Can Tortoises Eat Tomatoes? | The Shocking Fact!

Even the most sedentary species need to eat, and tortoises are no exception. Tortoises in the wild eat a broad array of plants and grasses in their natural habitat. To keep a tortoise healthy, its diet should be as similar to its natural diet as feasible.

It’s natural to question if certain fruits and vegetables are suitable for your tortoise’s diet as you arrange their daily meals. What about tortoises? Do they need to consume a lot of fresh veggies to keep healthy? What about tortoises? Can they eat tomatoes? Tomatoes beyond their prime can be fed to certain tortoises without fear of harm, but they should only be given to them on rare occasions. Toxic to tortoises, tomato plants, and unripe tomatoes should never be served to them.

Can All Tortoises Eat Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are safe for all tortoises, and however certain species are better able to handle them than others.

The sulcata tortoise and Hermann’s tortoise, for example, consume grasses and other vegetation in the deserts of the Mediterranean region largely. As a result, fruits like tomatoes don’t sit well with their digestive system. Most of these tortoises should eat tomatoes extremely rarely or not at all.

The yellow-footed tortoise, for example, eats fruit as part of its normal diet in tropical regions. The tomatoes can be given to these tortoises as a treat on occasion.

ALSO SEE: Can Turtles Eat Tomatoes?

Are Tomatoes Healthy For Tortoises?

Consumption of tomatoes by humans is associated with several health advantages. Antioxidants and vitamin C are abundant in tomatoes, as are other nutrients. But are tomatoes good for tortoises, or are they bad?

Despite the high sugar level of tomatoes, tortoises can benefit from their high vitamin and mineral content. Toxic sugar levels in tortoises are exactly as bad for them as they are for people. Tomatoes aren’t the only meals that contain vitamins; many other veggies, such as broccoli, have them as well.

Tomatoes are a favorite food for tortoises because of their high sugar content. Tomatoes, abundant in water and vitamins, are healthy enough to be offered to tortoises as a treat. If a tortoise needs medication, tomatoes can be used to provide it.

What Should a Tortoise Eat?

The healthiest diet for a pet tortoise will vary based on what category of tortoise they are and where the species emanates.

Unlike tropical tortoises, tortoises from the Mediterranean and desert regions have slightly different food needs. The optimum food for your pet tortoise may vary even within these broad categories, so see a veterinarian or an experienced tortoise keeper for advice.

More than eighty percent of a tortoise’s diet must consist of leafy greens and other plant material. A Mediterranean tortoise will gladly graze on your lawn in a warm area if you possess one. It is possible to feed your plants everything from dandelion greens to clover to kale and a range of other flowers and weeds.

A variety of vegetables, including broccoli, sweet potatoes, and peppers, should be served at least once a week to keep children healthy. Tomatoes and other fruits should be served less often because of their high sugar content. Tortoises in the tropics may withstand weekly feedings of a small amount of fruit. Fruit should be provided to other species of tortoises no more than every two to three weeks, if at all.

In general, tropical tortoises eat more protein than other tortoises. Earthworms or mealworms can be given to them once a week as a source of protein.

Tortoises require a constant supply of freshwater to survive. Because tortoises absorb water via their skin and through their mouths, a big water container would be ideal.

Tortoises require calcium supplements in addition to good food and enough water to keep healthy. Any additional nutrients necessary should be discussed with your veterinarian.

What Should You Not Feed a Tortoise?

Toxic native plants are the greatest hazard to tortoises because they consume so many different types of wild plants and grasses. Tortoise-toxic plants include the following common occurrences:

  • Daffodils
  • Azalea
  • Most bulbs are flowering
  • Foxglove
  • Oleander
  • If you’re unsure about the safety of any flora your tortoise could meet in your yard, see your veterinarian.
  • A tortoise should not be fed the following items from a human diet:
  • Vegetables preserved in cans
  • Bread
  • Fruits of the lime
  • Avocado

Don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian if you have any concerns about what your tortoise eats or if they stop eating entirely.

