Carmel, CA Tomatoes Cut The Risk Of A Stroke, Who Knew?by Richard Kuehn on 10/20/12
I am constantly surprised about the depth and breadth of research being done to keep us healthy. Some studies come out with results which seem like common sense, while others are a complete shock. The most recent headline to catch my eye was, Tomato Helps Cut the Risk Of a Stroke. Who knew? The study said that men who had the highest levels of lycopene, an antioxidant which is found in tomatoes, had a risk of stroke which was a whopping 55% lower than the men with the lowest level of lycopene in their blood. I've seen a number of studies which talked about those having a Mediterranean diet having reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, but I had thought that this was linked to using olive oil instead of butter as well as having a diet high in fish. Published in the journal Neurology, the study followed 1,031 men ranging in age from 42 to 61 for 12 years, with a goal of linking retinol and Vitamins A & E to the risk of stroke (no link was found). The lycopene results were a pleasant surprise. Cooked tomato sauces have more lycopene than raw tomatoes, with a cup of marinara sauce having 31,000 micrograms versus just 3,165 for the average raw tomato. Lycopene is also found in watermelon, grapefruit, papaya and mango. There have been other studies suggesting that lycopene can cut the risk of prostate and certain other types of cancer. It's believed that lycopene reduces inflammation and prevents blood clots from forming. So eat right, exercise, and eat your spaghetti!