If you like tomatoes, you are on to a good thing. Apart from being tasty, tomatoes have long been considered a healthy food. More specifically, a new study in Britain suggests that a regular intake of tomatoes can significantly reduce heart disease.The scientists also advised people with high cholesterol to start taking tomatoes or drink tomato juice to help reduce the risk of heart attacks.
Researchers in the new study included 21 volunteers, aged between 20-49 and with normal cholesterol levels. Each volunteer spent three weeks without consuming tomato products. Then they spent three weeks taking either 30gm of tomato puree or drank 400ml of tomato juice everyday.
During the experiment, researchers took regular blood samples of the volunteers to check cholesterol levels and found that those who added a small quantity of tomato in their breakfast, lunch and tea, saw their Low-density lipoprotein -LDL- ( generally called “bad” cholesterol) levels drop significantly over a period of three weeks.
High cholesterol levels have a long association with many diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD), the cause of almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe, and reported to cost the EU economy an estimated €169bn ($202bn) per year.
The secret in tomatoes may lie in lycopene, the chemical that makes tomatoes red, according to Dr. Edward Giovannucci, Harvard School of Public Health, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
So the next time you want to top up your snack with some tomato ketchup, just reach out for it. It does you more good than you would have thought.