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Top 10 Foods Highest in Lycopene


Lycopene is currently the most powerful antioxidant which has been measured in food2 and is thought to play a role in preventing cancer and heart disease. How large a protective role lycopene plays is a controversial issue which is still under scientific study. Lycopene is a carotenoid that gives many fruits and vegetables their red color, eating lycopene in excess amounts can cause the skin and liver to have a yellow color. Unlike other carotenes, lycopene does not get converted into vitamin A. There are no known symptoms of a lycopene deficiency, and no daily value (%DV) for lycopene. Below is a list of high lycopene foods, for more, see the lists of high lycopene foods by nutrient density, and lycopene rich foods.

#1: Guavas
Lycopene in 100gPer cup (165g)Per fruit (55g)
5204g 8587g 2862g
An average guava contains only 37 calories and half a gram of fat. Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#2: Watermelon
Lycopene in 100gPer cup, diced (152g)Per wedge (286g)
4532g 6889g 12962g
A wedge of watermelon contains 86 calories and less than half a gram of fat. Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#3: Tomatoes (Cooked)
Lycopene in 100gPer cup (240g)Per 2 tomatoes (246g)
3041g 7298g 7481g
A cup of raw cherry tomatoes provides 3834g lycopene and a cup of raw, chopped tomatoes provides 4631g lycopene. Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#4: Papaya
Lycopene in 100gPer cup, pieces (145g)Per small papaya (157g)
1828g 2651g 2870g
A small papaya contains only 68 calories and less than half a gram of fat. Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#5: Grapefruit
Lycopene in 100gPer cup sections (230g)Per half (128g)
1135g 2611g 1453g
Half an average grapefruit contains only 41 calories and virtually no fat. Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#6: Sweet Red Peppers (Cooked)
Lycopene in 100gPer cup, chopped (106g)
484g 513g
Half a cup of chopped, sauted red peppers contain 71 calories. Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#7: Asparagus (Cooked)
Lycopene in 100gPer 1/2 cup (90g)Per 4 spears (60g)
30g 27g 18g
Half a cup of cooked asparagus contains only 20 calories and 0.2 grams of fat. Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#8: Red (Purple) Cabbage
Lycopene in 100gPer cup, chopped (89g)Per small head (567g)
20g 18g 113g
A cup of chopped raw cabbage contains only 28 calories and 0.14 grams of fat. Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#9: Mango
Lycopene in 100gPer cup, pieces (165g)Per fruit (336g)
3g 5g 10g
Half an average mango contains 101 calories and 0.6 grams of fat. Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#10: Carrots
Lycopene in 100gPer cup, chopped (128g)Per carrot (61g)
1g 1.3g 0.6g
An average carrot contains only 25 calories and 0.15 grams of fat. Click to see complete nutrition facts.




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Top 10 High Lycopene Foods by Nutrient Density (Lycopene per Gram)

#1: Sun Dried Tomatoes 45902g per 100 grams918g per piece (2 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sun Dried Tomatoes
#2: Tomato Pure 21754g per 100 grams54385g per cup (250 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Tomato Pure
#3: Guava 5204g per 100 grams2862g per fruit (55 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Guava
#4: Watermelon 4532g per 100 grams12962g per wedge (286 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Watermelon
#5: Tomatoes (Cooked) 3041g per 100 grams7481g per 2 tomatoes (246 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Tomatoes
#6: Papaya 1828g per 100 grams2870g per small papaya (157 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Papaya
#7: Grapefruit 1135g per 100 grams1453g per half (128 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Grapefruit
#8: Sweet Red Peppers (Cooked) 484g per 100 grams513g per cup, chopped (106 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sweet Red Peppers
#9: Dried Herbs & Spices (Basil) 393g per 100 grams4g per teaspoon (1 gram)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dried Herbs & Spices
#10: Liver (Chicken, Cooked) 25g per 100 grams11g per unit (44 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Liver


