Studies reveal another health benefit of tomatoes. It has been found that men who like to eat tomatoes, may be at lower risk from suffering a stroke.
Researchers based in Finland have studied more than 1000 older men with comparatively increased blood levels of the lycopene antioxidant and found out that they are less prone to the risk of a stroke for more than twelve years.Lycopene antioxidant is found in red vegetables and fruits like watermelon, papaya and red peppers and tomatoes.
This study was conducted in 1031 men who aged from 46 to 65. Their blood levels were tested for lycopene, alpha and beta carotene, Vitamins A and E. It was observed that in the next twelve years, only 11 strokes were observed in the ¼ of the men who had highest lycopene levels. But there were 25 stroke patients in the other quarter of men who had the lowest levels.
Factors responsible for stroke like high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes were also considered in the study. Still, men who had higher lycopene had 55 percent less risk for suffering from stroke. According to Jouni Karppi, a researcher from the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, lycopene may directly affect the risk for stroke.
Karppi says Lycopene is a "potent antioxidant". Research in the lab proposes that lycopene aids in combating blood clots and inflammation. Goldstein opines that healthy eating plays a key role. He says that we have several examples wherein public and researchers stressed too much on a single nutrient. Healso added that the "best example" of a suitable diet that helps in curbing the risk for stroke is the "DASH" diet that is usually advocated for protecting heart and lowering the levels of blood pressure.
DASH diet has shown positive results in clinical trials. It has resulted in reducing the risk of high cholesterol and blood pressure levels. This diet emphasizes the need to reduce salt, consume grains like legumes and nuts that are fiber rich and dairy products that are low in fat content. It also advocates the consumption of vegetables and fruits of at least four to five servings every day.
"If you want to eat tomatoes as part of that, that's fine."