Tomatoes are sweet fruits that can enhance so many savoury dishes. You can cook them down for a rich base, chop them for salads and sandwiches, or eat them raw for a refreshing snack.
It should come as no surprise that tomatoes are good for you, but did you know just how healthy these juicy red fruits are? Here we’ll look at the key health benefits of eating tomatoes so that you can enjoy them with even more reason.
Different types of tomatoAlthough we use them as a vegetable, tomatoes are a fruit from the nightshade family, which also includes aubergine, peppers, and potatoes. There are lots of different types of tomatoes, all of which work well for different kinds of cooking. For example, small and sweet cherry tomatoes are perfect for salads and sandwiches. In contrast, fresh vine tomatoes are delicious in just about any dish.1
The type of tomatoes you choose will come down to preference and the dishes you intend to use them in. There’s no reason not to try every option you can get your hands on, experimenting with flavour and texture until you find the combinations you love.
The health benefits of tomatoesTomatoes have a very high vitamin content, packed with beta-carotene (which turns into vitamin A in the body), vitamins C, E, and K, and some B vitamins.2 Eating tomatoes is a great way to make sure you get some of the vitamins you need in your diet, while you can also take supplements if you’re worried your diet is missing nutrients. Beta-carotene contributes to the colour of many orange and yellow fruits and is essential for eye health.3 The red-orange pigment’s conversion to vitamin A which contributes to normal function of the immune system. Vitamin C, which is also present in tomatoes, helps protect your body’s cells and keep them healthy. This vitamin is also crucial for maintaining healthy skin, bones, and cartilage as it supports normal collagen formation.4
Tomatoes benefits for skinTomatoes contain carotenoids including beta-carotene. Beta-carotene may help prevent UV damage.5 However, eating tomatoes doesn’t stop you from getting sunburnt, and you should still be careful in the sun and wear SPF to avoid damage. Some of the compounds in tomatoes are also proven to have other beneficial health effects when consumed. These include vitamin E as well as lycopene and lutein.6
Whatever way you choose to eat tomatoes, we’re sure you’ll find plenty of recipes you love. From savoury breakfasts to fresh lunches and delicious dinners, there’s no limit to the meals you can create with this tasty and nutritious fruit.
Last updated: 10 June 2020