Other Lycopene Rich Foods

Rose Hips6800μg per 100 gram serving1904μg per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Rose Hips
Tomato Soup 10920g per 100 gram serving 13213g per 1/2 cup (121 grams) 33088g per can (303 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Tomato Soup
Minestrone (Made with Tomatoes)*6359μg per 100 gram serving1781μg per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Minestrone
Gazpacho (Made with Tomatoes)*915μg per 100 gram serving256μg per ounce (28 grams) 2233μg per cup (244 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Gazpacho
Tomato Chili Sauce 12819g per 100 gram serving 34996g per cup (273 grams) 769g per packet (6 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Tomato Chili Sauce
Canned Tomatoes 2767g per 100 gram serving 6641g per cup (240 grams) 5257g per can (190 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Canned Tomatoes
Sardines Canned in Tomato Sauce 1398g per 100 gram serving 5173g per can (370 grams) 531g per sardine (38 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sardines Canned in Tomato Sauce
Mamey Sapote (Nispero) 199g per 100 gram serving 348g per cup, pieces (175 grams) 1110g per fruit (558 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Mamey Sapote
Swede (Rutabagas) 14g per 100 gram serving 20g per cup, cubes (140 grams) 54g per Swede (386 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Swede
Pasta Sauce (Marinara) 12665g per 100 gram serving 16718g per 1/2 cup (132 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Pasta Sauce
Vegetable Chips 7248g per 100 gram serving 2029g per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Vegetable Chips
Baked Beans 511g per 100 gram serving 1298g per cup (254 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Baked Beans
Persimmons 159g per 100 gram serving 267g per fruit (168 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Persimmons
Boloney 11g per 100 gram serving 3g per slice (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Boloney
For more foods high in lycopene use the nutrient ranking tool.
*Amount of lycopene may vary greatly between products. Be sure to check nutrition labels for the exact amount of lycopene from each individual product.


Health Benefits of Lycopene

  • Reduced Cancer Risk3-6
  • Protection Against Heart Disease7,8
  • Reduced Risk of Macular Degeneration9
As of 2005 the United States Food and Drug Administration (USDA) has not approved scientific claims of lycopene's health benefits to be significant. However, lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and several studies have found evidence to suggest that lycopene may provide the health benefits listed above.

Warnings

  • Liver and Fois Gras are high cholesterol foods which should be eaten in moderate amounts and avoided by people at risk of heart disease or stroke.
  • Consuming excess amounts of lycopene can lead to skin discolorations known as lycopenodermia. This condition is considered harmless and will go away on its own when lycopene is no longer consumed. Upper limits for intake of lycopene have not been established, and consuming high doses of lycopene should be approached with caution and doctor supervision.

