For this weeks weekly tip i thought i would share a little info about a very important phytonutrient called lycopene.
Lycopene is a cancer preventative phytonutrient that is found in red fruits and vegetables - it give it its red colour (tomatoes, red carrots, watermelon, grapefruit to name a few - but it’s not found in strawberries or cherries). Phytonutrients are antioxidants that are produced by the plant to protect it from environmental damage, the phytonutrients work the same for us humans when we eat them by protecting our bodies from free radical damage caused by the environment and foods we eat.
As mentioned above - lycopene is a cancer preventive phytonutrient. Studies have shown it to play an important role in preventing and slowing down certain types of cancer - particularly prostate and breast cancer.
When we eat foods containing lycopene we are protecting our bodies from being damaged by pesticides that have been sprayed on the fruit and vegetables we eat. Lycopene even helps protect our bodies from the damage that is caused by MSG.
It’s best to get lycopene from your diet rather than taking a supplement as it is better absorbed. Cooking tomatoes with a little bit of healthy fat increases the amount of lycopene. And good news, research shows that store bought ketchup and tomato pasta sauces contain good levels of lycopene too!
The next recipe I share will be a delicious soup full of the superpowers of lycopene!