8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods Rich In Lycopene, A Plant Compound Known To Boost Heart Health And Longevity

INDONESIAKININEWS.COM -  You may have come across the saying “eat the rainbow,” which advocates the consumption of a diverse and colorful gr...

INDONESIAKININEWS.COM - You may have come across the saying “eat the rainbow,” which advocates the consumption of a diverse and colorful group of nutrient-dense foods. 

But have you ever wondered what exactly gives food its color? 

For this we can thank compounds that act as antioxidants, including polyphenols and flavonoids. 

An important colorful compound to know about are carotenoids, yellow, orange, or red fat-soluble pigments found in fruits and vegetables that act as powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in our bodies.

While there are different types of carotenoids, lycopene is a form that gives certain fruits and vegetables their bright red to light pink color in foods, such as: B. red tomatoes and watermelons. 

“Lycopene is an antioxidant that has been linked to improving blood pressure and cardiovascular health, lowering cholesterol, and fighting a variety of cancers,” says Laura Iu, RDN, CDN, CNSC, RYT, a Registered Dietitian and Dietitian Founder of Laura Iu Nutrition. 

Considering that heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death in the United States, incorporating lycopene-rich foods can be a form of disease prevention. 

While there’s currently no Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for lycopene, Iu says eight to 21 milligrams per day is a good range to aim for for optimal benefits.

Benefits of Lycopene

During the metabolic process, our body naturally produces unstable molecules called free radicals. “When these free radicals build up in the body, they can damage cells. So by eating foods with lycopene, we help fight off free radicals and prevent further damage to healthy cells,” explains Iu. 

This process, in turn, fights symptoms of chronic inflammation associated with long-term health consequences like cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s.

Fresh, canned, and sun-dried fruits and vegetables can be great sources of lycopene. 

“In fact, different processing methods can improve the bioavailability of lycopene in certain foods by breaking down the cell walls,” says Iu.

So even if you can’t grab fresh produce, other options may offer higher sources of lycopene than you think.

While there are currently no known risks or side effects of taking lycopene from food, Iu suggests consulting with your doctor before taking any supplements and prioritizing a diet first to take advantage of lycopene’s many health benefits.

8 Lycopene-Rich Foods That May Help Extend Longevity

Because food labels don’t highlight which foods contain lycopene, Iu shared with us eight foods that are considered great sources of lycopene. Whenever possible, try to consume fat with foods that contain lycopene for optimal nutrient absorption.

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes and processed tomato products are both great sources of lycopene, but surprisingly, processed tomato products have higher bioavailability than fresh tomatoes. Looking at different tomato products, Iu says these options contain the most lycopene per 100 grams:

Sun-dried tomatoes: 45.9 milligrams
Tomato puree: 21.8 milligrams
Fresh tomatoes: 3.0 milligrams
Canned tomatoes offer 2.7 milligrams.
This fresh tomato galette is a nutritionist’s favorite recipe that’s high in lycopene:

2. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are already known for being excellent sources of vitamin A and fiber and contributing to glowing skin, but they are also great sources of lycopene. They can serve as a great post-workout snack, as a side dish (all day sweet potato fries please), or added to a coconut curry dish.

You can also incorporate sweet potatoes into desserts, like this delicious brownie recipe:

3. Pink grapefruit

Half a grapefruit contains about two milligrams of lycopene and is also considered an excellent source of vitamin C. We love the versatility of pink grapefruit; They can be added to both sweet and savory dishes, or used in drinks like the refreshing mocktail recipe below. They can also be used to make frozen desserts, salads or on their own for a morning snack.

Try adding pink grapefruit to this mood-boosting mocktail recipe:

4. Blood Oranges

Unlike regular oranges, blood oranges have a floral or tart flavor and a darker color due to their lycopene content. This is also an example of a food that works well in a range of dishes, from a citrus salad or salmon marinade to smoothies and homemade popsicles.

Use blood oranges to make this cranberry and orange compote for key lycopene benefits:

5. Watermelon

Not only are watermelons a refreshing snack during the warmer months, but depending on the variety and growing conditions, they can contain as much or more lycopene as raw tomatoes. A cup and a half of watermelon contains nine to 13 milligrams of lycopene.

What more festive way to eat lycopene than this watermelon cake. Good, wait:

6. Papaya

Not only can papaya relieve indigestion and constipation, but it is also a good source of lycopene. Add papaya to your morning smoothie, have them as a hydrating snack, or add them to a fresh salsa.

7. Guava

Guava is a delicious tropical fruit with yellow or light green skin and deep red or pink freshness. According to Iu, this powerful fruit contains over five milligrams of lycopene per 100 grams and contains vitamin C, vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. You can decide to eat guava on its own or put it in a nice glaze for meat.

8. Red peppers

Red peppers are super versatile and can be added to almost any dish, from tofu scrambled eggs and avocado toast to sandwiches, wraps and cereal bowls. Not only do they contain lycopene, but they’re also considered a hydrating snack considering that peppers are 92 percent water.

Toss peppers in this vibrant peach and avocado salad:

bottom line? There are many ways to get your daily dose of lycopene, whether it’s through tomato products or sweeter options like watermelon. The key is figuring out what options you’re most comfortable adding to your meals for the week.

Source: tskinscarestyles.com


IndonesiaKiniNews.com: 8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods Rich In Lycopene, A Plant Compound Known To Boost Heart Health And Longevity
8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods Rich In Lycopene, A Plant Compound Known To Boost Heart Health And Longevity
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