Lycopene, an antioxidant found in high amounts in cooked tomato and tomato products such as tomato paste and canned tomatoes has been found have a protective role in cardiovascular disease. A review of both animal and human trials has found evidence that lycopene helps prevent cardiovascular disease, probably due to its ability to reduce oxidative damage.

Lycopene is more well known for its role in the prevention of an enlarged protate (benign prostatic hyperplasia), but it is now clear that it has other protective roles in the body also.

NOTE: Lycopene is the most bioavailable when consumed cooked in oil.

Riccioni et al 2008, Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci, vol. 12(3), pp183-90.