Tomatoes Can Prevent Strokes in Men

19 Oct

A medical study by researchers at a Finnish university has found that people, particularly men, have a much lower risk of stroke if they eat tomatoes.

The cause of stroke is usually a blood clot that blocks the supply of blood to the brain, often causing death. It is reported that in the USA alone, more than 795,000 people have strokes every year, often resulting in paralysis, speech difficulties and a whole host of other issues. In fact stroke is regarded as “a leading cause of death” in the US, with somebody dying from a stroke every four minutes.

But tomatoes can change all of this!

Tomatoes Can Prevent Strokes in Men

Eating tomatoes can help to prevent stroke.

What the New Finnish Study Reveals

The Finnish research study, published in the Neurology journal in October 2012, analysed men aged between 46 and 65, who had never been affected by stroke.

According to the study, a very powerful anti-oxidant lycopene, is the hero in this scenario, reducing risks by more than half.

The study, led by Jouni Karppi at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, was based on data taken from more than 1,000 middle-aged men, over a period of more than a decade. What excited Karppi most was the fact that that the study was able to add to “evidence” that men who had very high blood levels containing lycopene were 55% less likely to suffer from strokes than younger men without lycopene in their bloodstream.

Karppi, who operates out of the University of Eastern Finland’s Department of Medicine at the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, found that about one in ten of 258 men with the lowest levels of the anti-oxidant in the bloodstream suffered from a stroke during the study period. Of the 259 men with the highest levels of lycopene, only one in 25 had a stroke.

In total, 67 of the participating men had strokes during the study period, some caused by blood clots and others by haemorrhages.

The Value of Lycopene-Rich Fruit and Veg

According to the study findings, lycopene (which is also found in pink grapefruit, papaya, watermelon, and apricots) prevents clots from forming and obstructing the blood supply to the brain. This is what reduces the risk of stroke.

As a result, the study recommends that people eat at least five servings of fruit and veg each day, particularly tomatoes and other tomato-based products.

Although not mentioned in this study, tomatoes are also attributed with lowering the risk of prostate cancer in men.

Anti-oxidants and Stroke

Since lycopene is a powerful anti-oxidant, researchers considered other anti-oxidants to see whether they also contributed to a lower risk of stroke: including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol (a type of vitamin E) and retinol (vitamin A). None of these had any significant link with strokes or the reduction of blood clots.

Tomatoes remain the hero!

Experience the unbeatable health benefits of tomatoes by growing your own with the help of our book, How To Grow Juicy Tasty Tomatoes.