The foods you consume daily are among the biggest factors affecting the quality of your health. It makes good sense to choose foods that are nutrient dense and offer some benefit to the body rather than just eating empty calories.
One of the best choices you can make is to regularly consume foods containing high amounts of lycopene which research has proven has advantages for maintaining good health.
Lycopene is an antioxidant that's a member of the carotenoid family of nutrients. It's responsible for the red colour found in many fruits and vegetables. Adding foods rich in lycopene to your diet gives you a daily supply of antioxidant power that's a great way to deal with free radicals in the body, those free-flowing molecules that can damage cells.
The antioxidant power of lycopene prevents free radicals attaching to cell walls in the body, helping your immune system do its job of protecting you. Here are our 10 top foods high in lycopene that you may want to add to your weekly grocery shopping list:
- Guavas, the delicious tropical fruit that tastes like a blend of strawberry and banana, rank highest in lycopene content per cup consumed. This low-fat fruit can be used in salad dressings, fruit salads and smoothies.
- Watermelon, another refreshing fruit choice, is an excellent source of lycopene, in fact its red colour comes from the lycopene it contains. Enjoy it slightly chilled by the slice.
- Tomatoes are a popular source of dietary lycopene, with cooked tomatoes and tomato paste having a higher content than the raw product. It's a good choice for pasta sauces or adding slices to sandwiches.
- Papayas are another tropical fruit rich in antioxidants and make a great edible serving dish with prawns or chicken salads.
- Enjoy a pink grapefruit half at breakfast and you're starting your day with a healthy dose of lycopene.
- Sweet red peppers cooked in a little olive oil are another food choice with antioxidant power, yet low in calories.
- Steamed asparagus has lycopene power and makes a nice side dish for poultry or meat.
- Choose red cabbage for preparing coleslaw since this variety will boost your system with its antioxidant power.
- Mangoes are another lycopene-rich fruit choice perfect for adding to salads.
- Carrots are another vegetable that provide a source of lycopene, so make sure you include them in your diet.