Recent research released from the University of Eastern Finland have found a link between lycopene in tomatoes and stroke prevention. This latest finding illustrates just one more benefit from tomato consumption. Last year, the National Center for Food Safety & Technology found that tomatoes may provide protection from cancer, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Seems like that juice, round, red globe packs a powerful health punch!
1,031 Finnish men participated in the study. They were between 46 and 65 years old and were followed for 12 years. They were all tested to determine their blood concentrations of lycopene when the study began. Significantly, the research showed that those men who had the highest levels of lycopene in their blood at the end of the 12 year period were at a 55% lower risk of stroke.
They compared the instance of stroke in the group of men with the lowest lycopene levels (258 in total) with the men with the highest concentrations of lycopene (259 in total). Of those with the lowest level, 25 experienced a stroke and of those with the highest concentrations, only 11 suffered from stroke.
When researchers isolated the instances of ischemic strokes which are caused by blood clots the connection to lycopene was even stronger. Those who had the highest levels of lycopene had a 59% lower risk.
FoodFacts.com recently posted a blog with information that recommended people increase their daily servings of fruits and vegetables and this research certainly seems to corroborate those thoughts. Lycopene isn’t just found in tomatoes. Fruits like watermelon, papaya and apricots are also sources of lycopene. We keep learning more about this powerful antioxidant and everything we learn points to tremendous benefits for the population.
So maybe you’re a fan of tomato based salads, or perhaps you enjoy homemade tomato sauce, or maybe roasted tomatoes are especially appealing to you – there are so many ways to include tomatoes in your diet. For FoodFacts.com, tomatoes get high points for versatility, flavor, texture and color. Experiment a little and you’ll find new and exciting ways, not only to get more lycopene in your diet, but also increase your daily fruit and vegetable servings in some flavorful new creations!