Are Tortoises Able to Consume Cherry Tomato Fruit?

Toxic to tortoises, tomato plants, and unripe tomatoes should never be served to them.

Can Tortoises Eat Tomato Leaves?

Box turtles commonly choose the less nutritious fruits over the more nutrient-dense vegetables; thus, they should be offered less often. Apples, pears, bananas (with skin), mangoes, grapes, star-fruits, raisins, peaches, tomatoes, guava, kiwis, and melons are available to produce options for those in the community. Particularly nutritious fruits include:

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Are Tomatoes Safe for Tortoises?

Tomatoes are safe for many tortoises to eat, but they aren’t necessarily beneficial and should only be given to them on a limited basis. Toxic to tortoises, tomato plants, and unripe tomatoes should never be served to them.

Nutritional Value of Tomatoes

Tomatoes have a water content of about 95%. Carbohydrates and fiber make up the remaining 5% of the diet.

Here are the nutrients in a small (100-gram) raw tomato (1Trusted Source):

Calories: 18

Water: 95 percent

0.9 grams of protein

3.9 grams of carbs

2.6 grams of sugar

1.2 grams of fiber

0.2 gram of fat


In a medium specimen, tomatoes have just 4 percent carbohydrates or less than 5 grams of carbs (123 grams).

Glucose and fructose, two simple sugars, account for over 70% of the carbohydrate content.


Approximately 1.5 grams of fiber are included in one medium-sized tomato.

Almost all of the tomato’s insoluble fibers (87 percent) are made up of hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin (2).

OVERALL Fresh tomatoes have a low carbohydrate content. Simple sugars and insoluble fibers make up the majority of the carbohydrate content. The majority of these fruits are water.

Vitamins and minerals.

For a variety of vitamins and minerals, tomatoes are an excellent choice.

A good source of vitamin C.. It is an antioxidant and a vital nutrient. A medium-sized tomato can supply around 28% of the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables (RDI).

Potassium. Potassium, a vital nutrient, aids in regulating blood pressure and the prevention of heart disease (3Trusted Source).

Vitamin K1 (ascorbic acid). Nutritional supplement vitamin K (also known as phylloquinone) is essential for blood coagulation and bone health (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).

Folate is a nutrient (vitamin B9). Normal tissue growth and cell function depend on folate, a B vitamin. Pregnant women, in particular, need to be careful (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).


As a source of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin C, and folate, tomatoes are an excellent choice for a healthy diet.

Tomatoes’ vitamin and plant component content might vary substantially depending on the variety and sample date (8, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

Tomatoes include the following major plant compounds:

Lycopene. Lycopene, a red pigment, and antioxidant, has received great attention in research for its potential health benefits (11Trusted Source).

Beta carotene is an antioxidant. Your body converts beta carotene into vitamin A, an antioxidant that gives meals a yellow or orange.

Naringenin. Mice fed this flavonoid, which is found in tomato skin, showed reduced inflammation and resistance to various illnesses (12Trusted Source).

Chlorogenic acid is the active ingredient. Chlorogenic acid, a potent antioxidant, may help persons with high blood pressure (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

Tomato color comes from chlorophylls and carotenoids such as lycopene.

Chlorophyll (green) is destroyed, and carotenoids (red) are generated as the ripening process begins (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).


When it comes to the fruit’s plant chemicals, lycopene—the most abundant carotenoid in ripened tomatoes—is particularly remarkable.

Most of it can be found on the skin, where it is most concentrated (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).

The more lycopene a tomato possesses, the redder (19Trusted Source).

Over 80 percent of lycopene consumed in the United States is derived from tomato products, including ketchup, tomato juice, tomato paste, and tomato sauces (20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).

Processed tomato products generally have higher lycopene concentrations than fresh tomatoes, gram per gram (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).

