Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can help to prevent sun damage and make your skin supple and beautiful. A brightly colored antioxidant, lycopene gives the skin an attractive, healthy glow. It has also been known to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol thereby to slow the development of atherosclerosis, a thickening of the arterial walls of the heart.
Mostly found in tomatoes, the lycopene content is increased when the tomatoes are cooked. Another good way to get the most lycopene from your tomatoes is to pair them with olive oil. Olive oil has many great health benefits, too. You can rub the tomatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and enjoy it as a snack or accompaniment to your regular meal.
Antioxidants help to combat free radicals and if you exercise outdoors you need the extra boost of antioxidants to help protect your skin cells from damage. Lycopene also protects against cancers of the cervix, pancreas and breasts as well as protecting against heart disease.
Pink grapefruit, also contains lycopene, although not as high of content as tomatoes, pink grapefruit is low in calories and helps to metabolize proteins so that your body can get the maximum benefit. If you are trying to lose weight, grapefruit is a great food to include in your diet.
Watermelon is another good source of lycopene. A fruit that is low in calories and sugar content, watermelon keeps your skin hydrated too. It’s such a sweet fruit, but its high water content makes it an excellent choice when you want to improve your skin’s suppleness and lose weight too.
Supplements containing lycopene are also available. It is always best to get your nutrients from the foods that you eat, however, if your diet doesn’t include some of the antioxidants you need, you may want to consider taking a vitamin supplement.
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