Tomatoes are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant compounds that offer a wide range of health benefits.
Research even suggests that these nutrients may protect against multiple diseases, including heart disease and cancer (
Therefore, enjoying tomato soup may be a delicious way to make the most of the health benefits of tomatoes. You could savor a rich, warm bowl of soup during sweater weather or a refreshing gazpacho in summer.
Here are 9 science-based benefits of tomato soup.
Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) have relatively few calories, but they are packed with nutrients and beneficial plant compounds.
Here is the nutrient profile of one large (182-gram) raw tomato (
- Calories: 33
- Carbs: 7 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 1.6 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
- Vitamin C: 28% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin K: 12% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 8% of the DV
- Potassium: 9% of the DV
Lycopene is the pigment that gives tomatoes their characteristic bright red color. It may also be responsible for many of their health benefits, given its potential preventive effect on various chronic diseases (
Interestingly, research suggests that the body absorbs lycopene better when it is cooked. Heat may increase its bioavailability or absorption rate.
Because tomato soup is made with cooked tomatoes, it is an excellent source of this compound (
Tomato soup is low in calories and high in potassium and vitamins C, K, and A. It also provides a great deal of lycopene, the compound responsible for most of the health benefits of tomatoes.
Vitamin E helps boost vitamin C’s antioxidant effects (
Eating tomato soup is a great way to take advantage of the antioxidant capacity of tomatoes. They are high in lycopene, flavonoids, vitamins C and E, and other antioxidants.
Tomatoes are widely studied for their cancer-fighting properties due to their high lycopene content. They may be especially effective against prostate and breast cancer.
While these results are promising, evidence suggests that lycopene is not potent enough for people to use it as an anticancer drug by itself (
Research shows that lycopene’s antioxidant capacity may also interfere with chemotherapy and radiation therapy (
Lycopene and other carotenoids present in tomato soup may reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancers. Cooked tomatoes appear to have a more potent effect than raw tomatoes.
Enjoying a bowl of tomato soup may also benefit your eyes and skin.
For example, researchers in one study gave 149 healthy adults a supplement containing 15 mg of lycopene, 0.8 mg of beta carotene, and several additional antioxidants.
The study found that the supplement significantly protected participants’ skin against UV damage (
However, while the research suggests that this has some benefits for your skin, this doesn’t mean that you should alter your regular sun protection skin care routine.
Foods like tomatoes that are rich in carotenoids and vitamin A may benefit eye health too.
Once again, their protective effect appears to come from their antioxidant properties, which reduce oxidative stress in the macula, a key part of the eye.
Antioxidants found in tomatoes may protect your skin from sunburn and lower your risk of age-related vision loss.
Other aspects of bone metabolism include the balance between cells called osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Osteoblasts are in charge of building bone, while osteoclasts are responsible for bone breakdown and resorption.
Lycopene in tomatoes may help maintain stronger bones and reduce the risk of fractures.
High intakes of tomato products may reduce levels of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol — two major risk factors for heart disease. These effects may be thanks to tomatoes’ lycopene and vitamin C content (
Tomato soup may help reduce several risk factors for heart disease due to its carotenoid and vitamin C content.
Research suggests that taking lycopene supplements may be a potential fertility treatment. This is because lycopene’s antioxidant properties may increase the chances of producing a higher count of healthy sperm (
One study in 44 men with infertility concluded that consuming commercial tomato products, such as tomato juice or soup, significantly increased blood lycopene levels, resulting in improved sperm motility (
Additionally, one animal study found that lycopene may reduce damage due to radiation therapy. This damage is often characterized by a lowered sperm count (
Lycopene in tomato soup may improve sperm parameters that are associated with male fertility.
A warm bowl of tomato soup may help you get better when you’re feeling under the weather, thanks to its carotenoid and vitamin C content.
With both warm and cold tomato soup recipes available online, you’ll be able to enjoy this simple, delicious dish year-round.
Here’s an easy recipe for a warm and cozy version:
Tomato basil soup
- 3 cups (735 grams) diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup (80 grams) chopped onions
- 1 cup (250 mL) chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 cloves (12 grams) finely chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp. (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. (2.5 grams) dried oregano
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup (24 grams) roughly chopped basil leaves
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onions and cook for 5 minutes until soft and tender. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except for the basil leaves. Stir well and season with salt and pepper.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and add the basil leaves, setting aside a few for garnish. Cover the soup and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove the soup from heat and purée using a handheld blender or carefully transfer to a conventional blender. Serve hot and garnish with extra basil leaves.
Making a fresh tomato soup is a healthier alternative to canned soup and an easy way to add tomatoes to your diet.
Some people claim tomato soup has other health benefits. However, these are not backed by science.
- Promoting hair growth: At about 1.6 grams, a large (182-gram) raw tomato does not have much protein. Thus, tomato soup is unlikely to provide enough protein to promote hair growth (
- Eliminating fat: To lose fat, you have to create a calorie deficit. While tomato soup may help you lower your calorie intake, it does not eliminate fat by itself.
- Supporting weight loss: Soup consumption is associated with lower body weight. That is because eating any kind of soup, including tomato soup, helps increase diet quality by lowering fat intake (
Tomato soup has many science-backed health benefits. However, there is no scientific evidence that it promotes hair growth, eliminates body fat, or causes weight loss.
Despite tomato soup’s numerous health benefits, it may come with a couple of downsides.
Trigger food for GERD
While tomatoes are generally safe to eat, they may be a trigger food for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
GERD is one of the most common illnesses in the United States. Its symptoms usually include heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and chest pain (
Treating it usually includes identifying and eliminating triggering foods, meaning that tomato soup may not be the right choice if you have GERD.
High in salt
Additionally, canned soups — including tomato soup — are usually high in salt, which may lead to high blood pressure in both children and adults (
Lastly, whether it is store-bought or homemade, a tomato soup that contains cream may lead to unwanted weight gain. That is because cream may increase your soup’s fat and calorie content.
Try to make your own tomato soup using high-quality ingredients to manage the salt, fat, and calorie count.
Tomato soup may not be a suitable choice for people with GERD. Additionally, commercial soups may be high in salt and fat.
Tomato soup may offer numerous health benefits, including cancer-fighting properties and improved fertility in men. It may also benefit heart, skin, and bone health, among others.
These benefits are mainly due to the many plant compounds in tomatoes.
However, there’s no evidence to back up the claims that tomato soup promotes hair growth and eliminates fat.
Tomato soup may not be a good choice if you have GERD.
You can try making a homemade version of your favorite tomato soup to manage the salt and fat content while making the most of all the beneficial nutrients in this tasty dish.