LIVEWELL MINUTE: Lycopene
Today, science has a better understanding of why fruits and vegetables should be part of a healthy eating plan. Fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients including antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and lycopene. Antioxidants are disease fighting agents that keep the immune system healthy and reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases.
Dietician Erin Feld, Iowa Methodist Medical Center Nutrition Centre says, “One antioxidant that has received a lot of attention is lycopene. Several studies have shown that a diet rich in lycopene can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer.”
Lycopene is not produced in the body, so you can only obtain its benefits by eating fruits and vegetables like watermelon, tomatoes and pink grapefruit.
Feld says, “Lycopene is easy to incorporate into your diet. Some of the best sources of lycopene include tomato soup, tomato or spaghetti sauce, canned tomatoes, and ketchup.”