Tomatoes are the best-known produce to contain lycopene. Here are more fruits and vegetables which contain this carotenoid.
Lycopene is a compound that gives certain fruits and vegetables their color. It is a carotenoid and one of the antioxidants with various claims of health promoting properties including reduction in incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration. It is widely known for its protective action against prostate cancer.
However, consumption of lycopene have been solely based on intake of tomatoes, and since tomatoes are rich in other beneficial nutrients such as vitamin C, folate and potassium, there is little scientific evidence supporting the claimed health benefits of lycopene.
Here are the top sources of lycopene among fruits:
Guavas are known as the highest natural sources of vitamin C among fruits. They can also provide excellent amount of fiber, vitamin A, and the minerals folate, potassium and copper. Guavas with pink flesh are loaded with 5203 mcg of lycopene in every 100 g.
Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of vitamin A. It is rich in potassium, magnesium, thiamin, vitamin B6, copper and manganese. Every cup of watermelon is packed with 6889 mcg of lycopene.
The Japanese persimmon is another excellent source of vitamin A and very good sources of manganese and fiber. Every fruit contains about 267 mcg of lycopene. It is also rich in vitamins E, K and B6 and the minerals copper and potassium.
Pink and red grapefruits are excellent sources of the two potent antioxidants—vitamins A and C. They also contain fiber, potassium, thiamin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. Every cup is packed with 1419 mcg of lycopene.
Another fruit that’s brimming with vitamins A and C is apricot. It is also rich in vitamins E and K, fiber, copper and manganese and contains half the potassium content of bananas.
Considered as one of the most nutritious fruit, papaya is a chockfull of vitamin C. It is also packed with vitamin A, folate, potassium and fiber.
One cup of chopped red bell pepper is packed with three times the daily needed value of vitamin C and almost 100% of vitamin A. Plus, it’s also rich in vitamins E and B6 as well as folate and fiber.
Red, ripe, cooked tomatoes are the best concentrated food source of lycopene as every cup contains 7299 of this carotenoid. In addition, it is also an excellent source of vitamin C, a very good source of potassium and manganese and a good source of iron, copper and vitamin B6.
Did you know that red cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C? Every one cup of shredded cabbage contains 67% of the daily needed value of this vitamin. It is also packed with vitamins K and B6, and manganese and contains about 14 mcg of lycopene.
Although lycopene is more commonly found in red fruits and veggies, it has also been found in cooked asparagus with about 30 mcg for every 100 gram of this green veggie. Asparagus is considered as one of the most nutritious vegetable being an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K and the fertility-promoting mineral–folate. It’s also a good source of more than a dozen other nutrients.
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