Top 10 Foods Highest in Lycopene

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BSc (Hons) MSc DipION
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Dr. Patricia Shelton
Evidence Based. References sourced from PubMed.
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Top 10 Foods Highest in Lycopene

Lycopene is the most powerful antioxidant measured in food (1) and is thought to play a role in preventing cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration. (2,3,4,5,6,7) Further, lycopene is good for healthy skin. (8)

Lycopene is a carotenoid that gives many fruits and vegetables their red color. Carotenoids are substances that are chemically similar to vitamin A, and they act as antioxidants in the body.

Although lycopene is believed to have health benefits, eating it in excess amounts can cause lycopene to deposit in the tissues, causing the skin and even the liver to have a yellow color. (9)

There are no known symptoms of lycopene deficiency. Because of this, no daily value (DV) for lycopene has been established.

High lycopene foods include guavas, cooked tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, papaya, sweet red peppers, persimmon, asparagus, red cabbage, and mangos.

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Foods high in lycopene include guavas, cooked tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, papaya, sweet red peppers, persimmon, asparagus, red cabbage, and mangos.

High Lycopene Foods by Nutrient Density

1. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
100 grams 45902mcg
2. Pasta Sauce
100 grams 12717mcg
3. Ketchup
100 grams 12062mcg
4. Rose Hips
100 grams 6800mcg
5. Canned Minestrone
100 grams 5963mcg
6. Guavas
100 grams 5204mcg
7. Manhattan Clam Chowder
100 grams 5112mcg
8. Watermelon
100 grams 4532mcg
9. Tomato
100 grams 3041mcg
10. Papaya
100 grams 1828mcg

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Data Sources and References

  1. Di Mascio P, Devasagayam TP, Kaiser S, Sies H. Lycopene as the most efficient biological carotenoid singlet oxygen quencher Biochem Soc Trans. 1990 Dec;18(6):1054-6. doi: 10.1042/bst0181054. 2088803
  2. Schuurman AG, Goldbohm RA, Brants HA, van den Brandt PA. Intake of carotenoids and retinol in relation to risk of prostate cancer Cancer Causes Control. 2002 Aug;13(6):573-82. doi: 10.1023/a:1016332208339. 12195647
  3. Stahl W, Sies H. Lycopene: antioxidant and biological effects and its bioavailability in the human Arch Biochem Biophys. 1996 Dec 1;336(1):1-9. doi: 10.1006/abbi.1996.0525. 8951028
  4. Kiokias S, Gordon MH. Bioavailability and in vivo antioxidant properties of lycopene from tomato products and their possible role in the prevention of cancer Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Sep;57(9):1135-40. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601655. 12947433
  5. La Vecchia C. Tomatoes and risk of digestive-tract cancers Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1998 Jun;218(2):125-8. doi: 10.3181/00379727-218-44276. 9605210
  6. Kirsh VA, Mayne ST, Peters U, Chatterjee N, Leitzmann MF, Dixon LB, Urban DA, Crawford ED, Hayes RB. Dietary lycopene, tomato-based food products and cardiovascular disease in women Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Jan;15(1):92-8. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-05-0563. 16434593
  7. Cardinault N, Abalain JH, Sairafi B, Coudray C, Grolier P, Rambeau M, Carré JL, Mazur A, Rock E. Serum antioxidants and age-related macular degeneration in a population-based case-control study Clin Chim Acta. 2005 Jul 1;357(1):34-42. doi: 10.1016/j.cccn.2005.01.030. 15963792
  8. Tarshish E, Hermoni K, Sharoni Y, Muizzuddin N. Beauty from within: Improvement of skin health and appearance with Lycomato a tomato-derived oral supplement J Cosmet Dermatol. 2022 Sep;21(9):4042-4052. doi: 10.1111/jocd.14724. Epub 2022 Jan 12. 35020247
  9. Palleschi GM, Knoepfel BR, Lotti T. Carotenoderma due to lycopenemia: A case report and evaluation of lycopene deposition in the skin Int J Dermatol. 1992 Jan;31(1):50-1. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4362.1992.tb03521.x. 1737690
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