Lovely Lycopene: 5 Hidden Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Fruit? Vegetable? Either way, it's definitely good for you. See some pictures of international tomato recipes.

The tomato is a versatile fruit parading around in a vegetable suit. And although there might be some confusion about what it is, people don't seem to have any problem finding and using this popular food ingredient. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average person eats about 18 pounds of tomatoes annually, and those pasta, pizza and ketchup calories aren't wasted, either. Tomatoes are tasty and good for you, too [source: Your Total Health].

From contributing to a heart-healthy diet to helping to protect the body from a variety of cancers, tomatoes are a flexible vegetable (or fruit if you want to get technical) that's as easy on your pocketbook as it is on your waistline.