Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C as well as lycopene, which promote efficient wound healing.

The humble tomato often goes underappreciated, but it’s abundant in vitamins and nutrients that promote efficient wound healing.

As the U.S. Department of Agriculture points out, 1/2 cup of tomatoes contains 15 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A as well as 20 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Both of these vitamins are essential to the wound healing process.

  • Vitamin A is necessary for cellular growth and helps keep the skin healthy, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It also supports a strong immune system to help stave off wound infection.
  • Vitamin C is essential for tissue growth and repair, according to the National Institutes of Health. It not only helps form new skin, but also blood vessels, tendons and ligaments.

In addition, tomatoes contain lycopene, the photochemical that gives tomatoes their bright red color. As the NIH points out, lycopene is a potent antioxidant that supports a healthy immune system, and tomatoes are the biggest source of this chemical. It also works to prevent hardening of the arteries, which means better blood flow and delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the wound site.

Tips for eating more tomatoes

Sliced tomato with a sprinkling of sea salt is a delicious treat, but if you’re not enthused about eating raw tomato on its own, try some of these methods for incorporating more of the vegetable into your diet:

  • Toss a dozen cherry tomatoes into your salad.
  • Add extra sauce to your pizza and choose tomato as a topping.
  • Add a few slices of tomato to your sandwiches.
  • Spice up foods with pico de gallo or salsa, which have a tomato base.
  • Savor more tomato soup.
  • Puree tomatoes into barbecue sauce.