New research from Finland has suggested that a tomato-rich diet can substantially reduce the risk of having a stroke. The study comes via University of Eastern Finland researcher Dr Jouni Karppi, who said in a report that people with high amounts of a chemical found in tomatoes are much less likely to suffer from a stroke.
The findings came after Karppi and his team measured levels of lycopene – which gives tomatoes their iconic red colour – in more than 1,000 men over a period of 12 years. What they found was that those with high levels of the antioxidant in their bloodstream were 55 per cent less likely to have a stroke.
The results have since prompted the officials from the Stroke Association to call for additional research on lycopene.
UK Stroke Association expert Dr Clare Walton told reporters from the BBC, “This study suggests that an antioxidant which is found in foods such as tomatoes, red peppers and watermelons could help to lower our stroke risk. More research is needed to help us understand why the particular antioxidant found in vegetables such as tomatoes could help keep our stroke risk down.”
She went on to add, “However, this research should not deter people from eating other types of fruit and vegetables as they all have health benefits and remain an important part of a staple diet.”