There is 10–14 mg of lycopene per 100 grams of ketchup, but a small, fresh tomato (100 grams) has just 1–8 mg of lycopene (24).

Remember that ketchup may be consumed in tiny quantities. On the other hand, unprocessed tomatoes have significantly less sugar than ketchup and are therefore a simpler way to increase your lycopene consumption.

Your body’s ability to absorb lycopene from other foods may be greatly affected. Up to four times as much of this plant ingredient is absorbed when paired with a fat source (25Trusted Source).

But not everyone metabolizes lycopene at the same rate (26Trusted Source).

Even though processed tomato products have a greater lycopene content, fresh, whole tomatoes should always be preferred.


There is a lot of lycopene in tomato products. Ketchup, juice, paste, and sauce all contain a high quantity.

Can Tortoises Eat Tomatoes

Health Benefits of Feeding Tomatoes to Tortoises

Eating tomatoes and tomato-based products can enhance skin health and lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The most prevalent cause of mortality worldwide is heart disease, including heart attacks and strokes.

According to research, low blood levels of lycopene and beta-carotene have been related to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in middle-aged men (27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source).

As more scientific research comes to light, it appears that taking lycopene supplements may help reduce harmful LDL cholesterol (29Trusted Source).

Tomato products have been shown to reduce inflammation and indicators of oxidative stress in clinical trials (30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source).

They may also reduce your risk of blood clotting by protecting the inner layer of blood vessels (32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).

Prevention of cancer

Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells proliferate unchecked and spread throughout the body, frequently invading previously healthy areas.

Some observational studies have found a connection between the consumption of tomatoes and tomato-based products and decreased risk for malignancies of the prostate, lung, and stomach (34Trusted Source, 35Trusted Source).

It is believed that the high lycopene concentration is the culprit, although further high-quality human research is required to corroborate this theory (36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source, 38Trusted Source).

According to research, high levels of carotenoids, which are present in tomatoes, may protect women from breast cancer (39Trusted Source, 40Trusted Source).

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The Health of Your Skin

Tomatoes are said to be good for the skin.

Lycopene and other plant chemicals found in tomato-based meals may help prevent sunburn (41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).

One research found that persons who had 1.3 ounces (40 grams) of tomato paste every day for ten weeks, together with olive oil and 16 milligrams of lycopene, were 40 percent less likely to get sunburned (43Trusted Source).

According to research, tomatoes and tomato-based products have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and numerous types of cancer. The fruit’s ability to protect against sunburns makes it an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin.

Ripening in a Commercial Setting

When tomatoes mature, a gaseous hormone known as ethylene is released (44Trusted Source, 45Trusted Source).

While still green and immature, commercially cultivated tomatoes are collected and delivered. Before they are sold, food firms spray them with an artificial ethylene gas that turns them red.

This procedure prevents the development of natural flavor and may lead to the production of tomato products that lack flavor entirely (46).

Locally produced tomatoes may be superior in flavor due to their slow maturation.

The ripening process can be accelerated if you wrap the tomatoes in a sheet of newspaper and place them on the kitchen counter for a few days before eating them. Just be sure to keep an eye out for ripeness every day.


Ethylene gas is used to ripen tomatoes that are still green and immature artificially. This might result in tasteless tomatoes due to a lack of flavor development.

When it comes to tomatoes, most people are fine with them (47Trusted Source, 48Trusted Source).


Even though tomato allergy is quite uncommon, those sensitive to grass pollen are much more susceptible.

Allergy to pollen, food, and the mouth are terms used to describe this disorder (49Trusted Source).

Itching in the mouth, a scratchy throat, or swelling of the mouth or throat are all symptoms of the oral-allergy syndrome, which occurs when your immune system targets fruit and vegetable proteins that are similar to pollen, leading to allergic responses (50Trusted Source).

People who are allergic to latex may also be allergic to tomatoes (51Trusted Source, 52Trusted Source).

Tomatoes are normally safe to eat; however, those sensitive to grass pollen may have anaphylaxis while ingesting the fruit.

The nitty-gritty

Antioxidants abound in tomatoes, making them a potent weapon against various ailments.

A plant molecule called lycopene has been linked to better heart health, cancer prevention, and a lower risk of sunburns.

Tomatoes are an excellent addition to a balanced diet.

Risks of Overfeeding Tomatoes to Tortoises

It’s dangerous for any animal, big or little. Unbalanced diets for pets are common because of misinformation available online.

Tortoises eating tomatoes may be found in abundance on YouTube. What about the rest of their diet?

Fattening the tortoise by feeding it fructose, a sugar molecule known to raise cholesterol levels, is unnecessary.

The metabolism of an obese person is disrupted, resulting in poor health in general (more so than in a normal person). A shorter life expectancy can be attributed to a lack of dietary fiber.

So, if you’re madly in love with your pet, don’t ever overindulge in a tomato-ey diet.

How to Feed Tomatoes to Tortoises

Tomatoes can be eaten in moderation by tortoises that eat fruit. Tomatoes should only be fed to tortoises from the Mediterranean region or those that graze on grass. Tortoises really shouldn’t eat underripe tomatoes, leaves, or tomatoes’ creepers since they are harmful. Tomatoes are a decent way to treat tortoises by concealing them inside.

Can Horsefield Tortoises Eat Tomatoes?

Are Tomatoes Healthy for a Horsefield Tortoise? The only time horse field tortoises consume tomatoes regularly is a special treat. Grass, weeds, and leafy greens are the main sources of nutrition for horse field tortoises.

Can Hermann Tortoises Eat Tomatoes?

Tomatoes: Are They Safe for All Tortoises to Eat? Tomatoes are safe for all tortoises; however, certain species are better able to handle them than others. The sulcata tortoise and Hermann’s tortoise, for example, consume grasses and other vegetation in the deserts of the Mediterranean region largely.

Can Sulcata Tortoises Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, Sulcata tortoises can eat Tomatoes.

A sulcata tortoise is permitted to consume tomatoes in moderation. As grazers, African Sulcata tortoises’ primary food should consist of 70% to 80% grasses and hay and 20% to 30% blooming plants, succulents, and weeds. There is no need to give your pet tomatoes at all, or at least in moderation.

Can Desert Tortoises Eat Tomatoes?

Most of the diet of these tortoises comprises grasses and other plant life found in the deserts of the Mediterranean. Because of this, their digestive systems cannot handle fruits like tomatoes very well. These tortoises can better digest tomatoes to be given as treats from time to time.

Can Redfoot Tortoises Eat Tomatoes?

Are tomatoes safe for red-footed tortoises to eat? Tomatoes may be digested by red foot tortoises, predominantly herbivores, and can thus eat them.

Can Leopard Tortoises Eat Tomatoes?

Toxic tortoises, tomato plants, and unripe tomatoes should never be fed.

Are Tomatoes Allowed for Leopard Tortoises to Consume?

Commercial diets can also be part of the diet. Tomatoes, apples, papayas, cantaloupes, honeydews, watermelons, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, mangos, and bananas may make up a tiny component of the leopard tortoise’s diet.

Can Sulcata Tortoises Eat Cherry Tomatoes?

A sulcata tortoise is permitted to consume tomatoes in moderation. As grazers, African Sulcata tortoises’ primary food should consist of 70% to 80% grasses and hay and 20% to 30% blooming plants, succulents, and weeds. There is no need to give your pet tomatoes at all, or at least in moderation.

Can Spur Thighed Tortoises Eat Tomatoes?

A sulcata tortoise is permitted to consume tomatoes in moderation. As grazers, African Sulcata tortoises’ primary food should consist of 70% to 80% grasses and hay and 20% to 30% blooming plants, succulents, and weeds. There is no need to give your pet tomatoes at all, or at least in moderation.

