No doubt about it, tomatoes are as healthy as they are delicious. But, depending on the color of the variety, some tomatoes offer more benefits than others.
Explore the rainbow of hues and the nutrients they provide:
The summer classic, red tomatoes offer high amounts of lycopene — the pigment that produces the fruit’s signature hue. Lycopene is also an antioxidant that protects cells from damage caused by free radicals (a result of aging and environmental factors) that have been linked to diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease.
A red tomato delivers 35% of your daily FDA-recommended value of Vitamin A, which is important for eye health, and 48% of Vitamin C to lower cardiovascular risk factors. Red tomatoes are also a good source of fiber (offering a gram more than yellow) and have a little less sodium than other colors.
Red Tomato Varieties to Grow:
Some yellow tomato varieties are lower in acid, making them easier on sensitive stomachs and less likely to cause heartburn. Compared to red varieties, they contain more cholesterol-lowering niacin, as well as potassium (which helps with muscle contraction), phosphorus for bone health, and folate — which is vital for blood-cell formation and cellular function.
Yellow tomatoes are good sources of iron and Vitamin C, as well as lutein, which helps prevent macular degeneration of the eyes caused by aging. However, they contain no Vitamin A.
Yellow Tomato Varieties to Grow:
Green tomatoes — that is, fully ripe varieties that are green, rather than unripe red ones — provide a big dose of heart-healthy Vitamin C: nearly 47% of the daily value recommended by the FDA. They’re also valuable sources of Vitamin A and potassium and contain iron, fiber and calcium.
Green Tomato Variety to Grow:
For the biggest boost of Vitamin A, orange tomatoes are your best bet. They are packed with beta carotene, which converts to Vitamin A in your body.
They’re a good source of the antioxidant lycopene, too, which boosts heart health and helps prevent sun damage. In fact, orange tomatoes contain a different form of lycopene that the body absorbs more easily than the lycopene found in red varieties.
Orange Tomato Varieties to Grow: