High levels of cholesterol can cause health problems. Having it means your blood has too much of a fatty substances in it called cholesterol.

As a result, it can block blood vessels and it may lead to people suffering a heart attack or stroke. Lifestyle factors can cause high cholesterol, including eating fatty food, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol. Having it can also be genetic, with it running in families.

However a health expert has revealed that you can lower cholesterol by eating a certain piece of fruit - tomatoes. Dr Michael Mosley says tomatoes have other great health benefits.

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Dr Mosley, who is well known for his 5:2 diet and Fast 800 eating plan, spoke out on his Just One Thing Radio 4 show. You can reduce the rise of heart disease by drinking tomato juice for an extended period, he said.

He explained: “When tomatoes first came over to Europe from the New World, Brits were wary, considering them to be beautiful but poisonous. Of course, we now know they are definitely not poisonous. In fact, eating them may boost your heart health. In a recent review of six studies, scientists found that consuming 1 to 1.5 cups of tomato juice daily for an average of six weeks could lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

“People who drank the tomato juice had reduced levels of LDL or bad cholesterol, and they had increased levels of HDL, the good cholesterol." He explained that Drinking tomato juice could even be a better way to help your body recover from vigorous exercise: “When Greek scientists asked 15 athletes to spend two months either consuming an energy drink or tomato juice during and after strenuous exercise sessions, they found those who’d been given the tomato juice showed signs of quicker muscle recovery and reduced inflammation markers in their blood. “

Dr Mosley said there was ‘decent’ evidence linking eating tomatoes to reduced risk of prostate cancer and also with lowering the risks of cardiovascular disease. He said: “Most people think tomatoes are vegetables, but because they have seeds, botanically speaking, they are fruit. In fact, the tomato is one of the most popular fruits on the planet.

“Tomatoes, as I mentioned earlier, also contain a lot of lycopen, a powerful antioxidant helping your body fight off free radicals, chemicals that attack the cells and cause damage, and If you are wondering why cooked tomatoes are better for you, well, it’s because the heat actually breaks down the tomatoes thick cell walls, making the lycopen and other compounds in the tomatoes more accessible to your body.

“That means tomato sauce from fresh or tinned tomatoes and even ketchup can actually provide more lycopen than fresh tomatoes. The Lycopen may also help explain why eating tomato products can protect not only your heart but your skin. In one study, people who consumed around 40 grammes of tomato paste with olive oil every day for 10 weeks experienced 40% fewer sunburns.

“A similar study found that not only did tomato paste and olive oil protect against DNA damage in the skin, but it also boosted levels of pro collagen, a molecule that can make your skin look younger.”

2023-10-08T13:29:41Z dg43tfdfdgfd