Lycopene is a red pigment found in tomatoes which when absorbed into the body accumulates in the liver, adrenal glands, prostrate and colon. Antioxidant rich lycopene helps to prevent tumor growth, reduces the risk of cancer, macular degeneration and cardiovascular disease by preventing oxidative damage by free radicals. Lycopene accumulates in parts of the eye and may provide protection by antioxidant and light screening mechanisms and may be useful in treating glaucoma.
Tomatoes and tomato products have one of the highest levels of lycopene. One fresh tomato contains 3,165 mcg of lycopene and a cup of unsalted tomato paste has 75,362 mcg of lycopene.
Overall, tomatoes are an excellent dietary choice for preventing the risk of cancer and improving one’s overall health. Tomatoes are also rich in potassium, magnesium and Vitamin C.