USDA recommends that most adults eat about two servings of fruit and two to three servings of vegetables every single day. But as much as that might be drilled into our heads, the vague promises of health benefits from fruits and veggies don’t always make us want to swap out our bag of chips for a side of carrots and hummus.
What if we told you that one vegetable in particular could cut your stroke risk by more than half? Read on to find out which veggie you might want to add into your diet.
Eating tomatoes significantly lowers your stroke risk
If you’re an avid tomato-eater, you may be doing wonders for your health. A 2012 study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, highlighted the beneficial health properties of tomatoes in relation to stroke risk. The researchers for the study analyzed more than 1,000 men in Finland between the ages of 46 and 65 for an average of 12 years—during which 67 men ended up having a stroke.
According to the study, those who ate the most tomatoes ended up having a 55 percent lower risk of having any type of stroke compared to those who barely ate tomatoes. And in terms of strokes caused by blood clots, the reduction was even greater—with a 59 percent reduced risk against this kind of stroke.
Researchers say this has to do with a specific antioxidant prevalent in tomatoes
According to the study, tomatoes are filled with the antioxidant lycopene. And men with the highest amounts of lycopene ended up having the lowest risk of stroke. The researchers found that out of the 259 men with the highest levels of lycopene, just 11 ended up having a stroke.