A recent study reveals that incorporating more tomatoes into the diet can aid in preventing and managing high blood pressure, according to a report published on January 8, 2024 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Tomatoes are recognized as one of the top foods recommended for heart health, and various studies have established their connection to effective cholesterol and blood pressure management, pivotal factors in heart disease risk, reports Al-Rai daily.

The study involved 7,056 participants at risk of cardiovascular disease. Participants completed a questionnaire on tomato consumption and were categorized into four groups based on their tomato intake. The findings indicate that individuals consuming over 110 grams of tomatoes daily experienced lower blood pressure and a reduced likelihood of developing high blood pressure, particularly beneficial for those with early-stage hypertension.

The group with higher tomato consumption exhibited a 36% lower risk of developing high blood pressure compared to the group consuming the least tomatoes. The heart-healthy benefits were notably observed in the diastolic reading. According to the American Heart Association, normal blood pressure is characterized by a systolic reading below 120 and a diastolic reading below 80.

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, beta-carotene, folate, potassium, vitamin C, flavonoids, and vitamin E, as noted in a study published in the journal “Critical Review in Food Science and Nutrition.” Lycopene, is a carotenoid pigment responsible for the red color of tomatoes, acts as an antioxidant, reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases, heart problems, diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis.

A 2022 study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences emphasized lycopene’s positive impact on the cardiovascular system citing its ability to reduce C-reactive protein, improve lipid levels, lower blood pressure, and inhibit pro-inflammatory mediators.

The potassium content in tomatoes contributes to blood pressure regulation by counteracting the effects of sodium in the body. While the recent study underscores the heart health benefits of tomato consumption, experts recommend consuming nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, in moderation due to their high acid content.

However, excessive consumption may lead to acidity problems, heartburn, and potentially contribute to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), characterized by chronic heartburn and indigestion.

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