Friday, January 13, 2012

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Slurp Tomato Soup for Healthy Arteries

By Mehmet C. Oz, MD, and Michael F. Roizen, MD

A cup of tomato soup does more than warm your insides on a cold winter day. It also helps protect your blood vessels from damage due to high blood pressure and inflammation.

You can thank the vitamin C and other healthy compounds in tomato soup for these artery-protecting-benefits. When people in a studyate 2 cups of a tomato-based soup every day for 2 weeks, they experienced higher blood levels of vitamin C and decreased markers of inflammation.
Tomato-y Protection
Tomato-soup nutrients keep inflammation at bay by helping lower high blood pressure, which -- if left untreated -- can nick the smooth inner lining of your arteries. Your body repairs those nicks with lousy LDL cholesterol, forming a "spackle" that triggers an inflammatory reaction and a flood of white blood cells to the area. Eventually, the resulting plaque can become irritated and may rupture -- and that can lead to an artery-blocking, heart-attack-triggering blood clot. Talk about a cascade of scary events! Tomatoes also fight bad cholesterol, the common cold, and skin damage. Here's how.
Tempting Tomato Options
People in the study ate gazpacho -- the cold soup made of tomato, pepper, and cucumber that's popular in Spanish and other Mediterranean cuisines. Not fond of tomato soup? No worries. It's easy to incorporate this fruit in other dishes. We recommend a serving of salsa-roasted salmon. (See the recipe below on "Healthy Glad!") The fish oil and tomato combo makes a high-powered blood pressure reducer and inflammation stopper. Indulge in this sweet treat to help lower your blood pressure.

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