Buy High Lycopene Foods

Sun Dried Tomatoes, Dried Herbs, Chili Powder



Comments.
Name:Tim O'Connell
Location:California
Subject:Intolerance
I was determined to be intolerant (not allergic - there is no histamine involvement) to lycopene, even in small doses. Symptoms as similar to gastroenteritis, with onset delayed 12-24 hours from ingestion. There is no treatment. In researching this, I have found that there are others with the same intolerance, yet it is seldom mentioned as a possibility, and the delayed onset makes it very hard to diagnose. You should at least mention this in your cautions so that others will be able to figure out why they are getting sick the day after eating foods containing lycopene.
Posted on 2012-01-25 22:26:20
Name:Ginnie Groda
Location:Texas
Subject:Tomatoes & Eggplant
I cannot eat much of either tomatoes & eggplant as they cause a serious flareup of arthritis. Normally, the aches are tolerable but eggplant is especially pain causing along with tomatoes to a lesser degree. People should be aware of the foods that aggravate arthritis.
Posted on 2012-04-30 10:09:18
Name:Roy
Location:Singapore
Subject:Top 10 foods high in lycopene
You can't have a top 10 list if you're missing out the champ of them all - gac fruit. Check it out.
Posted on 2012-09-14 14:18:19
Name:Lennox Lampkin
Location:St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Subject:Analysis is skewed
The analysis is skewed toward tomato as it compares dehydrated tomato with fresh Guava. Both ought to be compared in the same state (fresh)!
Posted on 2012-11-27 06:29:21
Name:Ashok Lakkavaram
Location:United States
Subject:Lycopene in Guava
The photo for Guava shows pink color. When I click on the link, it takes me to "Guavas Common Raw". There is another kind listed on your website: "Guavas Strawberry Raw" with low levels of lycopene. Should the Common Guava have pink color inside when cut to have high lycopene or can the inside be white as well to have such high lycopene levels? Is "Pink Guava" sold on such sites as amazon considered Common Guava or Strawberry Guava?Thank you.
Posted on 2013-03-30 16:04:25
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Lycopene in Guava
Hi Ashok, Thanks for your question. When you look at the nutrition facts for strawberry guava vs. common guava you see that the lycopene numbers for strawberry guava are missing as they have not been recorded. The "~" sign means no data. Likely, strawberry guava has as much or more lycopene than common guava due to its red color. The guavas you order on the internet are likely to be high in lycopene whether they are common or strawberry, but it would be best to choose red colored guavas. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2013-03-30 22:01:28
Name:Mr.Lasse
Location:Denmark
Subject:Papaya
Hi, Papaya is another food with good amounts of lycopene. Same as watermelon (gram for gram). It should therefore be on you top 10 list.
Posted on 2013-05-10 12:11:36
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Papaya
Hi Mr. Lasse, thanks for your comment. Papaya provides 1828μg of lycopene per 100 grams, this is less than the 4532μg of watermelon. Here are the complete nutrition facts. Papaya is still a good source of lycopene, however, and will be added to the extended list of lycopene rich foods.
Posted on 2013-05-12 02:13:31
Name:Dear Tim
Location:California
Subject:RE: Intolerance
Dear Tim, I too have sensitivities, tomatoes not being one of them. However when I eat a tomato that has been waxed to shine, I get an immediate stomach pain. I eat most foods that are organic now and find I have less problems mainly due to the lack of some corn ingredient in the food wax and also to the pesticides absorbed by the watery foods. I buy organic tomato sauce in a glass jar with two ingredients... Tomato and sea salt. I add spices make my own barbecue sauce and marinara sauce and its delicious.
Posted on 2013-08-13 14:27:45
Name:Emee
Location:New Hampshire
Subject:Free lycopene from Autumn Olives
The berries of the Autumn Olive are supposedly higher in lycopene than even tomatoes. Best of all, you can forage for these berries all over the USA. This shrub/small tree was originally introduced by the government to control erosion, but they failed to look at long-term effects on native species. Autumn Olive is nitrogen-fixing, grows fast in poor soil and reproduces like crazy. The end result is that it now has achieved "invasive species" status in many states. That aside, the berries are wonderful and can be eaten raw or made into jams and juices. The shrub has ovate leaves that are a sage-like color on the top and silver-like finish on the underside. The berries are usually oval and have silver speckles on them. They start out small and brown and typically become an yellow-orange color before turning a deep red. They are about the size of a caper. On my property, they ripen between late August and late October. Most shrubs are quite prolific and you can strip off a gallon of berries in no time. When fully ripe, the berries usually come off without their small stems. Beware of unripe berries - they will pucker your mouth more than an unripe persimmon! Ripe berries may have a bit of tartness at first, but taste sweeter near the single edible seed.
Posted on 2013-11-24 11:34:12
Name:Nishant
Location:India
Subject:Gac fruit contains more Lycopene than Tomatoes
The fruit gac contains more lycopene than a tomato. This is a fruit which only grows for a few weeks a year in Vietnam, and has been identified as a "super source" of Lycopene, so renowned for its health benefits.

Late last year Finnish medical scientists from the Department of Medicine, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, completed a 12 year study of over 1,000 Finnish men which found that high blood Lycopene levels reduced the risk of stroke by more than 55% when compared to low levels of Lycopene. Low levels of Lycopene also increased the risk of heart attack in the group studied.

The discovery of a new super source of Lycopene from Gac, a gourd-like fruit from Vietnam, may be good news for those in the ever increasing high-risk categories for stroke and heart disease. Weight for weight, Gac contains 70 times more Lycopene than tomato. Gac fruit also contains its own natural fatty-acids which help the body absorb Lycopene

.
Posted on 2014-01-15 13:32:49
Name:Debra H
Location:Ontario
Subject:RE: Reaction to tomatoes
Your reaction to tomatoes and most tomato products is likely not the level of lycopene, but the increased production of stomach acids pushing up into the esophagus. This is better known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux), and can be very painfu. GERD is treated with Proton Pump inhibitors such as Rabeprazole or Pantoprazole, which are designed to reduce or block the production of acid.
Posted on 2014-01-29 15:46:21
Name:Bob A
Location:Toledo, Ohio
Subject:Strawberries have more lycopene than tomatoes
You forgot to mention strawberries, which have 5x as much lycopene as (fresh) tomatoes. Autumn olives have 17x as much as tomatoes, much more than any of the other foods you mention.
Posted on 2014-02-04 10:31:39
Name:Johnb38016
Location:Memphis
Subject:V8 juice
I drink a glass of V8 juice or generic juice every morning and have for years. Tomato juice is also available. It adds vegetables to my breakfast. I just pretend it is a bloody-Mary and I'm fine.
Posted on 2014-04-11 01:56:30

