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Heart-Healthy Lycopene

Posted Mar 13 2011 12:34pm

This post was originally published as  Heart-Healthy Lycopeneby  Laurel on Health Food blog.

Lycopene is the healthy phytonutrient that gives the bright red color to produce such as watermelon and tomatoes. Studies show that lycopene helps keep your blood vessels in their best shape, prevents cancer, and keeps your cholesterol at healthy levels. Here are some of the best food sources of lycopene:

  • Watermelon
  • Tomatoes (red, orange, and tomato products)
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Guava
  • Papaya

Summer is the perfect time of year to boost your lycopene intake because most of these fruits are in season. Here are a few lycopene-rich recipes to get you started:
Tomato, Cucumber, Onion, and Avocado (TCOA) Salad (Laurel’s recipe)
Caprese Salad (Laurel’s recipe)
Watermelon & Feta Salad with Pine Nuts (ChefMD recipe)
Papaya Green Onion Salad (Bobby Flay recipe)

Here’s a few ideas for summer parties. Puree fresh or frozen guava, papaya, or watermelon and mix them with lime juice and a shot of rum or tequila for a healthy cocktail. You can also chop up these fruits into small pieces, add fresh cilantro, lime, and jalapeno for a delicious salsa to put on top of grilled fish or to serve with chips.

 

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