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Whether Fruit or Vegetable, Tomatoes are Proved to be Powerfully Healthy.

Oct 9th, 2012
Staff Writer

Tomatoes hold tons of lycopene, a powerful nutrient.The most popular food of the nightshade plant family, the tomato earned its name from the Nahuatl words for “the swelling fruit”. Found originally in South America, and later Mexico where it was cultivated by the Aztecs, the tomato has an ancient history of cultivation and consumption. Today, researchers publish findings that provide evidence of the tomatoes versatile health effects supported by scientific experimentation.

The October 9th, 2012 issue of Neurology will include research led by Doctor Jouni Karppi of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. The blood of 1,031 men from Finland, aged 46-65, was extracted and analyzed for an average of 12 years. Lycopene, a nutrient found in high concentrations in tomatoes and other vegetables, was of special significance.

Men were categorized by lycopene-blood concentration, and split into a low-concentration group of 258 men and a high concentration group of 259 men.

Of the original 1,000 men, 67 experienced a stroke during the study period. 25 of these men had low lycopene levels, while only 11 had high levels. “When [we] looked at just stroke due to blood clots,” the researchers explained, “the results were even stronger.” The subjects with the highest levels of lycopene were 59% less likely to have a stroke than those with low levels.

“The study adds to the evidence that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke,” study author Dr. Karppi explained in an American Academy of Neurology press release. “The results support the recommendation that people get more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.”