Twenty-eight year-old Seth Jones tries to eat a healthy diet.
"I prefer to maintain a vegetarian diet, but I do eat meat from time to time," Jones said.
Now a new study shows those tomatoes could lower his risk of stroke. Researchers followed about 1000 men in Finland and tested their blood for lycopene, found in tomatoes and tomato based foods. People with the highest amounts of lycopene in their blood were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke.
"Lycopene is an antioxidant, so it may help prevent damage to the walls of our blood vessels and really this is how a stroke might, really something that might lead to a stroke," saif Lisa Cimperman, a Clinical Dietician with University Hospitals Case Medical Center.
Nutritionists say you can get more lycopene from tomatoes if you cook them. It breaks down the tomato's cell walls and makes it easier for your body to absorb the antioxidents.
More research is needed to confirm the study's results, but experts say everyone should still eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetables to stay healthy.
"We're not just talking about stroke. We're talking about high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart disease. A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent chronic disease.
Jones said he's glad what's for dinner could help his health. "Probably pizza, maybe some pasta," he said.
His grandfather died from a stroke, so he's hoping this new research could
Vinita Nair - CBS News
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