HomeFitnessEating more tomatoes may help lower high blood pressure - Harvard Health

Eating more tomatoes may help lower high blood pressure – Harvard Health


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Can consuming more tomatoes help lower the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure)? A study published online Nov. 24, 2023, by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology looked at about 7,000 people (ages 55 to 80) participating in the Spanish PREDIMED dietary study. About 83% of them had hypertension, and they all had one or more other cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol, excess weight, or a family history of early-onset heart disease. Everyone filled out annual questionnaires on their food consumption, including raw tomatoes, tomato sauce, and gazpacho (a Spanish tomato soup). After three years, researchers observed an association between eating more tomatoes and lower blood pressure. They also found that among participants who did not have hypertension at the start of the study, those who consumed the most tomatoes (more than 110 grams — about one large tomato — per day) reduced their overall risk for hypertension by 36%, compared with those who consumed the least (less than 44 grams). Researchers suggested that tomatoes’ high amounts of lycopene are a possible reason. Lycopene, a plant chemical that gives tomatoes their red color, is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight inflammation and molecules that damage cells.

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