The benefits of tomatoes are not in doubt anymore. In addition to containing high doses of Vitamin C, tomatoes are also known to contain lycopene, an antioxidant that experts say can protect from stroke, reports Sade Oguntola.
Past research has shown that a diet rich in lycopene-containing foods such as tomatoes, pink grapefruit, pawpaw, watermelon, and guava, may help lower the risk of prostate and other cancers. Now, a new study has found that tomatoes, a rich source of lycoprene may help reduce the risk of suffering a stroke by half or more.
Tomatoes are widely available; people of all ages and cultures like them, they are cost effective, and are available in many forms. It’s easier for the body to use lycopene that comes from tomato products, such as tomato paste or tomato juice, than from fresh tomatoes.
Cooked tomatoes tend to have a greater effect on blood levels of lycopene than raw tomatoes or tomato juice. Cooking breaks down tomato’s cell walls and makes it easier for your body to absorb the antioxidants. But tomato juice is rich in nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, iron, iodine, potassium, zinc, fluoride, vitamins A, C, organic acids and more.
In this study, the researchers found that men with the highest levels of lycopene, a chemical that gives fruits like tomatoes and guava their brilliant red, orange, and yellow colouring, were at half the risk of suffering a stroke than men with the lowest levels of this chemical substance.
Stroke is more common than most people realise. Nearly 90 per cent of the strokes that take place in this country are ischemic strokes, which occur as a result of a blockage (usually a clot) in a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures.