What is lycopene and can it prevent some cancers?

Fran
Drescher
CA

Lycopene is one of the carotenoids naturally occurring in foods with a deep red or orange pigment, such as tomatoes, watermelon, and guava. Research has shown that men who consume 2-4 servings of lycopene-rich foods per week had a 15-34% lower risk of prostate cancer compared to those who did not eat tomato products.

In order for Lycopene to be adequately absorbed, the tomato should be cooked and consumed with some healthful fat- as it is a fat-soluble nutrient. Include tomato sauce with olive-oil on whole-wheat pasta, tomato soup made with milk, or stir-fry with diced tomatoes. It’s is likely that lycopene acts in concert with other phytonutrients found in tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables.