Each year approximately 800,000 Americans experience a stroke, which is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. Exercise and a healthy diet are essential to reduce the risk of having a stroke but if you like tomatoes, a recent study has some good news for you.
According to researchers in Finland, a diet rich in tomatoes may reduce the risk of having a stroke. A study of 1,031 men, published in the journal Neurology, showed those with the most lycopene, a bright red element found in tomatoes, in their bloodstream were the least likely to have a stroke.
The participants of the research were split into four groups based on the amount of lycopene in their blood. There were 25 strokes in the 258 men in the low lycopene group and 11 strokes out of the 259 men in the high lycopene group. The study said the risk of stroke was cut by 55% by having a diet rich in lycopene.
Labeled as a “stroke preventers”, lycopene has been a popular ingredient in the supplement industry for many years. Lycopene acts as an antioxidant and can reduce inflammation and prevent blood clotting. Dr Clare Walton, from the Stroke Association, said: “This study suggests that lycopene, an antioxidant which is found in foods such as tomatoes, red peppers and water-melons, could help to lower the stroke risk”.
However, this research should not deter people from eating other types of fruit and vegetables as they all have health benefits and remain an important part of a staple diet”, he added.
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