People who eat tomatoes, rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, has less risk of suffering a stroke, according to a Finnish study.
The study shows that people who have high blood levels of lycopene have a 55% lower risk of suffering a stroke.
Blood lycopene levels were measured at baseline and participants were followed on average for 12 years, during which 67 of them suffered a stroke.
Of the 258 men with the lowest levels of lycopene in the blood, 25 had suffered a stroke, compared to 11 among the 259 men with the highest levels of lycopene in the blood.
Researchers have considered stroke caused by a blood clot or those caused by bleeding.
Moreover, participants who had the highest blood levels of lycopene had a 59% lower risk of suffering a stroke due to a blood clot than those with the lowest levels of lycopene in the blood.
The study comes to emphasize the virtues of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of stroke.
Researchers analyzed the levels of other antioxidants present in blood – alfacaroten, beta carotene, alfatocoferol (a form of vitamin E) and vitamin A (retinol) – but found no association between their levels and reduce the risk of stroke.