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Comments.
Name:Tim O'Connell
Location:California
Subject:Intolerance
I was determined to be intolerant (not allergic - there is no histamine involvement) to lycopene, even in small doses. Symptoms as similar to gastroenteritis, with onset delayed 12-24 hours from ingestion. There is no treatment. In researching this, I have found that there are others with the same intolerance, yet it is seldom mentioned as a possibility, and the delayed onset makes it very hard to diagnose. You should at least mention this in your cautions so that others will be able to figure out why they are getting sick the day after eating foods containing lycopene.
Posted on 2012-01-25 22:26:20
Name:Ginnie Groda
Location:Texas
Subject:Tomatoes & Eggplant
I cannot eat much of either tomatoes & eggplant as they cause a serious flareup of arthritis. Normally, the aches are tolerable but eggplant is especially pain causing along with tomatoes to a lesser degree. People should be aware of the foods that aggravate arthritis.
Posted on 2012-04-30 10:09:18
Name:Roy
Location:Singapore
Subject:Top 10 foods high in lycopene
You can't have a top 10 list if you're missing out the champ of them all - gac fruit. Check it out.
Posted on 2012-09-14 14:18:19
Name:Lennox Lampkin
Location:St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Subject:Analysis is skewed
The analysis is skewed toward tomato as it compares dehydrated tomato with fresh Guava. Both ought to be compared in the same state (fresh)!
Posted on 2012-11-27 06:29:21
Name:Ashok Lakkavaram
Location:United States
Subject:Lycopene in Guava
The photo for Guava shows pink color. When I click on the link, it takes me to "Guavas Common Raw". There is another kind listed on your website: "Guavas Strawberry Raw" with low levels of lycopene. Should the Common Guava have pink color inside when cut to have high lycopene or can the inside be white as well to have such high lycopene levels? Is "Pink Guava" sold on such sites as amazon considered Common Guava or Strawberry Guava?Thank you.
Posted on 2013-03-30 16:04:25
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Lycopene in Guava
Hi Ashok, Thanks for your question. When you look at the nutrition facts for strawberry guava vs. common guava you see that the lycopene numbers for strawberry guava are missing as they have not been recorded. The "~" sign means no data. Likely, strawberry guava has as much or more lycopene than common guava due to its red color. The guavas you order on the internet are likely to be high in lycopene whether they are common or strawberry, but it would be best to choose red colored guavas. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2013-03-30 22:01:28
Name:Mr.Lasse
Location:Denmark
Subject:Papaya
Hi, Papaya is another food with good amounts of lycopene. Same as watermelon (gram for gram). It should therefore be on you top 10 list.
Posted on 2013-05-10 12:11:36
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Papaya
Hi Mr. Lasse, thanks for your comment. Papaya provides 1828μg of lycopene per 100 grams, this is less than the 4532μg of watermelon. Here are the complete nutrition facts. Papaya is still a good source of lycopene, however, and will be added to the extended list of lycopene rich foods.
Posted on 2013-05-12 02:13:31
Name:Dear Tim
Location:California
Subject:RE: Intolerance
Dear Tim, I too have sensitivities, tomatoes not being one of them. However when I eat a tomato that has been waxed to shine, I get an immediate stomach pain. I eat most foods that are organic now and find I have less problems mainly due to the lack of some corn ingredient in the food wax and also to the pesticides absorbed by the watery foods. I buy organic tomato sauce in a glass jar with two ingredients... Tomato and sea salt. I add spices make my own barbecue sauce and marinara sauce and its delicious.
Posted on 2013-08-13 14:27:45
Name:Emee
Location:New Hampshire
Subject:Free lycopene from Autumn Olives
The berries of the Autumn Olive are supposedly higher in lycopene than even tomatoes. Best of all, you can forage for these berries all over the USA. This shrub/small tree was originally introduced by the government to control erosion, but they failed to look at long-term effects on native species. Autumn Olive is nitrogen-fixing, grows fast in poor soil and reproduces like crazy. The end result is that it now has achieved "invasive species" status in many states. That aside, the berries are wonderful and can be eaten raw or made into jams and juices. The shrub has ovate leaves that are a sage-like color on the top and silver-like finish on the underside. The berries are usually oval and have silver speckles on them. They start out small and brown and typically become an yellow-orange color before turning a deep red. They are about the size of a caper. On my property, they ripen between late August and late October. Most shrubs are quite prolific and you can strip off a gallon of berries in no time. When fully ripe, the berries usually come off without their small stems. Beware of unripe berries - they will pucker your mouth more than an unripe persimmon! Ripe berries may have a bit of tartness at first, but taste sweeter near the single edible seed.
Posted on 2013-11-24 11:34:12
Name:Nishant
Location:India
Subject:Gac fruit contains more Lycopene than Tomatoes
The fruit gac contains more lycopene than a tomato. This is a fruit which only grows for a few weeks a year in Vietnam, and has been identified as a "super source" of Lycopene, so renowned for its health benefits.

