Benefits of Tomato Soup

What Are the Health Benefits of Tomato Soup?

In cold winter months—as well as damp, spring months—consumers are looking for hot comfort food options to fit the season. Restaurants, cafes, and bistros of all sorts tend to emphasize hearty soups and stews that would be out of place in the middle of the summer. One kind of soup that’s been an American classic for more than a century is good, old-fashioned tomato soup. Delicious by itself or with a sandwich, tomato soup continues to be a popular option. What many people don’t realize, however, is that a bowl of tomato soup also has a variety of health benefits.

The Basics of Tomato Soup

Though there are some earlier recorded recipes, tomato soup really began becoming popular when the Campbell’s Soup company started producing it in 1895. Over the years, the condensed tomato soup, with the iconic red and white label, became widely available throughout the country and around the world. Traditional recipes for tomato soup are usually simple, with tomato puree being the primary ingredient. Depending on the variant, additional ingredients can include olive oil, butter, onion, cream, celery, or chicken stock. Whatever other ingredients are added, however, along with salt, pepper, and other spices, what’s at the center is that tomato flavor.

Health Benefits of Tomato Soup

Since tomato puree is the main ingredient of any version of tomato soup, it brings with it all the benefits of the tomato, which is technically a fruit in the Solanum genus. Even without considering other ingredients that may be added to tomato soup, tomatoes are themselves packed with nutrients that provide a wide variety of health benefits:

  • Nutrient content: An average tomato has 7 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 1.6 grams of protein, and a negligible amount of fat. It also contains a high concentration of some important vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, calcium, selenium, and potassium. The famous red color of the tomato comes from lycopene, a carotenoid that is also connected with numerous health benefits.
  • Heart health: The two main components of tomatoes that impact heart health are lycopene and potassium. Lycopene is an antioxidant, a compound that prevents cells from being damaged by free radicals; this can help with all types of cells, but it is noteworthy in cells of the cardiovascular system. Lycopene is also thought to help lower LDL cholesterol, a key contributor to heart disease. The potassium content in tomatoes is beneficial because of its effect on sodium content; by removing sodium from the bloodstream, it can relax arterial walls and improve blood pressure and blood circulation.
  • Bone health: The benefits of the antioxidant lycopene extend beyond the heart; research has shown that its free radical-fighting properties can also increase bone mineral density, protect bone cells from damage, and help prevent osteoporosis.
  • Healthy skin: Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties in protecting cells from free radical damage that includes skin cells. Yet vitamin C also is important in the synthesis of collagen, a protein that is a main component in skin and in the healing of the skin after injuries.
  • Eye health: Another carotenoid found in tomatoes is beta carotene, a compound that gets converted to vitamin A through the digestion process. Vitamin A is important for maintaining normal vision as well as seeing in low light situations. Sufficient vitamin A is also thought to reduce the risks of age-related macular degeneration.
  • Anti-cancer properties: Much research has explored the potential cancer-fighting properties of tomatoes, and the results suggest that antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene are the biggest reasons. The damage caused by free radicals can sometimes lead to mutations that eventually lead to the formation of cancer cells and tumors. The presence of lycopene and other antioxidants in the body can protect cells from this damage and thus stave off cancer before it can even begin.
  • Disease prevention: Another benefit of vitamin C is the impact it has on the cells of the immune system. In addition to preventing oxidative stress related to free radicals, vitamin C supports the epithelial barriers that prevent pathogens from spreading and causing disease.
  • Mental health: Though much more research is needed, some recent studies have found a link between oxidative stress and depression. Related studies have also found that the same antioxidant properties of lycopene may actually help reduce depressive symptoms compared to other vegetables that were studied.
  • Helpful for weight loss: While there’s nothing magical in tomato soup or tomato juice that can make someone lose weight, tomatoes’ relatively low calorie count and high nutritional value make them an ideal component to any diet. Also, tomatoes contain a fair amount of soluble fiber, a compound that can increase the feeling of fullness and help a dieter eat less overall.
  • Male fertility: Oxidative stress has also been shown to negatively impact sperm health and sperm count, leading to male infertility. A diet high in the nutrients contained in tomato soup, therefore, can be part of a diet that promotes male fertility.

High Quality Dry Ingredients from Silva

The health benefits of tomato soup aren’t limited to the use of fresh tomatoes; commercially available dry ingredients are also packed with nutrients and can be part of a delicious tomato soup recipe. At Silva, our state-of-the-art production facilities are designed to ensure high quality and excellent flavor. If you would like to learn more about our spray-dried or sun-dried tomato ingredients, please request a sample or contact us to speak with our customer relationship team. We are passionate about providing the right ingredients for any recipe so that you can deliver the best product for your customers.