Nutrition and Stroke Prevention

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Story Updated: Oct 10, 2012

Big news for tomato buffs. Eating them sliced, diced or in tomato-based foods may protect you from a stroke.

That's according to new research out of Finland.

The study published in the journal Neurology involved more than 1-thousand men ages 46 to 65.

The level of lycopene in their blood was tested at the start of the study then they were followed for an average of 12 years. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes.

When the data was evaluated, those with the highest amounts of lycopene in their blood were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than people with the lowest lycopene levels.

Among those with the highest levels of lycopene, 11 of 259 men had a stroke. Among those with the lowest lycopene levels in the test group, 25 had a stroke.

When researchers looked at strokes due to blood clots, the results were even stronger. Those with the highest levels of lycopene were 59 percent less likely to have a stroke.

So the advice - eat your fruits and veggies, and you might want to make sure the mighty tomato makes it on your plate.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the health news for you and your family.

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