The Many Health Benefits of Lycopene

Lycopene is a carotene and carotenoid found in almost all fruits and vegetables with red colour. Carrots, tomatoes, watermelons, papayas etc. are all rich in lycopene. Health benefits of lycopene are noteworthy and this is the primary reason that lycopene is advised to be made a part of balanced daily diet.  Health benefits of lycopene are numerous and it can be used to treat a number of diseases and conditions.

The consumption of lycopene containing food should be increased in summers because lycopene helps protect the skin from sun damage. Oranges and tomato juices should be consumed in ample amounts during the summer season. Summer is a season when a lot of lycopene rich compounds come to the market. Watermelons are a rich source of lycopene, this is nature’s way to show the health benefits of lycopene for the summer season. Lycopene neutralizes the free radicals created by UVA and UVB rays, which are very harmful for the skin. 400 ml of tomato juice is advised by doctors during the summer season, especially when you have to stay outdoors for long. It is also advised that the tomatoes be cooked before they are consumed. Lycopene is present in the cell membrane and once tomatoes are heated, it would help release over three times more lycopene for the body than it normally would have.

Lycopene helps keep a check on heart diseases by keeping the levels of cholesterol in control. Heart patients are always advised to consume more lycopene, especially tomatoes in order to reduce the risk of heart attacks due to increased cholesterol levels.

Lycopene is also known to keep away cancer and macular degeneration which leads to loss in central vision. This disease causes degeneration of the retina, which gradually leads to poor central vision. Lycopene is also known to improve the eye sight by strengthening the eye muscles.

Lycopene also purifies blood to some extent. It helps cure acnes and pimples which appear on the skin. Tomatoes and watermelon are always advised by doctors when treating pimples.

Lycopene is also known to increase brain activity by increasing the blood flow to the brain and making the brain more alert.

The immune system is very important for the body and helps keep many diseases at bay. Lycopene helps in strengthening the immune system and helps it fight diseases more effectively.

Asthma patients cannot exercise because of the risk of an asthamatic attack which may occur at any time during or after the exercise. However, lycopene consumption reduces the risk of asthma attacks being induced by exercise to a large extent.

Many unproven health benefits of lycopene include treatments for gum diseases, AIDS, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and many other conditions. Clinical trials for these effects are still on and a conclusion may be reached in near future which can prove the benefits of lycopene for patients with the above mentioned conditions.

Lycopene has various health benefits and hence should be taken as part of the regular diet to extract all the benefits it has to offer. Consuming seasonal vegetables and fruits which contain lycopene is always advised as they are rich in lycopene content. Cooked orange tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene. Orange tomatoes have over 200 times more lycopene than the standard red variety, cooking them helps increase the release of lycopene by the cell membrane.

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