To-may-to. To-mah-to. It doesn’t matter how you pronounce it. Either way, eating this fruit—and other foods rich in lycopene*, such as pink grapefruit, papaya, watermelon and apricot—is linked to a lower stroke risk in men.
Researchers recorded the blood levels of lycopene in about 1,000 Finnish men between the ages 45 and 65 who had never had a stroke. These men were followed for about 12 years to see if they experienced any strokes. The study, which was published Monday in the journal Neurology, noted that men with the highest blood levels of lycopene were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke.
The proof is in the tomato (or tomato-based foods), giving us reason to believe one thing: Eating fruits and vegetables, at least five servings a day, leads to a decresased risk of stroke among individuals. Strokes, which are a leading cause of death in the U.S., occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.
As noted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, more than 800,000 people die in the U.S. from cardiovascular disease and strokes each year. Strokes can also result in paralysis, difficulty with speech and emotional issues. So, as long as you enjoy your tomato a day, we won’t question your pronounciation of the fruit (is there even really a right way of saying “tomato?”).
- Lycopene: a red pigment in tomatoes, as well as in other fruits and vegetables
Check out our article on another food that is beneficial to your health: Low-Fat Yogurt May Reduce Risk of High Blood Pressure