50 Shades of Lycopene

This blog follows on from my previous one and is about something most of us include in our regular diet: it appears the simple tomato along with other colourful fruits and vegetables have some added qualities. So I thought it was worth sharing this so we can all keep it in mind as we move into hopefully a hot summer?

It has recently been discovered that Lycopene is a carotenoid, which in simple terms means a family of pigments that give fruit and vegetables their brilliant red, orange and yellow colours. It is also a powerful antioxidant that can help eliminate dangerous free radicals that can cause damage to fragile cell structures.

In a report published by the Journal Neurology a team of Finnish researchers has linked Lycopene levels in the blood to stroke protection. This connection was made after following over a thousand middle aged men for twelve years. Men with the greatest amounts of in their blood had a 55% lower chance of having any kind of stroke. The protection was even greater at 59% when it came to protecting against strokes due to clots which are most common.

These researchers suggested that in addition to the above it may also reduce cholesterol, inflammation, improve immune function and prevent blood from clotting, all of which are so beneficial to most of us, yet all provided not by tablets but the simple tomato.

When we are thinking of maximising the benefits of this Lycopene we need to think it is fat soluble, so best perhaps when combined with fat either fried in olive oil or in a sandwich. However, we need to keep in mind that we must not over do the fat just so we can maximise the Lycopence, as is so easily done.

Other foods that are rich in Lycopence are tomato purée, tomato juice, watermelon, pink grapefruit, salsa and sun dried tomato.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *