High doses of the antioxidant lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, significantly lowers the risk of having a stroke, according to research from the University of Eastern Finland.
The university's study of men aged between 46 and 65 found that after 12 years those with high levels of lycopene in their blood were 59 per cent less likely to have a stroke.
According to Australian Food News, Lycopene, which is a potent antixodiant providing the red colour to vegetables, is the only antioxidant found to lower risk levels of stroke.
One of the researchers at the University of Eastern Finland, Jouni Karppi, said that the study is evidence that high intakes of fruit and vegetables can significantly reduce stroke risk.
"The results support the recommendation that people get more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which would likely lead to a major reduction in the number of strokes worldwide, according to previous research," Mr Karppi said.
Previous studies of lycopene have found that it can also lower risk of prostate, lung, skin, cervix, stomach and bladder cancer.