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Cardiovascular Health Channel
Reported October 10, 2012

How Tomatoes Can Protect You from Stroke

(Ivanhoe Newswire) –  Although the health benefits of vegetables and fruits are ingrained in us since childhood, it turns out that certain ones may be even better for our health than we know. In fact, according to a new study eating tomatoes may actually lower a person’s risk of stroke.

The study was done in Finland where researchers tested the blood of 1,031 men for lycopene, an important antioxidant found in high amounts in tomatoes. The researchers then followed the men for the following 12 years, during which 67 of the participants experienced a stroke.

Out of the 67 men who had a stroke during the 12 years, 25 of them were amongst the 258 participants with the lowest lycopene levels while only 11 men amongst the 259 participants with the highest lycopene levels experienced a stroke.

These results showed that the participants with the highest lycopene levels were 59 percent less likely to have a stroke than those participants with the lowest lycopene levels. Furthermore, the results were even stronger when just looking at strokes due to blood clots.

"The results support the recommendation that people get more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which would likely lead to a major reduction in the number of strokes worldwide," study author Jouni Karppi, Ph.D., from University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio was quoted as saying.

Although the study also looked at the blood levels of other antioxidants to see if they had an effect on a person’s risk of stroke, lycopene was the only one they found to be linked to a lowered risk of stroke.

So start putting tomatoes is whatever you can because it may just help you live a longer and healthier life.

(Source: Neurology, October, 2012)
 

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