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Lycopene-Based Foods Linked to Heart Health

A tomato a day will keep the doctor away—okay, maybe that saying is a bit different than the one that you grew up with in grade school, but that does not mean it’s incorrect.

With recent findings in the world of heart health, cutting heart disease risks by eating tomatoes and other lycopene-based food supplements might be as easy as it sounds.

A recent study by the University of Cambridge found evidence suggesting that the daily intake of a lycopene-based food supplement could do just that due to its ability to improve the functioning of blood vessels.

What is lycopene?

Lycopene is a carotenoid responsible for the bright red coloring found in fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, watermelons, papayas and grapefruit.

Positive health benefits of ingesting lycopene-based foods:

Though ongoing research continues to be conducted to determine lycopene’s effect on specific degenerative diseases, researchers have found that eating lycopene-rich foods could help to fight against cell damage. This powerful antioxidant has been found to aid in protecting against diseases by neutralizing the body’s free radicals—molecules that damage cells and play a significant role in heart disease, cancer and other serious health problems.

How to get the recommended intake of lycopene:

According to the 2003 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, scientists of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital conducted a study showing the impact on heart health for women consuming at least seven servings of lycopene-rich food sources in comparison to those with an intake of less than two servings a day. The findings showed that women with the higher daily intake of tomato-based products significantly lowered their risk for developing heart disease.

The American Cancer Society advises individuals to eat at least five servings of richly colored fruits and vegetables each day to protect against serious health complications and to promote a healthy lifestyle.

The importance of maintaining a healthy heart:

At the Long Island Heart Associates, we believe that maintaining a healthy heart is of the upmost importance to living a healthy and happy lifestyle. According to the American Heart Association, the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. By providing heart healthy tips and recommendations, we hope to bring you one step closer to achieving unsurpassed heart health.

If you are concerned about the status of your heart health, contact us today or request a consultation.

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