If you don’t know about lycopene, you really should. Lycopene is currently measured as being the most powerful antioxidant in food. It is a carotenoid that gives the red color to many vegetables and fruits and is known to possess very beneficial properties. Although like for many antioxidants, the health effects of lycopene are still under scrutiny, but it is connected strongly to cancer and heart disease prevention. Something else you will definitely be interested in is that it protects the skin’s firmness and elasticity. So what should you be eating to get a good dose of this wonder stuff?
Main vitamins – A, C and K
Main minerals – Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium
Guavas are rich in vitamin A and are great for vision health. Eating guavas regularly will slow down the appearance of cataracts. They also slow down macular degeneration and improve general health of the eyes. Thanks to other nutrients, especially lycopene, guavas work to prevent cancer and even protect you from constipation, scurvy, and thyroid problems.
Main vitamins – A and C
Main minerals – Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium
A single juicy bite of watermelon will provide you with loads of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 with lots of antioxidants and amino acids. It contains potassium that helps eliminate toxic depositions from the kidneys. The combination of magnesium and potassium also make watermelons beneficial for managing high blood pressure. The presence lycopene makes it great for cancer prevention. Lycopene is also responsible for improving cardiac functions.
3 Tomatoes (Cooked)
Main vitamins – A, C and K
Main minerals – Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium
Thanks to the high levels of lycopene in tomatoes, they work exceptionally well to reduce the chances of developing colorectal, prostate, and stomach cancer. Lycopene plays a role in slowing down the growth of cancerous cells. Tomatoes are also loaded with vitamin K and calcium, both of which are essential for healthy bones and bone tissue. Eating tomatoes is also beneficial for your hair, heart, eyes, and the kidneys.
Main vitamins – A, C and Folate
Main minerals – Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium
Papaya is rich in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants that prevent cholesterol buildup in arteries. A single papaya provides you with more than 200% of your daily requirement of vitamin C, which in turn boosts your immune system and protects you from several diseases. Its high vitamin A content protects your vision from degenerating. Lycopene in papaya makes it a great choice for those who want fresh looking skin with no blemishes.
Main vitamins – A, C and B6
Main minerals – Calcium, Iron and Manganese
Tart and tangy with a touch of sweetness, grapefruit is loaded with essential nutrients that offer several health benefits. As it is an excellent source of vitamin C, it supports your immune system, reduces severity of cold, prevents the free radical damage, and reduces severity of several inflammatory conditions, such as osteoarthritis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. It gets its pink and red color from lycopene that has anti-tumor activity and fights oxygen free radicals that are responsible for damaging cells.
6 Sweet Red Peppers (Cooked)
Main vitamins – Vitamins A, E and Thiamin (B1)
Main minerals – Calcium, Copper and Potassium
Sweet red peppers, especially the bell peppers are much more than the Christmas ornaments of the vegetable world. They are an excellent source of carotenoids, including lutein, alpha-carotene, lycopene, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin. These carotenoids offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits. It also contains capsaicin that binds onto nerve cell receptors and alters pain sensation. The compound gives red peppers blood-sugar balancing and anti-cancer properties.
7 Asparagus (Cooked)
Main vitamins – C, K and Niacin (B3)
Main minerals – Phosphorus, Chromium and Selenium
The fleshy green spears of asparagus have long been considered a delicacy. It is a great source of folate, fiber, vitamins A, E, C, and K. Asparagus has chromium that makes it easier for your body to transport glucose from the blood into cells. It contains folate that works with vitamin B12 to prevent cognitive impairment. As it is a rich source of lycopene, it plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels – it also helps prevent age-related macular degeneration and osteoporosis.
8 Red (Purple) Cabbage
Main vitamins –C, K, E and Pantothenic acid (B5)
Main minerals – Manganese, Zinc and Calcium
The red hue and peppery flavor of red cabbage signify that that it contains two types of cancer-preventing substances. It contains plant-based chemicals called flavonoids that give it its red pigment, whereas the sharp flavor is due to sulfur-based compounds. Both help prevent cancer. It contains a good amount of lycopene that boosts sperm concentration in men, prevents diabetes, and prevents macular degeneration. Thanks to vitamin C, it helps fight inflammation and prevent cellular damage.
Main vitamins – A, K, Folate and Riboflavin (B2)
Main minerals – Magnesium, Copper and Iron
Mangoes alkalize the body, fight cancer, regulate blood sugar, maintain healthy body weight, clean your skin, help digestion, and make the perfect snack. Due to high levels of pectin, vitamin C, and fiber, mangoes help lower cholesterol levels in your body. They also contain potassium that regulates heart rate and blood pressure. Its lycopene content prevents the aging of skin and keeps osteoporosis at bay.
Main vitamins – A, Thiamin (B1) Riboflavin (B2) and Choline
Main minerals – Magnesium, Manganese, and Zinc
Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene that your body uses to produce vitamin A, which in turn produces a purple pigment called rhodopsin that is necessary for night vision. It contains lycopene that prevents heart disease by reducing blood cholesterol levels. Regular consumption of carrots reduces the risk of breast cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer.
Are you eating enough red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables? Now you know about the power of lycopene will you be eating more?
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