Eating tomatoes may be good for the brain

The lycopene in tomatoes helps reduce risk of strokes, new research states.

TomatoesA recent research revealed that eating tomatoes and tomato-based foods can lower the risk of a stroke. Published in the October 9, 2012, print issue of Neurology®, a medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, revealed tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene; and higher the level of lycopene, lower the risk of a stroke, i.e 59% less according to the study.

The study involved 1,031 men in Finland between the ages of 46 and 65. The level of lycopene in their blood was tested at the start of the study and they were followed for an average of 12 years. During that time, 67 men had a stroke. When researchers looked at just strokes due to blood clots, the results were even stronger.

“This study adds to the evidence that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke,” said study author Jouni Karppi, PhD, of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. “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, according to previous research.”

The study also looked at blood levels of the antioxidants like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol and retinol, but could find no association between the blood levels and risk of stroke.



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