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Health benefits of Tomatoes

Tomato: is it fruit or vegetable?

Fruit or Vegetable, which is it?

Did you have a hard time figuring this out, like I did as a child?

I am talking about the red, shiny round-like edible used in most food preparations in our kitchen.

In most parts of the world, it is used on Sundays to prepare meals ranging from
sauce, stew, soups to juices and purées.

Tomato, botanically called Solanum lycopersicum, is actually a fruit.
Regardless of its botanical
classification as a fruit, it is generally prepared and eaten as a vegetable.

It can equally be eaten raw, thereby serving as a fruit.

Health benefits of Tomatoes

Tomatoes are highly nutritious fruits with enormous health benefits.
The benefits are due to their nutritional constituents, some of which are medicinal.

The following are their health benefits:

  1. They prevent some types of cancer
  2. They reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer
  3. They decrease inflammation and protect against a number of diseases
  4. They help in reducing high blood pressure (hypertension)
  5. Their antioxidants mop up free radicals from the body cells, thus protecting them
  6. They provides us with some essential vitamins and minerals needed for our wellbeing
  7. They are beneficial to the eyes
  8. They\’re beneficial to the heart
  9. They\’re beneficial to the Skin
  10. They\’re useful in cancer prevention
  11. They\’re beneficial to the lungs
  12. They contribute to healthy bones, teeth and hair
  13. They boosts immune system

1. They prevent some types of cancer

This particular health benefit of tomatoes vary between types; for instance, the cherry tomatoes have higher beta-carotene content which is a major dietary constituent responsible for this benefit, than the regular tomatoes.

A recent study linked the intake of high levels of beta-carotene to the prevention of tumor development in prostate cancer.

2. They reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer

Another major dietary constituent of tomatoes responsible for their health benefits is the antioxidant lycopene.

Lycopene is responsible for the rich red color of tomatoes and has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.

3. They decrease inflammation and protect against a number of diseases

The third major constituent of tomatoes is Naringenin.

Naringenin is a flavonoid found on the skin of tomatoes and has been shown to decrease inflammation and protect against various diseases.

4. They help in reducing high blood pressure (hypertension)

Another of tomatoes\’ components with health benefits is Chlorogenic acid, a powerful antioxidant which may lower blood pressure levels.

5. They mop up free radicals from the body cells thus protecting them

Tomatoes contain lycopene, coumaric acid, vitamin C, and chlorogenic acid, which are strong antioxidants.

These antioxidants remove free radicals from our body cells.

This way, the antioxidants protect the cells from being damaged by free radicals.

Free radicals actually cause cell damage, and this leads to various kinds of ill health.

6. They provide us with some essential vitamins and minerals needed for our wellbeing

Other beneficial constituents of tomatoes include vitamins and minerals like:

  • Vitamin C, a strong antioxidant with various health benefits
  • Vitamin K1 which is important for blood clotting
  • Vitamin B9, essential for normal tissue function and growth
  • Potassium which is helpful in blood pressure control.

Other Health Benefits of Tomatoes include the following:

7. Eye health

  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin are compounds present in tomatoes that help protect the eyes from light emanating from electronic devices like smartphones.
  • These help to prevent development of age/related macular degeneration (AMD).
  • They also help ease headaches from eye strain.
  • Regular intake of tomatoes greatly reduces one\’s chances of night blindness.

8. Heart health

A study in middle-aged men linked high blood levels of beta-carotene and lycopene to decreased risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Vitamin B and Potassium in tomatoes are also helpful in reducing blood cholesterol, lower chances of blood clotting, thereby preventing stroke.

9. Skin health

The high level content of lycopene in tomatoes has been shown to
greatly improve skin care.

It helps to protect the skin against sunburn. For this reason, lycopene has been incorporated in most facial skin care products.

It also contains salicylic acid, which is useful in acne treatment.

Vitamins, which are found in good quantity in tomatoes, also aid the formation of collagen.
Collagen is an essential  component of the skin.

10. Cancer prevention

Lycopene works effectively to reduce the growth of cancer cells.

Studies have shown that high level of lycopene rich diet helps to reduce one’s chance of developing prostate, colorectal, lung and stomach cancer.

11. Lung health

The antioxidants (coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, lycopene) present in
tomatoes fight poisonous substances in tobacco smoke and cigarettes.

Studies have shown that tomatoes can be helpful in preventing emphysema, of which tobacco smoking is the leading cause.

12. Strong bones, teeth and hair:

Tomatoes contain a good amount of Calcium, vitamin A and K which are essential in the formation of healthy bones, teeth and shiny hair.

13. Immune health

Antioxidants found in tomatoes, including vitamin C, Beta-carotene, chlorogenic acid, coumaric acid, and

Lycopene, work to fight and neutralize free radicals that cause cell damage.

These antioxidants equally help to reduce inflammation and boost the body’s immune system.

The attractive thing about tomatoes is that you can prepare it however you like, as we earlier stated.

More conveniently, it is prepared as ketchup to be used as sauce for fries and chips.

Eating tomatoes raw is a sure way of getting all its nutrients and health benefits.


  1. Md Yousuf Ali et al. Nutritional Composition and Bioactive Compounds in Tomatoes and Their Impact on Human Health and Disease. PubMed. Published online: 26th December 2020. Accessed 19th June 2022.
  2. Assunta Raiola et al. Enhancing the Health-Promoting Effects of Tomato Fruit for Biofortified Food. PubMed. Published online: 12th March, 2014. Accessed 19th June, 2022.
  3. Edward J. Collins et al. An Extensive Review of the Associated Health Impacts of Tomatoes and Factors That Can Affect Their Cultivation. PubMed. Published online: 4th February, 2022. Accessed: 19th June, 2022.
  4. Blum A, Monir M, Wirsansky I, Ben-Arzi S. The beneficial effects of tomatoes. Eur J Intern Med. 2005 Oct;16(6):402-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2005.02.017. PMID: 16198897.
  5. Britt Burton-Freeman PhD, MS et al. Tomato Consumption and Health: Emerging Benefits. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. First published: November 19, 2010. Accessed 19th June, 2022.
  6. Montaña Cámara et al. Scientific Evidence of the Beneficial Effects of Tomato Products on Cardiovascular Disease and Platelet Aggregation. Frontiers in Nutrition. Published online: March 15, 2022. Accessed: June 19, 2022.
  7. Margaret E. Wright et al. Effects of β-Carotene Supplementation on Molecular Markers of Lung Carcinogenesis in Male Smokers. American Association for Cancer Research. Published online: June 2, 2010. Accessed: June 19, 2022.
  8. Dong Van Hoang et al. Dietary Carotenoid Intakes and Prostate Cancer Risk. PubMed. Published online: Jan 11, 2018. Accessed: June 19, 2022.
  9. Vanessa Garcia-Larsen et al. Dietary antioxidants and 10-year lung function decline in adults from the ECRHS survey. The European Respiratory Journal. Published online: December 21, 2017. Accessed June 19, 2022.


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