Tomatoes and other lycopene-rich foods help prevent strokes.
Researchers have known for years that eating tomatoes and tomato products like marinara sauce can help ward off prostate cancer. Now, new research says they're also good for preventing stroke. A study of more than 1,000 men discovered that those with the highest blood levels of lycopene – a carotenoid found primarily in the fruit – were 55 percent less likely to suffer a stroke than guys with the lowest amounts. That's after accounting for risk factors such as age, smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Why is lycopene so beneficial? "Lycopene reduces inflammation, improves immune function, and prevents blood clotting," says Finnish researcher and study author Jouni Karppi. You can also get lycopene from watermelon, grapefruit, and guava, but tomatoes are the richest source.