Indigo Ruby tomatoes have been gaining popularity recently for their striking dark purple colour and significant health benefits. As a newly cultivated heirloom tomato, Indigo Ruby offers unique nutritional advantages over conventional red tomatoes.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what makes colourful Indigo Ruby tomatoes so good for you and how to incorporate more of them into your diet. Read on to learn about these antioxidant-packed powerhouse fruits!
An Introduction to Indigo Ruby Tomatoes
Indigo Rose tomatoes were first bred in 2013 by researchers at Oregon State University. They combined the genetics of heirloom tomatoes with wild tomatoes native to Chile and the Galapagos Islands that contained higher levels of anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins are antioxidant pigments that give foods like blueberries, blackberries, and eggplants rich purple and red colours. They also offer important health benefits.
By crossing these wild tomato plants with heirlooms, researchers developed a cultivar with higher anthocyanins that gave the tomatoes an indigo hue when ripe. Thus, the Indigo Rose tomato was born!
These uniquely pigmented tomatoes have a more complex, sweeter flavour than typical red tomatoes. Their skin is thinner yet still firmer than other heirlooms. When sliced open, you’ll see they have a stark crimson interior contrasting their dark purple exterior.
Indigo Ruby tomatoes grow well in home gardens and have become sought after at farmers’ markets. No matter how you eat them, these exotic-looking tomatoes provide seriously healthy nutrition.
Nutrient Profile – What’s in Indigo Ruby Tomatoes?
Here is an overview of the key vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds found in Indigo Rose tomatoes:
- Vitamin C – Excellent source providing 40% of your daily vitamin C needs per cup. Supports immune function and collagen production.
- Vitamin A – Contains 20% DV of vitamin A per serving. Important for healthy vision, skin and mucous membranes.
- Vitamin K – Provides extensive vitamin K for proper blood clotting and bone metabolism.
- Potassium – A good source with over 400mg of potassium per tomato. Helps control blood pressure.
- Anthocyanins – Up to 10 times more anthocyanins than regular tomatoes. These antioxidants reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage.
- Lycopene – As much or more lycopene than red tomatoes. This antioxidant lowers cancer risk and promotes heart health.
- Carotenoids – Abundant carotenoids like beta-carotene support eye, skin, and immune system health.
- Flavonoids – Contain flavonoid antioxidants like quercetin that benefit the cardiovascular system.
This unique nutritional profile gives Indigo Rose tomatoes the edge over standard red varieties regarding health value. The richer, darker color indicates fuller antioxidant potential.
Top Health Benefits of Indigo Ruby Tomatoes
With their concentrated levels of protective plant nutrients, Indigo Rose tomatoes confer some major wellness advantages:
1. Indigo Ruby Tomatoes Lower Heart Disease Risk
Studies show that combining vitamin C, potassium, lycopene, and other antioxidants in Indigo Rose tomatoes helps reduce LDL cholesterol oxidation while improving vascular function and blood pressure. This adds up to better heart health and fewer cardiac issues down the road.
2. Indigo Ruby Tomatoes Reduce Cancer Risk
The anthocyanins in these purple tomatoes exhibit anti-carcinogenic effects that restrict the growth of cancer cells. Animal studies reveal they suppress the proliferation of prostate, stomach, lung, and colorectal cancers.
3. Indigo Ruby Tomatoes Support Vision Health
Lutein and zeaxanthin found in Indigo Rose tomatoes filter harmful UV light in the eye and prevent macular degeneration, a top cause of age-related blindness. Lycopene may also protect eyes from free radical damage.
4. Indigo Ruby Tomatoes Boost Immunity
With plentiful vitamin C levels, Indigo Ruby tomatoes provide potent immune-enhancing properties to help your body fight infection from viruses and dangerous pathogens.
5. Indigo Ruby Tomatoes Build Strong Bones
These tomatoes serve a spectrum of bone formation nutrients, like vitamin K, potassium, folate, and flavonoids. Increased intake can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
6. Indigo Ruby Tomatoes Improve Digestion
The fiber content in Indigo Rose tomatoes promotes healthy elimination, relieves constipation, and maintains digestive regularity. Lycopene also appears to have a beneficial effect on gut bacteria.
7. Indigo Ruby Tomatoes Enhance Skin Health
Nutrients like vitamin A, anthocyanins, and lycopene found in tomatoes help guard skin cells against harmful free radicals that can lead to accelerated aging. This keeps your skin looking vibrant and youthful.
8. Indigo Ruby Tomatoes Support Blood Sugar Control
Studies indicate the anthocyanins in foods like Indigo Rose tomatoes help improve insulin secretion and sensitivity. This aids in blood glucose regulation, especially for those with diabetes.
As you can see, Indigo Rose tomatoes offer health advantages across the board, from cancer prevention to better eyesight. Their unique phytonutrient makeup provides whole-body nourishment.
How Do Indigo Ruby Tomatoes Compare to Regular Tomatoes?
We’ve established that Indigo Rose tomatoes have greater concentrations of health-boosting compounds than typical red tomato varieties. Here are some key points of comparison:
|Difference||Indigo Rose||Regular Tomato||Emoji|
|Anthocyanins||Up to 10x more||Less||💜|
|Lycopene||Equal or more||Less||🍅|
|Vitamin C||40% more||Less||🍊|
|Flavor||Richer, more nuanced||Blender||😋|
|Beta-carotene||2x as much||Less||🥕|
|Blood pressure benefits||More||Less||❤️|
|Cancer-fighting||More effective||Less effective||💪|
- Details are here!
