Eating tomatoes might reduce the risk of having a stroke
Tomatoes, which contain a high amount of lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant, leads to a lower risk for strokes, according to a Finnish study which was published on October 8 in the US. The research, which appeared in Neurology , a journal published by the American Academy of Neurology, shows that people with the highest levels of lycopene in their blood were 55% less likely to experience cerebral congestion than those with a lower level of the antioxidant in their blood.
The study was carried out in Finland on 1031 men aged 46-65. Blood lycopene levels were measured at the beginning of the study, and the participants were monitored for an average of twelve years, during which 67 of them had a cerebrovascular accident. Among the 258 men with the lowest lycopene levels 25 suffered a stroke, and for the 259 patients with the highest levels only 11 strokes were experienced.
Fruit and Vegetable-rich diet recommended
The results were even more significant when the researchers considered only the strokes caused by a blood clot, and not by hemorrhaging. Now those with higher lycopene levels were shown to have 59% less chances of having a stroke due to a blood clot than those with lower levels.
“This research confirms the virtues of a diet which is rich in fruits and vegetables in lowering the risk of stroke” emphasizes Jouni Karppi from the University of Kuopio, corresponding author of the article. The study also examined the blood levels for other antioxidants; alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol (a type of vitamin E) and retinol (vitamin A). They found no link, regardless of the levels, with a reduced risk of cerebral congestion.