Health Benefits of Tomatoes

By chelsea
Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. 'The Hidden Health Benefits of Tomatoes.' RWJBarnabas Health,
  • 2. Kralj, Richard Andrew. 'Health Benefits of Tomatoes.' Penn State Extension, 7 Apr. 2021,
  • 3. 'Office of Dietary Supplements - Calcium.' NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
  • 4. Lobo, V, et al. 'Free Radicals, Antioxidants and Functional Foods: Impact on Human Health.' Pharmacognosy Reviews, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, July 2010,
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Tomatoes are a versatile food widely used for cooking in many cultures and regions. Although it's a fruit, many people confuse tomatoes for a vegetable because of the way it's eaten or prepared. From pasta dishes to pizza and salads to condiments, tomatoes can be found pretty much anywhere.

Even among those who eat a lot of tomatoes, few are aware of the many health benefits they offer. The benefits of tomatoes range from healthier skin and hair to maintaining strong bones. The best part of tomatoes is how easy people find it to incorporate them into their diet.

High in Certain Vitamins & Nutrients

Tomatoes are high in a variety of vitamins and nutrients the body requires for optimal health. Vitamins C, K, A and the mineral potassium can be found in high concentrations in tomatoes. These essential nutrients are necessary for bone health, skin health and proper immune system function.

The unique aspect of tomatoes is the concentration of antioxidants. Antioxidants may help the body fight free radicals that are produced by the body or caused by environmental pollutants. Although tomatoes are particularly high in lycopene, they also contain moderate amounts of the antioxidants lutein and beta-carotene.


Healthier Skin

Tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene, which is found in some expensive skin care products. Lycopene may protect the skin from environmental pollutants and sun damage. It may also preserve smoothness, helping people keep a youthful glow.

It isn't necessary to use tomatoes on their skin to see results, as the acid can cause irritation. Incorporating tomatoes and other lycopene sources into the diet can help protect the skin from the inside out. Other natural lycopene sources include melons, papayas and pink grapefruit.

Improved Eyesight

Eating tomatoes may help improve eyesight, thanks to high concentrations of vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for eye health. Vitamin A may even prevent blindness, specifically, night blindness.1‘The Hidden Health Benefits of Tomatoes.’ RWJBarnabas Health, People who can't see well at night may find eating a diet high in vitamin A helpful.

Tomatoes also contains lycopene, which is a powerful antioxident and full of healthy carotenoids, that may help prevent ligh-induced damage to the retinas and the development of cataracts.


Shinier, Stronger Hair

The vitamin A found in tomatoes helps with many things throughout the body. Besides helping with vision and skin, vitamin A can also help create shinier, stronger hair.

It isn't necessary for people to apply tomatoes to their hair to see results. The acid in the tomatoes may actually irritate the scalp, especially in people with sensitive skin. Eating a diet high in vitamin A can produce results from the inside out. Besides tomatoes, vitamin A is found in eggs, carrots and broccoli.

May Reduce Risk of Certain Cancers

Tomatoes contain powerful antioxidants called carotenoids. Carotenoids may provide people some protection against certain cancers. The antioxidant lycopene, in particular, may help reduce the risk of developing prostate, pancreatic and digestive cancers. Studies show tomatoes are responsible for 80 percent of all lycopene found in American diets.2Kralj, Richard Andrew. ‘Health Benefits of Tomatoes.’ Penn State Extension, 7 Apr. 2021,

Improving diets by including more antioxidant rich foods like tomatoes may be beneficial to boost overall health. Most find it easy to eat more tomatoes.


Healthier Heart

The vitamin B and potassium found in tomatoes may lead to a healthier heart. These two vitamins are shown to help lower blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol levels.

High blood pressure and elevated cholesterol may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and other heart-related problems. Since tomatoes may help negate both of these issues, they might offer a level of protection against a wide range of heart diseases, when consumed regularly.

Maintain Strong Bones

Tomatoes contain calcium, potassium and phosphorus as well as vitamin K. These nutrients are essential in building, strengthening and repairing bones and bone tissue. In addition, they can help keep muscles healthy.

Calcium, in particular, is essential for strong bones.3‘Office of Dietary Supplements - Calcium.’ NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Calcium is a mineral found in small quantities in many foods, with tomatoes being one. Along with other nutrients, calcium helps build strong bones, it may also help promote a healthier smile by protecting the teeth.


Get Rid of Free Radicals

Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons. They take electrons from other cells, which can cause damage to the body and contribute to various diseases.4Lobo, V, et al. ‘Free Radicals, Antioxidants and Functional Foods: Impact on Human Health.’ Pharmacognosy Reviews, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, July 2010, The body gets free radicals from things like various chemicals, cigarette smoke, environmental pollution and radiation.

Antioxidants help the body rid itself of these harmful free radicals. Since tomatoes are high in antioxidants, a diet rich in them may assist the body in detoxing itself. Adequate detoxing may help prevent certain diseases.

How to Consume Raw Tomatoes

Many people find they enjoy eating raw tomatoes alone, with a small amount of salt and pepper to taste. Those who don't enjoy eating raw tomatoes alone have many other options for incorporating them into their diet.

Tomato wedges can be served alongside fresh mozzarella cheese and topped with balsamic vinaigrette. Raw tomatoes can also be added to almost any salad, sandwich or wrap. A thinly sliced raw tomato can be a great side to eggs for breakfast.

How to Consume Cooked Tomatoes

Many popular dishes already incorporate cooked tomatoes. Pizza, spaghetti and other pasta dishes use cooked tomatoes in the form of sauce. People may find they reap the most health benefits by making their own tomato sauce, but premade options can still work.

Diced tomatoes can be added to an omelet, stir fry or soup. Tomato soup can be served with crackers, croutons, cheese or a sandwich. Soup can be an especially great option during cooler weather.


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