Family Matters | Stories - Tomatoes May Prevent Strokes
Tuesday, June 18 2013, 08:08 AM MDT
Tomatoes May Prevent Strokes
(CBS) A new study finds there may be some big health benefits to eating tomatoes and tomato-based foods.

Research show antioxidants in tomatoes may actually strengthen your blood strokes and prevent strokes from ever occurring.

28-year-old Seth Jones tries to eat a healthy diet. “I prefer to maintain a vegetarian diet, but I do eat meat from time to time,” Jones says.

Now, a new study shows tomatoes could lower his risk of stroke. Researchers followed about 1,000 men in Finland and tested their blood for lycopene, found in tomatoes and tomato based foods.  People with the highest amounts of lycopene in their blood were 55% less likely to have a stroke.

“Lycopene is an antioxidant, so it may help prevent damage to the walls of our blood vessels,” Lisa Cimperman a clinical dietician at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center says. 

Nutritionists say you can get more lycopene from tomatoes if you cook them. It breaks down the tomato's cell walls and makes it easier for your body to absorb the antioxidants.

More research is needed to confirm the study's results, but experts say everyone should still eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetables to stay healthy.

“We're not just talking about stroke. We’re talking about high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart disease. A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent chronic disease,” Lisa Cimperman says.

Seth’s grandfather died from a stroke, so he's hoping this new research could prevent one. 

The study is published in Tuesday’s issue of the medical journal "Neurology".Tomatoes May Prevent Strokes

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