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Lycopene Antioxidant Health Benefits

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Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that occurs naturally in a number of different foods.  It is what is responsible for the rich red color of many types of vegetables and fruits, especially in the case of tomatoes.  It is only just recently that some of the major health benefits of this substance have come to be recognized.  Its cancer fighting abilities, for example, have drawn a great deal of attention to them in recent years, in addition to the powerful antioxidant qualities they provide.

 

The study of the health benefits of lycopene started in the late twentieth century.  Though that wasn’t very long ago, medical researchers and scientists have been able to identify a vast array of different roles that it can play in human health.

 

When foods containing lycopene are consumed, the first thing that the body does is to use the substance as an antioxidant.  Though this is highly beneficial, it is important that it is received in adequate quantities in order to provide any measurable advantages.  Fortunately, it is very easy to incorporate foods with this nutrient into your diet.  The following are some of the foods that are easy to find and that contain lots of lycopene:

  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Papaya
  • Pink guava
  • Rosehips

 

Lycopene works by providing an antioxidant action that is vital for maintaining the thickness, strength, and fluidity of the membranes of the cells that make up the body.  These membranes are what protects the cells from damage and what filters the substances that are allowed to enter.  A healthy cell membrane will allow healthy nutrients to enter the cell while blocking out toxins.  It also lets any unwanted materials from within the cell to be removed.  For this reason, healthy cell membranes are central to disease prevention.

 

Other benefits of lycopene due to this action include:

  • Cancer prevention
  • Prevention of heart disease through the prevention of the oxidization of LDL cholesterol by free radicals, which can therefore not build up as plaques that hardens and narrows the arteries.
  • Infertility, as medical research has shown that lycopene as a treatment can increase sperm counts in men.
  • Diabetes prevention
  • Age related macular degeneration and cataracts prevention
  • Protection of skin against signs of aging
  • Protection against the sun’s rays as it acts as a natural sunscreen
  • Osteoporosis prevention
  • Stress reduction
  • Promotion of healthy sleep
  • Improved weight loss through healthy dietary fiber that provides intestinal function regulation, and the prevention of the fat granule, and the flushing of excess stored fluids in the body’s tissues.

 


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