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Tomatoes may be weapon against stroke risk

  • Blog Post by: Colleen Stoxen
  • October 8, 2012 - 4:46 PM

A diet that includes tomatoes could lower the chance of having a stroke.

A new study shows that men who had the highest levels of lycopene—an antioxidant found in tomatoes—had fewer strokes than men who had the lowest level of lycopene in their blood. Overall, the risk of strokes was reduced by 55%.

The study, based in Finland, will be published in the medical journal Neurology. Lycopene is found in the highest concentrations in cooked tomato products like paste, purée and sauce, according to the United States Department of Agriculture's national nutrient database.

A cup of ready-to-serve marinara sauce has more than 31,000 micrograms of lycopene while the average raw tomato has about 3,165 micrograms, according to USDA. A slice of fast food pizza has 2,074 micrograms of lycopene. A tablespoon of ketchup has 2,146 micrograms of lycopene.

Lycopene is also found in watermelon, grapefruit, papaya and mango.

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