Tomatoes, already well-known for their high levels of minerals and vitamin C, have long been regarded as a healthy food choice. A recent study has now uncovered that they also have a positive impact on our blood pressure.
The study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, aimed to understand how tomato consumption impacts blood pressure in older adults who are prone to developing cardiovascular issues related to high blood pressure.
Results showed that consuming tomatoes in all kinds of forms is beneficial in preventing and managing high blood pressure.
How can tomatoes help your blood pressure?
Eating a good deal of tomatoes daily can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure by 36%, while moderate consumption lowers blood pressure especially for those who are classified as being in the category of hypertension stage 1 (individuals with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases).
In particular, researchers registered a significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure (the pressure in the arteries when one’s heart rests between beats) among individuals who used high and moderate amounts of tomatoes in their daily diets.
Dr. Rosa María Lamuela Raventós Rosa, the director of the Institute for Research on Nutrition and Food Safety at the University of Barcelona, explained that the cardiovascular protective mechanisms involved in reducing blood pressure may be attributed, in part, to the presence of lycopene in tomatoes.
Further, researchers suggest that benefits may be more pronounced when tomatoes are cooked, rather than eaten raw. They explained that the cooking process can enhance the bioavailability of carotenoids and other antioxidants, such as polyphenols, found in tomatoes.