Written by Frank Mangano
Thursday, 29 November 2012 16:35
Tomatoes are famous for their Lycopene content. Lycopene is a red crystalline substance found not only in tomatoes, but also in various berries and other fruits and vegetables; a compound that causes the red color in fruits. It cannot be produced by the body itself so eating foods that are rich in lycopene is required.
Lycopene is best found in tomatoes: processed tomatoes are found to give off large amounts of lycopene than those of the fresh ones. Tomatoes ripened in the vine have lots of lycopene than those that are not. Pink grapefruits, a bitter tasting fruit also gives lycopene in almost the same amount as the tomato does and it also contains vitamin C and fiber. This grapefruit is best when eaten rather than drinking it in the form of juice. Guava is also known for having lycopene and is rich in vitamin C and A; its seeds also contains omega-3 and fiber. Watermelon contains vitamin C and more lycopene than tomatoes per weight. Lastly, papayas which contain lycopene same as the amount guavas have.
Eating foods that are rich in lycopene is said to result to a healthy immune system. It is a common antioxidant that helps prevent cancer and chronic diseases. It helps in preventing damage in the DNA and allows the cells to function normally. People who smoke and drink are highly recommended to eat foods high in lycopene to cope with the loss or the damage these habits have done to their bodies.
Lycopene is already produced in supplement form but eating foods rich in lycopene already does the magic itself. Taking too much of lycopene does zero damage to the body but leaves the skin rosy red temporarily. There are no studies that show toxicity among those who take too much. Lycopene is also known to protect the skin from the damaging exposure to sun. In fact, lycopene is an essential ingredient used in some anti-aging products. Eating tomatoes every day is enough to protect one’s skin form damaging and above all, it is enough to protect you from developing deadly diseases and cancers.
Here are the benefits that you can get from taking lycopene:
It prevents cataracts and macular degeneration
Cataract is an abnormal condition of the eye lenses caused by degenerative changes usually occurring during the ages of 50; also known to be hereditary. Macular degeneration is the blurring of vision or severely may cause total blindness. Antioxidants in tomatoes such as lycopene have been key instruments in preventing and treating this kind of disorder.
It helps prevent Diabetes
Tomatoes, through its Lycopene content, helps prevent diabetes that is related to obesity. It is also effective in preventing long term complications that result from diabetes. Lycopene plays a big role in reducing weight in a healthy way due to its antioxidants that cleans the body and balances the body’s digestive system and allows cells in the body to regenerate.
It promotes fertility and lowers Cancer risk
Lycopene has also been said to improve fertility as it increases men’s sperm concentration. Men who eat about 10 servings of tomatoes a week are found to lower their risk of prostate cancer by forty-five percent while for the women, they also lower their risk for cervical cancer than those who lack lycopene. It is also said to be a big help in reducing cholesterol and it serves as a protection from stress. The Lack of lycopene in the body most likely may result to damaging of tissues and an increased risk for the development of diseases due to free radicals, molecules responsible for tissue damage, aging and other diseases.
It promotes healthy skin
The Lycopene in tomatoes acts as a sunscreen protecting the skin from damage due to too much sun exposure and pollution. It is an anti-aging substance which keeps the skin look young and improves the skin’s texture making it supple and smooth. It also gives the skin a healthy glow. Lycopene, as said, is one of the essential ingredients in making effective anti-aging and skin protecting beauty products. It a skin strengthener and reduces the damaging of DNAs that could lead to skin wrinkling and aging.
It lowers LDL cholesterol levels
People with high levels of cholesterol are very prone to heart diseases and may cause a variety of disease conditions such as heart attack and stroke; high cholesterol can also lower the rate of blood circulation. Already, there are many different drugs and medications that are produced to help deal with bad cholesterol but most of them have different side effects among users such as liver and kidney complications, nausea, diarrhea, darkening of urine, weakening and a whole lot more. Here comes a natural way to lower bad cholesterol; just by eating foods with high lycopene helps. It decreases LDL cholesterol levels by ten percent and generally lowers the risk of heart attacks.
It prevents osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that dominantly affects people over the age of 50. Bone breakage such as this will need a major surgery and may also lead to death if untreated. It contributes to deformity and disables a person from walking or even standing upright. People with a high level intake of lycopene are far from experiencing bone fractures. There were several studies that concluded that the intake of lycopene in any form sets a higher prevention in bone breakage. Lycopene is a great way to prevent osteoporosis.
Over consumption of lycopene may lead to a discoloration of the skin and may cause it to turn orange but this is nothing to worry about for this is not a sign of toxicity or whatsoever. Discoloration may soon disappear just as when you lower your lycopene consumption. Using of lycopene supplements may also interfere with people who are undergoing chemo and radiation therapies. There are no further dangerous threats found in over eating foods with lycopene. Eating or drinking tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables which are high on lycopene truly helps a lot in regulating blood pressure, lowering the risk of cancers and is more likely to protect our body especially our heart and bones from diseases.