Are Tomatoes Good for High Blood Pressure? Yes!
Tomatoes: Good for High Blood Pressure!
Tomatoes are native to South and Central America, and were originally thought to be poisonous when they were first brought to Britain and North America. This was because the tomato is a member of the Nightshade family, which includes Deadly Nightshade.
It soon found favour though, as reflected in the early European names for the tomato, with the French calling it a ‘love apple’ and the Germans an ‘apple of paradise’.
Praise indeed, and happily tomatoes are now widely enjoyed not only for their taste, but also for their health benefits. Eating tomatoes is reported to help prevent heart disease and some cancers, protect against sunburn – and lower blood pressure.
Eating red: why tomatoes are good for high blood pressure
It’s that beautiful rich redness of tomatoes which makes them so good for you. Many red fruits and vegetables are actually good for lowering blood pressure. This is because the carotenoid pigments which give them their red and orange colours are antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce and repair the damage to our body done by free radicals and also help improve our cholesterol levels. (Free radicals are molecules which are naturally produced in our body but which are also present in environmental pollution, radiation, and trans fats in food. Their actions in our body contribute to high blood pressure in several different ways.)
However, of all the carotenoid antioxidants, lycopene is though to be the most efficient at reducing cellular damage and facilitating healthier cholesterol levels. And tomatoes are particularly high in lycopene.
It’s also now thought that tomato products may help reduce inflammation, which more and more research suggests can be a significant factor in high blood pressure and other chronic conditions.
Tomatoes are also high in potassium which is important for blood pressure through balancing the body’s fluids and counteracting the effects of sodium/salt. Tomatoes are one of the best vegetable sources of potassium, so if salt intake is a factor in your high blood pressure, then eating more tomatoes can help reduce its unhealthy effects.
Several studies now show that eating tomato products or taking tomato extracts can result in lower blood pressure. A lycopene supplement – Lyc-O-Mato – is available in many health food shops. However, you can get a good amount of lycopene – and all the other great nutrients – from a few tomatoes or half a cup of tomato sauce.
How to eat tomatoes for maximum blood pressure benefits
Some fruits and vegetables lose a lot of their nutrients when they’re cooked or processed, but this isn’t the case with tomatoes. Cooking and processing may actually make some of their nutrients more available to the body (this is because carotenoid antioxidants aren’t destroyed by heat like other antioxidants).
So eat tomatoes fresh or canned or in paste/puree form. If you’re buying canned/processed tomato products though, check the label to make sure there’s no added sodium, MSG or sugar (not good for blood pressure!).
For more excellent blood pressure-lowering foods, click here for our free report: Five superfoods which lower blood pressure (and don’t cost you the earth)
How many tomatoes should I eat?
Try to eat at least a couple of tomatoes, or some tomato products each day. Tomatoes are incredibly versatile so there are a variety of ways you can incorporate them into your meals.
- eat tomatoes raw with an olive-oil based dressing, or with avocado – the oils in the avocado help the carotenoids be absorbed
- layer with fresh basil leaves, and a few thin slices of mozzarella, and drizzle on olive oil
- make a tomato-based salsa
- make tomato sauces – using fresh or canned tomatoes, or tomato paste/puree
- make tomato-based stews, like chilli – add cayenne for extra blood pressure benefits
- make a good tomato soup – tomato, basil and orange is a good combination
- tomato juice can also be good and in the case of tomatoes, heated/heat-processed tomato juice is actually better than freshly squeezed – but be sure to go for a good organic one as drinks like V8 contain sodium and possibly MSG (not good for blood pressure!)
Taste a tomato today …
Beyond tomatoes: lower your blood pressure naturally
In addition to tomatoes there is a large choice of affordable natural ingredients that lower blood pressure. Many of these spices, herbs, berries, fruits, grains, vegetables, meats and drinks are available in local stores.
Of course there are other factors beyond diet (like fitness and stress) that affect your blood pressure. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broader approach – covering all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies.
These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.
Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).
Click on the link below for more information:
P.S. This guide shows you how to lower your blood pressure permanently and naturally without side-effects or complications.
Follow each step to get your blood pressure back in balance.
Choose between a wide range of delicious foods that reduce your blood pressure. Include a number of mental and physical exercises in your schedule for both relaxation and invigoration.
Following this guide will reduce, and in time, eliminate your need for blood pressure lowering medications.
This is a guide for good healthy living and will be beneficial for all – even if you don’t currently suffer from high blood pressure.
To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.
Photo credits: Tomato photos by Anamaria Pina and Smudge 9000 on flickr.com