageous for your health especially for males!
Cassileth B. Lycopene. Oncology (Williston Park). 2010 Mar;24(3):296. PMID: 20394143.
Imran, M., Ghorat, F., Ul-Haq, I., Ur-Rehman, H., Aslam, F., Heydari, M., Shariati, M. A., Okuskhanova, E., Yessimbekov, Z., Thiruvengadam, M., Hashempur, M. H., & Rebezov, M. (2020). Lycopene as a Natural Antioxidant Used to Prevent Human Health Disorders. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(8), 706. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9080706
Dewanto V, Wu X, Adom KK, Liu RH. Thermal processing enhances the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing total antioxidant activity. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 May 8;50(10):3010-4. doi: 10.1021/jf0115589. PMID: 11982434.