When you were a kid you probably thought of the tomato as a vegetable, and now they’re calling them “tomato fruit.” But whether you’re old school or new age, the fact is that we kind of take tomatoes for granted, considering how much they help your heart.
Stroke, hypertension and heart attack … the tomato helps prevent them all. In fact, when scientists look at what elements of a healthy diet improve your heart and arteries, the tomato is at the top of the shopping list.
The heavy-hitting nutrient in tomatoes is the antioxidant pigment lycopene. It gives tomatoes their red color, and is a powerful nutrient that offers extra benefits when it is pureed in tomato sauce and consumed with olive oil.
When researchers tested lycopene on people with heart disease, they found that lycopene helped blood vessels widen 53 percent more. It is believed that the widening lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
When the researchers tested lycopene on people with heart disease, they found that lycopene helped blood vessels widen 53 percent more. It is believed that the widening lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
“We’ve shown quite clearly that lycopene improves the function of blood vessels in cardiovascular disease patients,” says researcher Joseph Cheriyan of Cambridge University. “It reinforces the need for a healthy diet in people at risk from heart disease and stroke. A daily ‘tomato pill’ is not a substitute for other treatments, but may provide added benefits when taken alongside other medication.”
In fact, a “tomato pill,” or lycopene supplementation, turns out to be incredible for lowering blood pressure. And according to research done by the Institute for Food Safety and Health, the University of California, Davis, and the Harvard School of Public Health, supplementing with lycopene works much better than simply eating tomatoes.
Lycopene is so powerful it can even protect heart cells against the effects of a heart attack. And the journal PLOS One found that those with the highest blood levels of lycopene were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke.
If you love tomatoes, then you should eat them as your first and most natural source of lycopene. Lycopene absorbs best when you heat the tomato, or combine it with fat, like olive oil.
Each tomato has around 7 mg of lycopene, but you should try to get at least 20 mg a day for heart protection. Avoid synthetically created nutrients, as always, and look for lycopene that has no sweeteners, gluten, or refined sodium.
Editor’s note: Since 1975, hypertension has nearly doubled! Does that mean mainstream medicine can fix it? Discover natural, effective ways to veer this disease from coming straight at you, avoid heart attack, heart disease and stroke in Dr. Mark Wiley’s eBook, Natural Ways to Reverse and Prevent Hypertension. Plus, learn the 7 SIGNS indicating you could be at increased risk! Click here to get the e-book for only $9.95 today! Or for a hard copy version, visit the book store for our Inventory Blowout Sale!