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Lycopene

Nutrition Glossary

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Updated June 09, 2014

Tomatoes - iStockphoto.com

Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene

Birgit Lieske

Definition: A carotenoid that gives fruits and vegetables their red and pink colors. It's related to vitamin A, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene.

Lycopene has been shown to induce antioxidant activity in humans. Eating a diet rich in lycopene has been associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Tomatoes, especially processed tomato products, are the richest source of dietary lycopene. Other sources include watermelons and pink grapefruit.

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