Lycopene is a pigment that gives fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon, their red color. Lycopene also has strong antioxidant properties. Studies suggest that foods rich in lycopene are associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Tomato products, such as pizza and spaghetti sauce, tomato juice, and ketchup are the major sources of lycopene in the typical American diet. These foods provide more than 80 percent of the lycopene consumed in the U.S.
The body better absorbs Lycopene when it is consumed in processed tomato products, like ketchup. So when someone asks for ketchup on eggs or macaroni and cheese, give it to them gladly, and know they are getting a good dose of antioxidants.