Be it your heart health or a good antidote for your premature ageing, lycopene is known to be a showering only gifts for your health. Studies suggest that inclusion of this antioxidant rich foods in the diet could actually help in lowering bad cholesterol, lowering the risk of cancer, safeguard your heart, and even help you look younger. You have to include just 2 to 30 mg of this antioxidant in your diet daily, which is readily available from a wedge of watermelon or a single, medium sized tomato.
Here is a list of some of the top sources of lycopene and how you can include them in your diet.
The 10 Delectable Sources of Lycopene
This is the richest source of this fabulous antioxidant. Plus, this tropical fruit is a good source of vitamin C and calcium too. 37 calories – that is what you get from a 55 gram guava with 2862 µg of lycopene. Add it to your salad or just munch it as your snack. Want to try something different? Blend it with watermelons and oranges for a tasty drink packed with lycopene.
A refreshing summer fruit, the red hue to the fleshy meat is a visible proof of the rich existence of lycopene in it. You get about 12962 µg from single wedge of watermelon. Prepare a salad with ripe papaya and toss it in salsa for a lycopene brimming delight.
The red, plump tomatoes are not just tasty, but they offer a healthy dose of lycopene too. A 123 gram tomato gives about 3740 µg with the cooked versions being a better choice as they are enriched in an added way. Make a glass of fresh tomato juice and drink it with your breakfast for that morning dose. Make it into a salsa or include them in your pasta sauces to reap the benefits of this wonder antioxidant.
Yet another tropical fruit, it’s use in anti-ageing products is well known. And, this plumpy fleshed fruits gets this goodness from lycopene. Packed with 1828 µg of the antioxidant in discussion, papaya can be relished as such or paired chicken and prawn as a salad. You can even make a delicious tropical drink by blending papayas with guava and grapefruit.
Make sure you are including this citrus fruit for your breakfast to reap that 1135 µg of morning dose of lycopene. With just 82 calories coming from a fruit, it can easily be paired with other lycopene rich fruits for a filling fruity breakfast. If you don’t like munching on fruits for breakfast, then add it to your juicer along with oranges, watermelons, and papaya for a lycopene breakfast.
6. Red peppers:
Make sure you sauté them with tomatoes in a little olive oil for a low calorie, lycopene rich salsa. You can use the sautéed red peppers as a complete meal by pairing half a cup of this veggie with a low carbohydrate pulse source or a cup of tuna.
Asparagus, or Shatavari as it is called in Ayurveda, is a well-known natural anti-inflammatory agent. Being low in calories, it makes an ideal choice for including this antioxidant, especially if you are combating your obesity. Just sauté it or steam it and enjoy it as a side dish with your chicken or pork.
8. Rose hips:
These do not boast of rich amounts of lycopene, yet being a natural source of various other vitamins, including C, B, and A, plus essential fatty acids, rose hips is quite often counted on as a natural remedy for various inflammatory conditions, including arthritis and gout. Brew it as a tea or make a jelly out of it and enjoy.
Hailed as the king of fruits, mangoes offer lycopene in decent amounts with a 100 gram giving you just 3 µg. Add them to your cucumber and tomato salad or make them into a fresh juice. You can even dehydrate and dry them and store them to be relished later.
One cup chicken gives you 17 µg lycopene. A good source of vitamin B 12 as well, chicken is a good choice for lean meat. Add some raw mango, carrots, tomatoes, and papaya slices to your cooked chicken and toss them in a low calorie dressing for a superb healthy lycopene lunch.
Now that you know some of the tastiest sources of lycopene, start including them in your diet in the form of your choice. Eat healthy and live longer!