A: Carotenoids are natural plant substances that absorb light and act as antioxidants. Most carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables are very low in fat, which makes them ideal for a healthy diet. But carotenoids work best when paired with healthy dietary sources of fat like avocado, flax seed oil, and olive oil.
Only green plants and some microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and lower algae) can manufacture carotenoids. Humans and animals depend on plants as a source for these healthful organic compounds, and then we store carotenoids in our bodies.
Research suggests that your body absorbs lycopene better if it is processed into tomato juice, sauce, and paste. Why is that? High temperatures are used to process tomatoes into canned or bottled products, and the high temperature is able to chemically change lycopene so that it's more easily absorbed by your body.