Tomatoes are perhaps the best source of lycopene. Interestingly enough, processed tomato products like tomato paste, canned tomatoes, tomato juices, sauces, soups, and ketchup have the highest amounts of lycopene.Tomatoes aren't the only sources of lycopene. Watermelon is another excellent source, with 15 to 20 milligrams per 2-cup serving. Take advantage of watermelon season in the summer months by putting it in fruit salads, smoothies, and eating it as a snack.
Papaya and pink grapefruit also contain high concentrations of this beneficial substance. Lycopene is also available in several convenient supplemental forms.
Recent studies have shown that the benefits of lycopene, unlike most other vitamins, increase during processing. Actually, the digestive system is better able to incorporate crushed or cooked products into the bloodstream. Consuming fat with foods containing lycopene also increases the body’s ability to absorb it.
Although studies are still ongoing concerning the benefits of lycopene, research has suggested that it is helpful in a variety of ways. High lycopene concentrations in the prostate gland have been shown to lessen the incidence of prostate cancer. Men who consume greater amounts of lycopene may also improve their sperm count and improve fertility.
Other studies have shown lycopene to reduce the odds of getting skin cancer and to provide greater bone density and strength. Finally, lycopene seems an anti aging secret to give a powerful boost to human’s natural immune system, helping the body to fight off germs.