Lycopene is a naturally occurring chemical that gives fruits and vegetables a red color. As you can tell by the photo, our tomatoes are loaded with the stuff. According to the American Cancer Society, a major claim for lycopene’s benefits is in the prevention and treatment of cancers of the lung, prostate, stomach, bladder, cervix, skin, and, especially, prostate. In support of these claims regarding cancer, proponents note that lycopene is a powerful antioxidant, a compound that blocks the action of free radicals, activated oxygen molecules that can damage cells, and that several scientific studies have found lower risk of cancer among people who eat lycopene-rich foods.
The bowl of tomatoes were grown in our garden, and we continue to harvest and eat them daily. With the triple digit heat that is expected to last until the 4th of July, I anticipate that we’ll be eating more of these lycopene rich fruits on a daily basis.