If you’ve never been very keen on regular red tomatoes, then yellow tomatoes might just be the tomato for you to try. Versus red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes have a plainer flavor profile with a straight sweet taste and are generally less acidic. While some nutritional aspects do change between yellow and red tomatoes, it’s not actually a bad thing. On the contrary, yellow tomatoes are high in pigmented xanthophyll antioxidants which are a source of important benefits for eyesight, promoting the physical health of the eyes. In terms of nutrition, yellow tomatoes are a good source of vitamins C, B1, B3, B6 and B9, magnesium and potassium, and low in calories.
What are yellow tomatoes?
Yellow tomatoes are a yellow-colored type of tomato. They are the exact same species as regular red tomatoes, just a different color. Botanically speaking, yellow tomatoes are a fruit, a berry to be more exact, but a culinary vegetable. What makes them yellow instead of red is a class of organic yellow pigments called xanthophylls (e.g. lutein, zeaxanthin). These pigments develop naturally in yellow tomatoes, presumably as a natural mutation that occurred early in the fruit’s history. In fact, yellow tomatoes are documented to have been brought to Europe from South America as early as the 1500s. Unlike yellow tomatoes which occurred naturally, blue tomatoes as well as black tomatoes are genetically modified.
What do yellow tomatoes look like?
Yellow tomatoes come in many forms and sizes and almost as many varieties as red ones. There are yellow cherry tomatoes and yellow grape tomatoes, with special varieties such as round yellow baby tomatoes and pear-shaped yellow pear tomatoes. There are regular size, perfectly round yellow tomatoes and large ribbed beef varieties such as the yellow Beefsteak tomatoes. The skin is thin, glossy and smooth, and ranges in color from pale yellow to golden yellow to yellow-orange. The flesh is soft, but firm and the juice pale yellow to colorless. Special varieties such as yellow and red or yellow and orange-striped tomatoes or yellow tomatoes with purple or blue shoulders also exist (see pictures below).
Note: Yellow tomatoes are not just unripe red tomatoes. They are an entirely different variety from red and are perfectly ripe when they are a uniform yellow color. But both yellow and red tomatoes start out green when unripe and turn yellow and red, respectively, when ripe. Find out more about what are yellow tomatoes.
What do yellow tomatoes taste like?
Do yellow tomatoes taste very different from red? While still the same botanical fruit, yellow tomatoes taste somewhat different from red. More exactly, they taste outright sweet and have an overall plainer flavor profile, without the savoriness of red tomatoes. Except for some varieties and fruit that are unripe, yellow tomatoes are not usually acidic like red (assuming they are ripe and have enjoyed the best growing conditions).
Yellow tomatoes nutrition
Yellow tomatoes stand out as a good source of nutrition and are an extremely low-calorie food, low in fat, protein as well as carbohydrates and sugar. Yellow tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C, vitamins B1, B3, B6 and B9, magnesium, potassium, copper. They are low in vitamin E and have virtually no vitamin A, no vitamin D and no vitamin K. Yellow tomatoes contain modest amounts of calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus and trace amounts of selenium.
Yellow tomatoes nutrition facts per 100 g:
- Energetic value: 15 kcal (kilocalories)
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 3 g
- Dietary fiber: 0.7 g
Vitamins in yellow tomatoes:
- Vitamin A: 0 mcg (micrograms)
- Vitamin B1: 0.04 mg
- Vitamin B2: 0.047 mg
- Vitamin B3: 1.179 mg
- Vitamin B5: 0.11 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.056 mg
- Vitamin B9: 30 mcg (micrograms)
- Vitamin B12: 0 mcg
- Vitamin C: 9 mg
- Vitamin D: 0 mcg
- Vitamin E: 0.5 mg
- Vitamin K: 2.1 mcg (micrograms)
Minerals in yellow tomatoes:
- Calcium: 11 mg
- Copper: 0.101 mg
- Iron: 0.49 mg
- Magnesium: 12 mg
- Manganese: 0.12 mg
- Phosphorus: 36 mg
- Potassium: 258 mg
- Selenium: 0.4 mcg
- Sodium: 23 mg
- Zinc: 0.28 mg
What are the benefits?
- Anticancer properties. While unripe and green, yellow tomatoes contain tomatine, an element with scientifically proven anticancer properties. Find out more about tomatoes as an anti cancer food.
- Good for eye health. Yellow tomatoes are high in lycopene and zeaxanthin, antioxidants which get absorbed in the retina and contribute to the physical health of the eyes.
- Benefits for vision, including visual acuity, color vision and night vision from the pigmented antioxidants that make yellow tomatoes yellow.
- Good for high blood pressure. Yellow tomatoes are very low-sodium and provide good amounts of potassium and magnesium that help lower blood pressure numbers.
- Low glycemic index food (GI score: 15) with minimal effects and blood sugar, good to eat with diabetes.
- Benefits for diabetics: does not raise blood sugar levels excessively and provides biologically active nutrients and antioxidants to protect against diabetes-associated eye damage.
- Minor benefits for teeth and gums thanks to a good content of vitamin C (only in the fresh tomatoes).
- Good for constipation relief thanks to a high water and fiber content.
- Good for weight loss. Yellow tomatoes are very low in calories and good for weight loss.
- Antioxidant benefits from vitamin C, organic yellow and colorless antioxidants which combat oxidative stress and limit and help repair cell and DNA damage.
- Cholesterol lowering properties owed a good content of vitamin B3 (7.4% of daily intake) which helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and raise HDL (good) cholesterol.
- Combat weakness, tiredness and fatigue via a good and varied B vitamin profile, notably good amounts of vitamins B1, B3, B6 and B9.
- Benefits for pregnant women. With 7.5% of daily requirements of folate, yellow tomatoes help combat fatigue in pregnancy and contribute to the normal development of the baby in the womb, reducing risks of neural tube defects of the brain, spine and spinal cord.