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What Is Lycopene? A Nutrient You Should Heat!

Lycopene is a very potent antioxidant produced by plants that have several health benefits. The unique thing about lycopene is that it becomes more bioavailable and therefore better for you to eat when it has been processed, but also if it's ingested together with beta-carotene.

It’s a non-provitamin A carotenoid. Non-provitamin A carotenoids mean that it does not exhibit Vitamin A activity, like many other carotenoids.

Lycopene is bright red and therefore found in fruits and vegetables that are red, except strawberries and cherries.

Lycopene A Potent Antioxidant

Lycopene is a non-provitamin A carotenoid. It is one of the most potent antioxidants among dietary carotenoids. (source 🗗) A non-provitamin A carotenoid means that lycopene can't be transformed in the body into vitamin A. As many other carotenoids can.

Heat Your Tomatoes

Lycopene is found in high amounts in tomatoes. Even processed tomato products, such as juice, ketchup, paste, sauce, and soup, all are even better dietary sources of lycopene. (source 🗗)

Processing raw tomatoes using heat transforms natural lycopene into a form that is easier to utilize by the human body. (source 🗗)

Lycopene In Foods

Lycopene is giving red to pink colors in some vegetables and foods. (source 🗗)

Lycopene is especially found in tomatoes but can also be found in watermelons, pink grapefruits, apricots, and pink guavas. (source 🗗)

The bioavailability of lycopene is significantly higher when it is ingested together with beta-carotene than when ingested alone. (source 🗗)

If you are interested in a list of foods where you can find this nutrient. Go to our nutrition tool and check out lycopene.

Let your family and friends know about Lycopene

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator


I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family. Nutrition is my passion. I have spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies. Nutrition is the foundation you build a healthy and fulfilling life upon!