Taking care of your skin should be an essential part of your health regimen. It is, after all, your body’s largest organ.
The first thing most health professionals will tell you to do in order to keep your skin healthy is to limit your exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and wear protective sunscreen when you’re exposed to sunlight. However, the sun isn’t all bad. Just 10–15 minutes of daily exposure helps manufacture Vitamin D throughout the skin. Vitamin D is one of the best vitamins for your skin, along with Vitamins C, E, and K.
Making sure you get enough vitamins can keep your skin looking healthy and youthful. While we hear and read a lot about Vitamin C, D and their type, how many of you have heard of Lycopene?
Lycopene is a naturally occurring phytonutrient that gives certain fruits and vegetables their red color. Phytonutrients are antioxidants found in plant life. These nutrients are not originally created by the human body, but rather produced by plants as a defense against environmental damage, such as pests, toxins and UV damage. Instead of allowing free radicals to run free within the plant, it creates various types of phytonutrients to protect itself.
Just like plants, we’re subjected to a lot of dangerous environmental chemicals and other things, like prolonged sun exposure, that can cause free radicals to damage cells throughout our entire bodies as well.
Why is Lycopene so powerful?
- It is a Carotenoid (organic pigments that can be converted to Vitamin A)
- It is a Phytonutrient (organic nutrients present in plants that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory)
- It is a powerful antioxidant (neutralizes the effect of harmful free radicals by oxidizing itself)
- It prevents damage to DNA
- It cannot be manufactured by the human body and must be included in our diet
Natural Sources of Lycopene
Since our body cannot produce Lycopene, it is important to know what foods are the best sources of this nutrient. Though many vitamin supplements incorporate Lycopene in the recommended dosages, such as Nutriplus Skinhealth it is smart to also include it in your daily diet by including these easy to find sources of Lycopene.
The best and most feasible source of Lycopene is hiding in plain sight in your kitchen. Tomatoes contain the maximum amount of Lycopene. When used fresh, they easily provide you with your daily requirement of Lycopene. But, surprisingly, when tomatoes are ingested in the form of ketchup, soup and other cooked forms, they release three times more Lycopene than the fresh fruit! Remember – the deeper, darker the colour of the tomato, the more loaded with Lycopene it is.
2. Pink Guava
Again, the keyword is ‘pink’ or ‘red’. Pink and red guavas also have a high Lycopene content. In addition to Lycopene, guavas are also good sources of Vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty acids and fibre. Pick red or pink guavas to fill up your nutrition meter whenever you feel you are lacking these vital elements.
Ripe watermelons have that irresistible beautiful red shade. The presence of Lycopene makes this otherwise simply watery fruit a nutrient packed juicy treat. Watermelon is also a good diuretic and source of fiber.
Papayas are an excellent source of Lycopene. For those who don’t have access to pink guavas, papayas will give you the same amount of Lycopene. Try this yellow-red tropical fruit and load up on the skin benefits
5. Pink Grapefruit
This slightly bitter citrusy fruit is a gold mine of Vitamin C and Lycopene; almost as much as a tomato. This fruit is also known for its cholesterol absorbing properties.
Caution: People prone to kidney stones should avoid this fruit.
One of the primary active ingredients of QNet’s Nutriplus Skinhealth supplement is Lycopene.