Tomatoes and tomato-based products may be useful in controlling and preventing high blood pressure as per a study.
Potassium, which is abundant in tomatoes and other nightshade vegetables, is known to help decrease blood pressure by counteracting the effects of salt on the body. They are also essential to many diets that promote heart health.
“Tomatoes are one of the most consumed, widely available, and affordable vegetables worldwide,” study co-author Rosa Maria Lamuela-Raventos, PharmD, director of the Institute for Research on Nutrition and Food Safety at the University of Barcelona, said. “They are an important part of some of the best diets, including the Mediterranean diet.”
Eating raw tomatoes or tomato-based foods like tomato sauce and gazpacho (a chilled Spanish tomato soup) was part of the daily tomato diet. Based on serving size, four groups were created based on the amount of tomatoes consumed by the participants.
In the lowest and intermediate categories, the study found an inverse relationship between tomato consumption and the risk of hypertension; in the highest group, a significant association was observed. According to the research, eating more tomatoes reduces the risk of blood pressure by 36%, and even modest consumption lowers blood pressure.
Participants with higher blood pressures showed less significant reductions in their blood pressure. The authors speculate that this might be because these individuals were older and had high blood pressure for a longer period of time, along with other risk factors, which made major change more challenging.