the tomatoes It is one of those essential vegetables in Mediterranean diet. It is widely consumed during the hotter months, because it is Base of gazpacho and salmorejo.
Originally from the American continent, it was introduced to Europe by the Spanish conquistadors. However, they were not grown for food purposes until the 18th century, when they began to become very popular for their flavor and versatility.
And now, the investigation he leads Doctor David Murcia LesmesThe food science and nutrition researcher highlights how tomatoes can “play a positive clinical role in the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure,” one of the main problems suffered by hypertensive patients. health.
What is high blood pressure and why is it dangerous?
In Spain, 11 million people suffer from high blood pressure. This is a condition in which the blood pressure on the walls of the arteries is so strong that it can cause other health problems:
The most worrying thing about high blood pressure arterial It is a silent disease: it does not show symptoms and in most cases it goes unnoticed.
Excessive sodium consumption is the main risk factor for suffering from high blood pressure, although it is a very important mineral for the proper functioning of the body, because it controls blood pressure and blood volume and allows muscles and nerves to function.
the organization Global health The World Health Organization recommends that salt consumption, regardless of its source, not exceed 5 grams per day. Or what is the same, Dessert spoon. For its part, the Heart Foundation specifies that we only need 1.25 grams of salt per day.
Tomatoes: essential to reduce the risk of high blood pressure
Research published in European journal of preventive cardiologyHe confirms that daily consumption of tomatoes, or not eating products containing these vegetables, reduces the risk of developing arterial hypertension by 36%.
To reach this conclusion, the researchers asked 7,056 participants, of whom 82.5% had high blood pressure, Daily amount of tomatoes. Thus, there were people who ate less than 44 grams per day, those who ate between 44 and 82 grams per day, between 82 and 110 grams, and those who ate more than 110 grams per day.
The conclusion was that people who ate a “moderate” amount of tomatoes, i.e. between 44 and 82 grams per day, had both lower blood pressure. Extraverted (which is measured at rest between two beats) i.e Systolic (which is measured during the heartbeat).
Why do tomatoes have such “power”? This could all be due to its high content of LycopeneIt is a carotenoid that gives some fruits and vegetables their distinctive red color, as is the case with tomatoes, and it is a powerful antioxidant. In addition, this ingredient also inhibits the production of angiotensin, which regulates blood pressure.
“According to our results in hypertension, high intake of lycopene Develop the Cardiovascular salute In older and overweight participants the risk of cerebrovascular accidents was reduced,” the research highlights.
Of course, “there are no 'magic' foods, but you should aim to eat a varied and balanced diet, rich in seasonal fruits and vegetables, low in saturated fat meat products and reducing salty, sugary, fatty or ultra-processed foods.” “.
“Dietary habits are complicated, but according to the current study, one tomato a day could be an important step and keep the doctor away, at least partially.”
Tomatoes, a source of protein, carotenoids and vitamin C
They also explain who Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN), among the vitamins found in tomatoes “it is worth noting the content of vitamin A, mainly in the form of provitamin A and vitamin C carotenoids.” One serving of tomatoes “covers 61% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C for the general population.”
Regarding lycopene, its quantity depends on the variety grown. However, “mashed or cooked tomatoes and mixed with oil improve the absorption of lycopene in the body.”
“Infuriatingly humble social media buff. Twitter advocate. Writer. Internet nerd.”