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Health benefits of tomato ketchup sauce

Updated on February 3, 2011

Tomato sauce has many health benefits. This comes from the natural tomatoes that are used to make the sauce.

Tomato sauce was first sold in 1830 by a New England farmer who put crushed juicy ripe tomatoes in bottles to sell. This quickly caught on and several tomoato growers copied the idea. But it was HJ Heinz who truly took tomato kethup global by adding the product to his line of pickles in 1872. By 1900 there were 100 different tomato sauce manufacturers.

They key to kethcup's health benefits comes from its core ingredient - tomatoes. Tomatoes are an incredibly healthy fruit (yes fruit, not a vegetable). They contain an antitoxidant known as lycopene which gives the tomatoes their distinctive red colour. Lycopene itself is a carotenoid that has complex scientific properties. But this wonderful little ingredient has been linked to reduced riss of cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and it is even said to help infertile men icrease their sperm count.

Eating tomatoes gives the body this antitoxidant, however, and this is the big point, actually eating ketchup provides the body with MORE of this vital ingredient than eating normal tomatoes. This is what gives ketchup its health benefits.


Processed tomatoes are used to make ketchup. When the tomatoes are processed, the cells which contain lycopene are split which allows the healthy chemical to be released. Medical studies have proven that lycopene is more readily absorbed by the body when it comes from processed tomatoes. Usually processed tomatoes in this condition are found in ketchup, pasta sauce, tomato puree and other types of tomato sauces. This makes it much stronger and more effective.The same principle applies to tomatoes that are cooked as the heat breaks down the cell matrix and frees the chemical which allows the body to absorb it more effectively. Nutritionists have even said that a dollop of tomato sauce counts as one of the recommended five portions of vegetables a day.

Ingredients in Heinz ketchup

The following ingredients are those listed in bottles of Heinz tomato ketchup. Variations of the ingredients can be used for home made recipes though.

  • Tomato concentrate
  • spirit vinegar
  • corn syrup
  • sugar
  • salt
  • spice and herb extracts (including celery)
  • spice and garlic powder
  • Allspice
  • cloves
  • cinnamon
  • onion
  • other vegetables

If you're still a little bit skeptical that ketchup could actually help to keep us healthy then have a look at the scientific studies. Several institutions that have carried out this research including Harvard which conducted a SIX year study into ketchup's health benefits. There was also a group of scientists that performed research in Italy but the most well known academics to have researched the subject come from the following....

  • Ben-Gurion University in Israel
  • University of Toronto
  • Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health

There has been a wealth of information published online about tomato ketchup's health benefits. There are a few links below from when studies were released that give more information so try clicking on them, too.

Scientists and nutritionists have done lots of research into the health benefits of tomato ketchup. These findings have been published in national newspapers around the world. In the UK, the Daily Mail reported that Tomato Ketchup helps to fight heart disease. They also reported that tomato ketchup could cut the risk of breast cancer. The Daily Telegraph published an article in which researchers claimed that broccoli and tomato ketchup could prevent prostate cancer.


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    • profile image

      Keillor 4 years ago

      You people should check your spelling on this writing

    • profile image

      gallano chona 5 years ago

      i like tomato ketchup

    • profile image

      pauline 6 years ago

      i like tomatoes it's good for all people

    • profile image

      Chinga 6 years ago

      Nature knows best. Just think how widely available the tomato fruit is. Anybody can just about grow tomatoes in their backyard. Hurray!

    • Rickrideshorses profile image

      Rickrideshorses 7 years ago from England

      It's great when your eating a plate full of chips and tomato ketchup to feel like you are eatiing healthily!

    • lindaadams37 profile image

      lindaadams37 7 years ago

      That's a tasty way to get lycopene into your body. Never thought that even tomato ketchup could serve us such a healthy way. Interesting article!

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      Very interesting! Thanks for sharing the history of ketchup and how it is beneficial to the body. I would have guessed that fresh tomatoes would be more beneficial, however, after reading your hub, I do recall reading somewhere else that cooked tomatoes are better. Thumbs up! :)

    • Rickrideshorses profile image

      Rickrideshorses 7 years ago from England

      Yes dreamreachout, you are right. My partner has rheumatoid arthritis and she does not eat tomatoes because of the effects of the uric acid on her joints. Tomatoes effect everybody differently. If you find that they do not help you then don't eat them. With all things, moderation is the key and perhaps if a healthy person are tomatoes all day then they might experience some negative side-effects.

    • profile image

      dreamreachout 7 years ago

      I have heard that tomatoes have bad effects too!! Increases uric acid which leads to joint pain and is awful for people with arthritis or rheumatism!! Please let me know!!

    • Rickrideshorses profile image

      Rickrideshorses 7 years ago from England

      Lady E, it's all true. Makes me feel a LOT better about eating ketchup on my food. Apparently it could also count twoards the five a day. Anyway, thanks for the encouraging comment. Rick

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Interesting Hub - I didn't know it had that much benefits other than a good taste. I like the antioxidant bit.

      Great Hub - It's nice to know the background of what we consume regularly.