- More anthocyanins – Up to 10x the anthocyanin content of regular tomatoes, giving them potent antioxidant capacity.
- Extra lycopene – Research shows Indigo Rose tomatoes have equal or greater amounts of lycopene.
- A better source of vitamin C – About 40% more vitamin C per tomato than common cultivars.
- Richer flavour – Heirloom genetics and anthocyanins create a richer, more nuanced flavour.
- Added beta-carotene – Twice the amount of carotenoids and precursor of vitamin A.
- Higher blood pressure benefits – The combination of nutrients improves vascular function.
- More cancer-fighting potential – Anthocyanins made Indigo Rose tomatoes more effective against prostate and colon cancer cells.
- Firmer flesh – The skin is thinner, but the flesh is firmer with a nice bite, making them ideal for slicing.
While ordinary red tomatoes are also very healthy, Indigo Rose outperforms them in multiple categories. The enhancement through selective breeding pushes nutrition to the next level.
Simple Ways to Eat More Indigo Ruby Tomatoes
Adding more of these superstar tomatoes into your diet is easy and delicious:
- Make BLT sandwiches with crunchy bacon, lettuce, and juicy tomato slices on toasted bread.
- Toss them into leafy salads, pasta salads, or grain bowls for pops of colour and nutrients.
- Skewer grape-sized tomatoes with other veggies as a fun kabob or appetizer.
- Add halved Indigo Rose tomatoes with chicken, fish, or plant proteins to sheet pan meals.
- Layer tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar for an easy Caprese salad.
- Blend into homemade gazpacho soup along with cucumbers, peppers, and seasoning.
- Make a colorful summer salsa with tomatillos, red onions, jalapenos, and tomato chunks.
- Roast tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Grill larger tomatoes, corn, asparagus, zucchini, onion, and mushrooms.
However you choose to enjoy them, Indigo Rose tomatoes make an awesome functional food to incorporate into meals and snacks!
Indigo Ruby Tomatoes Fun Facts
Here are 10 fun facts about Indigo Ruby tomatoes:
- Tasty Indigo Ruby tomatoes were created by crossing heirloom tomatoes with wild tomatoes from Chile which had higher antioxidant levels.
- Eating Indigo Ruby tomatoes is an easy way to get a variety of protective plant nutrients like anthocyanins, vitamin C, and lycopene.
- While most tomatoes are red, Indigo Ruby tomatoes get their unique purple color from natural pigments called anthocyanins.
- While small, a single Indigo Ruby Tomato provides 40% of your recommended daily vitamin C intake.
- Sliced Indigo Ruby tomatoes make colorful, nutritious toppings for burgers, sandwiches, tacos, and flatbread pizzas.
- Researchers found the Indigo Ruby Tomato Uses its anthocyanins to fight inflammation and lower blood pressure.
- The flesh of the Indigo Ruby tomato is firm yet juicy with a balanced sweet and rich tomato flavor.
- Try this Indigo Ruby Tomato Recipe: slice and enjoy with fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
- In addition to anthocyanins, Indigo Ruby tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that may help reduce cancer risk.
- Kids love snacking on petite Indigo Ruby tomatoes right off the vine for a sweet, nutritious summer treat!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find Indigo Rose tomato plants or seeds to grow myself?
You can purchase Indigo Rose tomato plants, seeds, or seedlings from online retailers specialising in heirloom vegetable varieties. Local gardening centres may also carry them when in season. They grow well in home gardens and containers.
What is the best way to store fresh Indigo Rose tomatoes?
Keep fresh tomatoes at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Once ripe, they can be moved to the refrigerator to extend shelf life up to 2 weeks. Allow refrigerated tomatoes to come to room temp before eating for best flavour.
Can you eat Indigo Rose tomato skins?
Yes! The skin of all tomatoes is edible and contains beneficial nutrients and fibre. Indigo Rose skins are thinner than regular tomato skins. Washing tomatoes well helps remove any dirt or residue on the skins.
Do the anthocyanins in Indigo Rose tomatoes stain?
Like other anthocyanin-rich foods, the purple pigment can stain lighter surfaces, clothes or plasticware if not cleaned promptly. Stains are harmless but can be annoying. Rinse dishes and hands after prepping to avoid lingering stains.
Can you cook, can, freeze or dry Indigo Rose tomatoes?
Absolutely! Their firm flesh matches all cooking methods like roasting, sautéing, stewing etc. You can preserve harvested tomatoes through canning, freezing, and drying. Cooking helps concentrate flavours and nutrition.
Do Indigo Rose tomatoes taste different than red tomatoes?
Most people describe the flavour as richer, sweeter, and more complex than your average tomato flavor. The thinner skin allows for a concentrated taste of the interior flesh. They offer the best flavour when eaten fresh and raw.
The Takeaway on Indigo Ruby Tomato Benefits
From reducing cancer risk to promoting heart health, bone strength, eyesight, immunity and more, Indigo Rose tomatoes deliver amazing benefits through their high concentration of protective plant compounds. Their appetizing sweet flavour and vivid purple colour make them a delight to cook.
Substituting some uniquely pigmented heirloom tomatoes into your regular rotation provides antioxidant power for whole-body nourishment. Give Indigo Ruby tomatoes a try, and your body will thank you!