High blood pressure can be fatal in many ways and millions of people suffer from it across the globe. Patients need to take a daily pill to regulate your blood pressure. While the medicines surely work, there is an easier, healthier way to check your blood pressure. They may not be complete in it but definitely make a good start to regulate this chronic disease.
Lycopene, is a plant product containing the pigment carotenoid. It is present in many fruits and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, watermelons, papaya etc. Being an excellent antioxidant, it is very effective in lowering blood pressure and risk of heart diseases. Many cultures or regional and ethnic groups that have these ingredients in their diet, have been shown to have less people suffering from blood pressure related problems. Even with medicines, they can act as a good supplement to enhance their effect and are good for the body.
Scientists have known the medicinal importance of lycopenes especially in tomatoes, for a long time. Genetically modified and even hybrid fruits and vegetables of today, mostly green tomatoes and other kinds of tamotoes, have this micronutirent intact. It prevents LDL from getting oxidized thereby preventing thickening and blockage of arteries. Knowing the importance of tomatoes, they may still be hard to incorporate in our everyday diets in sufficient quantities. The recommended quantities being 3-4 tomatoes everyday, here are a few quick tips to incorporate tomatoes- the easiest source of lycoepene in your diet:
1) Soups : What could be better than having a pure rich creamy fresh tomato soup. They can be served both hot and cold, and are an excellent way of consuming in good amounts. If nothing else, don’t forget there is always the “Bloody Mary”!
2) Salads: Fresh salad which juicy tomatoes; is an easy way to eat big chunks and enjoy the freshness of a tomato.
3) Chili or a puree: You can use chili or a thick concentrated tomato puree as a base for cooking a lot of dishes not just pasta. Pick your favorite chili recipe, load it up with big whole tomatoes, and flavor it well with kidney beans, onion and garlic.
4) Red is good: Make your pasta with marinara, bloody red instead of cheesy alfredo. Flavored with olive oil, and minced onion and garlic make up a great recipe for a healthy Italian pasta or side dish.
5) Tomato juice: freshly squeezed tomato juice can be very good for your heart rate. With this, one should also keep in mind that commercially available canned juices and soups, contain excess of sodium which obviously negates all the good effects that it may have. Excess sodium is like poison, especially for the heart and blood pressure. So one should keep a balance and not lose sight of the bigger picture, keeping your health in mind.
6) Supplements: If at all you suffer from tomato toxicity once in a while, it won’t hurt to pop in a few supplements containing documented servings of your daily tomato/lycopene quota.
It doesn’t matter how you slice it or dice it. A tomato in, certainly lowers your blood pressure significantly, builds up your immunity and keeps cardiovascular diseases at bay.