Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C and fibre , and are cholesterol free. An average size tomato (148 gram, or 5 oz) boasts only 35 calories. Furthermore, new medical research suggests that the consumption of lycopene - the stuff that makes tomatoes red - may prevent cancer. Lycopene is part of the family of pigments called carotenoids, which are natural compounds that create the colours of fruits and vegetables. For example, beta carotene is the orange pigment in carrots. As with essential amino acids, they are not produced by the human body. Lycopene is the most powerful antioxidant in the carotenoid family and, with vitamins C and E, protect us from the free radicals that degrade many parts of the body.
Lycopene , found primarily in tomatoes,is a member of the carotenoid family of chemical substances-which includes beta-carotene and similar compounds found naturally in food-and has potent antioxidant capabilities. Lycopene, similar to other carotenoids, is a natural fat-soluble pigment (red, in the case of lycopene) found in certain plants and microorganisms, where it serves as an accessory light-gathering pigment and to protect these organisms against the toxic effects of oxygen and light. Lycopene may also protect humans against certain disorders, such as prostate cancer and perhaps some other cancers, and coronary heart disease.
1.Lycopene is widely used in food industry as natural colorant.
2.Lycopene can prevent and suppress cancer.
3.Protect cardiovascular system.
4. Anti-ultraviolet radiation.
6.Also lycopene has the function of anti-aging and enhancing immunity.
7. Improving skin allergies.
Lycopene may be the most powerful carotenoid quencher of singlet oxygen,being 100 times more efficient in test tube studies of singlet-oxygen quenching action than vitamin E, which in turn has 125 times the quenching action of glutathione (water soluble). Singlet oxygen produced during exposure to ultraviolet light is a primary cause of skin aging.