Why the Humble Tomato Is a Solid Soldier In The Battle Against Aging!
If you think about a tomato, you would probably be led to thoughts of pizza, spaghetti, or even ketchup on a burger patty. What is unlikely is you thinking of that humble tomato helping you look and feel younger! Indeed, this modest fruit is an anti-aging superfood, and it has powerful benefits that shouldn’t be underestimated or overlooked!
Reduces Effects of Sun Damage
Lycopene is a carotenoid compound that has proven to be an effective natural fighter against sun damage. Years of research has supported and documented the effectiveness of lycopene in this area of anti-aging, and there is no doubt that a tomato has enough lycopene to make a difference. Lycopene has also been found to protect us against further UV damage.
Provides Ample Antioxidants For The Body
Being a powerful antioxidant, lycopene doesn’t only protect your body from UV damage, but it also protects it from toxins. In fact, lycopene aids your body against aflatoxins which are most commonly found in peanuts. Lycopene also protects against cadmium toxins which are found in polluted air or from cigarette smoking. Lycopene will help your skin look and feel younger by defending it from damage and increasing the elasticity of your skin. Elasticity increases because lycopene conserves collagen fibers keeping your skin supple and reducing wrinkles and fine lines.
Decreases Risks of Heart-Related Diseases and Other Ailments
Interestingly, lycopene is also found to be associated with decreased risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Heart disease is often caused by poor diet along with aging, and heart health was found to improve with greater lycopene levels in the system. While there are other nutrients available in tomatoes that contribute to the cancer-fighting capability of the fruit, lycopene is the dominant nutrient responsible. People with high levels of lycopene in their body tissue were found to have lower risks of chronic disease. As we know, any disease increases the rate of aging, so lowered risks of diseases result in higher chances of retaining your youthfulness!
Overview of the Nutritional Value of Tomatoes
While you would expect cooking a tomato would decrease its disease-fighting effects, the tables are turned when it comes to lycopene! It was discovered that the cooking process increased lycopene levels, increasing the benefits of the compound. So don’t feel guilty about all that marinara in your spaghetti! The next time you sit down with a bowl of marinara, a bottle of ketchup to dip your food in, or even a bowl of comforting tomato soup, just think of all the ways it is helping you look and feel younger!
For people who do not obtain enough lycopene from their diet — for whatever reasons like personal preference or sensitivity or allergy to tomatoes — lycopene is also available in supplemental form. However, it is understood by experts that the nutrients obtained from supplements are not of the same quality as the natural nutrients obtained through the consumption of whole foods. And so, while lycopene is readily available in tablet or capsule form, it is encouraged to rather introduce more tomato-based meals in your diet.
What with lycopene receiving so much attention for its anti-aging benefits, it comes as no surprise that lycopene is being used in topical creams in order to combat age-causing compounds like free-radicals and to actually assist in metabolic cell functions. Topical lycopene is a growing trend, and many facial moisturizers and creams feature this potent antioxidant in its ingredients list. Some scientists argue that the lycopene obtained from dietary sources may not be sufficient since the lycopene releases into the lymphatic system after ingestion, from where it is distributed to the entire body, but mostly to fat-rich organs. This means that some scientists are led to believe that only a fraction of the lycopene that is consumed orally reaches the skin to fulfill its anti-aging benefits, and so topical lycopene is recommended.
Now that you know all about the powerful benefits of the humble tomato and lycopene, you can get to increase your consumption of tomatoes, or maybe even purchasing a moisturizer with lycopene as an active ingredient. In fact, take it a step further and mash up some tomatoes to make a face mask of your own to benefit from the natural lycopene in its basic form! Yes, that works, too!
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