Late last year Finnish medical scientists from the Department of Medicine, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, completed a 12 year study of over 1,000 Finnish men which found that high blood Lycopene levels reduced the risk of stroke by more than 55% when compared to low levels of Lycopene. Low levels of Lycopene also increased the risk of heart attack in the group studied.

The discovery of a new super source of Lycopene from Gac, a gourd-like fruit from Vietnam, may be good news for those in the ever increasing high-risk categories for stroke and heart disease. Weight for weight, Gac contains 70 times more Lycopene than tomato. Gac fruit also contains its own natural fatty-acids which help the body absorb Lycopene

.
Posted on 2014-01-15 13:32:49
Name:Debra H
Location:Ontario
Subject:RE: Reaction to tomatoes
Your reaction to tomatoes and most tomato products is likely not the level of lycopene, but the increased production of stomach acids pushing up into the esophagus. This is better known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux), and can be very painfu. GERD is treated with Proton Pump inhibitors such as Rabeprazole or Pantoprazole, which are designed to reduce or block the production of acid.
Posted on 2014-01-29 15:46:21
Name:Bob A
Location:Toledo, Ohio
Subject:Strawberries have more lycopene than tomatoes
You forgot to mention strawberries, which have 5x as much lycopene as (fresh) tomatoes. Autumn olives have 17x as much as tomatoes, much more than any of the other foods you mention.
Posted on 2014-02-04 10:31:39
Name:Johnb38016
Location:Memphis
Subject:V8 juice
I drink a glass of V8 juice or generic juice every morning and have for years. Tomato juice is also available. It adds vegetables to my breakfast. I just pretend it is a bloody-Mary and I'm fine.
Posted on 2014-04-11 01:56:30

Post a comment.
Name:          
Location:       
Email:(Optional)
Subject:         

Spam Prevention *(REQUIRED):
Enter the last three letters of this sentence.

References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 25.
  2. Mascio PD, Kaiser S, Sies H. Lycopene as the most efficient biological carotenoid singlet oxygen quencher. Biochemistry and Biophysics Volume 274, Issue 2, 1 November 1989, Pages 532-538.
  3. Giovannucci E, Ascherio A, Rimm EB, et al. Intake of carotenoids and retinol in relation to risk of prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995;87:1767-1776.
  4. Sies H, Stahl W. Lycopene: antioxidant and biological effects and its bioavailability in the human. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med . 1998;218:121-124.
  5. Rao AV, Agarwal S. Bioavailability and in vivo antioxidant properties of lycopene from tomato products and their possible role in the prevention of cancer. Nutr Cancer . 1998;31:199-203.
  6. Franceschi S, Bidoli E, La Vecchia C, et al. Tomatoes and risk of digestive-tract cancers. Int J Cancer . 1994;59:181-184.
  7. Sesso HD, Liu S, Gaziano JM, et al. Dietary lycopene, tomato-based food products and cardiovascular disease in women. J Nutr . 2003;133:2336-2341.
  8. Sesso HD, Buring JE, Norkus EP, et al. Plasma lycopene, other carotenoids, and retinol and the risk of cardiovascular disease in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;81:990-997.
  9. Mares-Perlman JA, Brady WE, Klein R, et al. Serum antioxidants and age-related macular degeneration in a population-based case-control study. Arch Ophthalmol . 1995;113:1518-1523.