4 Health Benefits of Tomatoes

| 7/18/2012 3:39:00 PM

Tomatoes are one of the most popular garden plants, and for good reason—nothing beats the taste of a fresh-off-the-vine home-grown tomato. While you’re enjoying the succulent flavor of that fresh picked (or home canned!) tomato, consider this fruit’s other many attributes, starting with its many health benefits. Tomatoes might be packed with good taste, but they’re also brimming with antioxidants and offer measures of protection for our bodies. So whether you’re dicing them up for summer salads, preserving them for later, or enjoying the taste of home-canned tomatoes this winter, consider these many health benefits of tomatoes.   

heirloom tomatoes 
Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison

Health Benefits of Tomatoes


Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants, including vitamin C and manganese, but also important phytonutrients like flavonones, flavonols, hydroxycinnamic acids, glycosides and carotenoids (including beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene, which gives the tomatoes their red coloring). Just one serving of tomatoes or tomato products a day can help protect your cells from damage. A recent study from the University of Barcelona suggests that organically grown tomatoes contain more antioxidants, so be sure to either grow or buy organic tomatoes.

Heart Health 

Regular consumption of tomatoes can also promote a healthy heart and help reduce risk of heart disease. Lycopene has been shown to help manage the level of fat in our blood and lower cholesterol levels, and tomato extracts have shown in studies to have anti-platelet properties, which keeps platelet cells in the blood from clumping together, a condition that often precedes atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries often associated with heart disease.