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where can i get lycopene


Introduction to Lycopene

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that offers a range of health benefits. This natural compound is what gives tomatoes and several other fruits their rich red color. But you might be wondering, where can I get lycopene? In this article, we will explore the best sources of lycopene and how to incorporate them into your diet.

Sources of Lycopene

The most common source of lycopene is tomatoes. However, it's also found in other fruits and vegetables such as watermelons, pink grapefruits, apricots, and pink guavas. When choosing which source to get your lycopene from, it's important to consider not just the amount of lycopene they contain, but also how easily your body can absorb it.

Tomatoes: A Rich Source of Lycopene

Tomatoes are by far the richest source of lycopene. One medium-sized tomato can provide about 4 milligrams of lycopene. But did you know that processed tomatoes, like tomato paste and sauce, contain even more lycopene? This is because the heating process used in making these products makes the lycopene easier for your body to absorb.

Other Sources of Lycopene

Aside from tomatoes, there are other foods rich in lycopene. Watermelon, for example, contains about 12 milligrams of lycopene per wedge. Pink grapefruit has around 2 milligrams per half grapefruit, while a single apricot has about 0.6 milligrams. Remember, the riper the fruit, the more lycopene it has.

Supplements as a Source of Lycopene

If you're not a fan of these fruits or if you want a more concentrated source of lycopene, you can opt for lycopene supplements. These are widely available in health food stores and online. However, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.


So, where can I get lycopene? The answer is simple: from a variety of fruits and vegetables, particularly tomatoes, and from lycopene supplements. Remember, a balanced diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables is the best way to ensure you're getting enough of this powerful antioxidant.

Incorporating Lycopene into Your Diet

Now that you know where to get lycopene, let's discuss how to incorporate it into your diet. Consuming lycopene-rich foods in their raw form is beneficial, but cooking them can actually increase the bioavailability of lycopene. Therefore, consider adding tomato sauce to your pasta or making a watermelon smoothie for breakfast. You can also add grapefruit to your salads and use apricots as a sweet addition to your morning cereal.

The Importance of Dietary Fat

Lycopene is a fat-soluble nutrient, which means it's better absorbed by the body when consumed with dietary fat. So, when eating lycopene-rich foods, pair them with healthy fats like olive oil or avocados. For instance, drizzling olive oil over your tomato salad can enhance the absorption of lycopene.

The Role of Lycopene in Health

Research suggests that lycopene may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, heart disease, and age-related eye disorders. It's also been associated with bone health and has anti-inflammatory properties. However, more research is needed to fully understand these potential benefits and how lycopene works in the body.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, knowing where to get lycopene is only the first step. Incorporating lycopene-rich foods into your diet and pairing them with healthy fats can help maximize the benefits of this potent antioxidant. As always, it's important to maintain a balanced diet and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary regimen or supplement.

The Optimal Amount of Lycopene

While there is no officially recommended daily allowance for lycopene, some studies suggest that consuming between 8 to 21 milligrams per day can provide health benefits. This amount can easily be reached by incorporating a variety of lycopene-rich foods into your diet. However, individual needs may vary, so it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional.

Potential Side Effects of Lycopene

Lycopene is generally considered safe when consumed in food. However, taking lycopene supplements in high doses may cause side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps or bloating. Always follow the recommended dose on the supplement label and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

Lycopene and Skin Health

Recent studies have shown a potential link between lycopene and skin health. It is thought that lycopene may help protect the skin from sun damage due to its antioxidant properties. However, more research is needed in this area to confirm these findings.


In summary, whether you're asking where can I get lycopene for its potential health benefits or simply to add more color and variety to your diet, there are plenty of options available. From tomatoes and watermelons to supplements, lycopene is accessible and easy to incorporate into your lifestyle. As with any dietary change, it's important to seek advice from a healthcare professional to ensure it's suitable for your individual health needs.

Lycopene and Aging

Some research suggests that lycopene may play a role in slowing down the process of aging. Its powerful antioxidant properties may help to combat oxidative stress, which is a key factor in aging. Including lycopene-rich foods in your diet could potentially contribute to healthy aging, but more research is needed to confirm these benefits.

Lycopene and Exercise Performance

Emerging evidence suggests that lycopene may enhance exercise performance and recovery. It's thought that the antioxidant activity of lycopene can help to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation. However, more research is required in this area to fully understand the potential benefits of lycopene for exercise performance.

Cooking with Lycopene-rich Foods

When it comes to cooking with lycopene-rich foods, there are countless options. You can make a delicious tomato sauce for pasta, use fresh tomatoes in salads, or create a refreshing watermelon smoothie. Remember, cooking and pairing these foods with a source of dietary fat can enhance the absorption of lycopene.

Final Thoughts

Whether you're wondering where can I get lycopene for its potential health benefits, or just want to add more colorful fruits and vegetables to your diet, there are plenty of options. Incorporating lycopene into your diet is relatively simple, and can add a boost of flavor as well as potential health benefits. As always, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet or supplement routine.

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