A pigment present in tomatoes could be as effective as statins in lowering cholesterol, according to a new report published in the journal Maturitas.
According to researchers at University of Adelaide, a pigment known as lycopene found in tomatoes is rich in anti-oxidants and consuming a small amount of lycopene can go a long way in reducing the level of LDL or bad cholesterol.
While lycopene is predominantly found in tomatoes, it is also found in smaller quantities in other items such as papaya, pink grapefruit and watermelons. Rather than eating fresh tomatoes, lycopene is better absorbed in cooked tomatoes or tomato paste.
"Research shows that high lycopene consumption has been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, including hardened arteries, heart attacks and strokes. Our study suggests that if more than 25 milligrams of lycopene is taken daily, it can reduce bad cholesterol by up to 10 per cent", lead researcher Karin Ried said.