Lycopene (formula C40H56), a bright red carotenoid pigment, is also found in tomatoes and other red fruits such as watermelon and grapefruit.
Lycopene is one of the most common and powerful antioxidants of carotenoids in human body. Its English name Lycopene comes from the classification of tomato species Solanum lycopersicum.
Singlet oxygen produced by ultraviolet light is the main cause of skin aging. Lycopene is the most powerful extinguisher of singlet oxygen.
There is evidence that regular consumption of lycopene-containing products reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer (especially prostate cancer), diabetes, osteoporosis and male infertility.
Lycopene can also reduce the risk of cancer of the esophagus, rectum, and cavities.
Preliminary scientific clinical data show that lycopene may contribute to the immune system, anti-oxidation, prevention of a variety of malignant tumors and prostate maintenance and other health support.
Tomatoes and watermelon, grapefruit, guava, papaya, and red peppers are the fruits and vegetables with high lycopene content. The maturity of tomato and tomato of different varieties will also affect the content of lycopene in tomato. Tomato and tomato products accounted for 85% of the daily intake of lycopene.
Unlike other nutrients, such as vitamin C, it will be lost during cooking. Tomato processing will increase the bioavailability of lycopene. The bioavailability of lycopene in tomato paste is four times higher than that in fresh tomatoes. This is because lycopene is insoluble in water, but soluble in oil, and closely bound to plant fibers, so cooking, breaking tomatoes and adding fat can greatly improve the digestive system's ability to absorb lycopene. The processed tomato products such as tomato juice, soup and sauce have higher bioavailability.