Tomatoes – love them or loathe them, this juicy round and red food can be used in an abundance of culinary creations. They are not only super refreshing, but they come with many interesting health benefits too!

It may seem silly to state what a tomato is – but whether they are a fruit, or a vegetable is topic of great debate for many. So, let me settle this once and for all. The tomato is the edible berry of the plant Solanum Lycopersicon (more commonly known as the tomato plant), which originated in South America.

It is botanically a fruit, but nutritionally regarded as a vegetable making it technically both! It is a ripened flower which contains seeds, making it a fruit, but also low in fructose, regarding it by nutritionists as a vegetable.

Now that that is settled, lets dive in to the many wonderful health benefits of this food with a dual identity.

Tomatoes are dietary source of a particular antioxidant, named lycopene, which boasts many health benefits. It has been linked to reducing heart disease and even cancer.

Typically bright red, this superfood comes in a variety pf colours including yellow, orange, green and even purple. Eating one (or some) of this rainbow veg can give you a good pang of many vitamins.


Vitamin C is an essential nutrient and antioxidant and just one medium sized tomato can give you roughly 28% of your Reference Daily Intake. This vitamin keeps your cells healthy and maintains healthy skin and bones as well as even aiding with wound healing. So, if you’re under the weather, try chucking some extra tomatoes in your sandwich or salad this lunchtime and get those healing powers.

Tomato Salad

They are also high in potassium which is great at controlling your blood pressure and preventing heart disease. Vitamin K1 is a lesser known one, but tomatoes are high in the stuff. This is needed for blood clotting and bone health.

Combined with the many plant compounds found in the tomato, such as lycopene, naringenin and beta carotene, which are all antioxidants that can help protect you from disease.

Lycopene is the most abundant and is found in the skin of the tomato. The redder the tomato- the more the lycopene. If you’re not one for fresh tomatoes, you will be glad to hear that tomato-based products- even ketchup and your favourite pasta sauce are rich in lycopene too.

Tomato Pasta Sauce

Of course, fresh tomatoes have the highest concentration and eating half a bottle of ketchup is not necessarily great for you, so eating low sugar unprocessed fresh tomatoes is definitely the best way to reap the rewards.

If you are one of our more mature readers now is the time to pay attention. Tomatoes have even been found to reduce menopausal symptoms. A study conducted in 2015 found them to reduce anxiety and heart rate in menopausal women. If you’re tired of those hot sweats and sleepless nights, try introducing even more tomatoes into your diet.

Whether you like them in your bacon lettuce and tomato sarnie, blended with basil and stock in a homemade pasta sauce or glazed with sticky balsamic vinegar in a big refreshing salad, tomatoes are something to continue enjoying in abundance.

If you’re now feeling inspired to try some new tomato-fuelled recipes, why not check out Meher Chauhan’s tomato and aubergine risotto on our website here:

Or if you’re bored of your usual salad, check out The Hungry Bites Mediterranean bulgur and lentil salad on our site here. Spoiler- it has plenty of scrumptious tomatoes in it.