Have you had your lycopene today? If you ate a green salad with fresh chopped tomatoes, then you not only got a healthy dose of this powerful antioxidant, but you have also taken significant action toward lowering your blood pressure. A recent double-blind study conducted in Israel has confirmed what hearth-healthy Italians have enjoyed for centuries – tomatoes (and tomato sauce) lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
Dr. Esther Paran, head of the hypertension division of Soroka Medical Center, led up the Israeli study. It involved patients who were already being treated for hypertension, but were not responding well to the medications. Dr. Paran had patients take a supplement of tomato extract. The results were a significant drop in blood pressure after just four weeks.
Tomatoes are so effective at lowering blood pressure because they contain lycopene. This potent antioxidant is even the focus of some hybrid tomatoes grown by the Israeli company, Lycomato, in order to have higher concentrations of lycopene in each piece of fruit. Other antioxidants found in tomatoes make this one super-food in the prevention of heart disease. It can even help keep LDL cholesterol from oxidizing which makes it stick to the arteries and narrow the passage way causing blood pressure to increase.
Even during the peak growing season it can be difficult to consume four whole tomatoes each day, which is the recommended amount for having a positive impact on blood pressure. Here are some ways to get the benefits of tomatoes without having to eat them straight off the vine.
1. Make Chili.
2. Since using olive oil with the tomatoes
3. Have a fresh salad
4. Drink tomato juice.
5. Take a tomato supplement.
Adding tomatoes to your diet can reduce systolic blood pressure by 10 points and diastolic pressure by 4 points as was evident in the Israel study. Whatever way you slice it, tomatoes will keep strengthen your immune system and lower blood pressure.