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Can Russian Tortoises Eat Tomatoes?

Many tortoises may safely be fed ripe tomatoes, although they aren’t always beneficial for them and should only be given as a treat now and again. Toxic tortoises, tomato plants, and unripe tomatoes should never be fed.

Can Greek Tortoises Eat Tomatoes?

For Greek tortoises to thrive, they must be fed a diet high in fiber and low in protein. Hence, vegetables and dark, leafy greens are required. Dandelion greens are a must-have for any collard greens recipe. Providing tomatoes regularly is not a good idea.

Can African Tortoises Eat Tomato?

Dandelions and rose petals are suitable alternatives to Hibiscus blossoms. Fruits contain a lot of water and sugar; therefore, they should be served in moderation. However, you may occasionally serve a strawberry, a melon bite, or a slice of tomato.

Food Preferences and Species of Tortoises

Herbivores like tortoises, so if you look into the native habitat of your particular species, you’ll have a better notion of what to feed your pet.

Thyroid and calcium absorption might be compromised if your tortoise eats too many plants from the cabbage family. Give them in modest portions every few weeks or so since they are a good source of nourishment.

Grazing on grasses, weeds, and succulent plants is a favorite pastime for Hermann’s tortoise, native to desert grasslands.

Squashes, aubergines, and zucchini are favorite foods of Russian and Horsfield tortoises. Fruit and various flowers are also their favorite food of theirs.

In addition to hay and cacti, Sulcata tortoises appreciate juicy fruits and shredded vegetables.

Unlike other tortoises, who prefer fruit over vegetables, red and yellow-footed tortoises cannot handle much fruit in their diet. Earthworms can be included in the diet of these turtles because they are omnivores.

Other than Tomatoes, What Else Can You Feed Your Tortoise?

Providing your tortoise with nutritious and intriguing food isn’t difficult; it simply requires a little forethought and some careful consideration.

You can cultivate fresh veggies and plants for your tortoise to eat every day if you have an outdoor enclosure. They will be able to forage like they would in their native habitat, which will help them maintain a healthy mental and physical state.

Here’s a sample of what you can feed your pet regularly:

  • Vegetables
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Dandelions
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Fruits
  • Apple
  • Bananas that have been peeled
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries

Because it is frequently fortified with vitamins and minerals, commercially prepared pet food is an excellent choice. Tortoise health and nutrition experts agree that a combination of this and natural, fresh veggies and fruit is the healthiest option.

For reptiles, water is just as critical as it is for humans. Tomatoes have a lot of water content, but they don’t match the reptiles’ daily hydration needs.

If your pet becomes thirsty, it’s always a good idea to provide it with a dish of fresh water.

Foods That You Don’t Want Your Pet Eating Tortoise

To prevent your pet from becoming dependent on you, here is a list of foods that should not be included in their diet:

  • Daffodil
  • Azalea
  • Foxglove
  • Avocado
  • Buttercup
  • Auricula
  • Sprouts of beans
  • the citrus fruit
  • Hydrangea
  • Iris
  • Daisies in the early morning
  • Ascomycetes

Goitrogens, which are present in cabbage and are toxic to turtles, have been linked to several tortoise deaths. Toxins that damage the liver and kidneys are called goitrogens, thyroid-inhibiting enzymes. Therefore, it’s best to avoid them at all times while feeding your sloth.

According to the internet, tortoises are a big fan of lettuce. However, lettuce is a poor source of nutrients for tortoises. As a result, the gut bacteria get disoriented, leading to loose motion.

Only after extensive study and professional advice can corn or maize ever be considered for the food plan, as it has been shown to damage numerous species. In moderation, grapes can also be incorporated.

A few things to remember The Tortoise Is Taking Care Of

All of these factors combine to make your pet a happy part of the family: well-balanced food, plenty of attention, and freedom to roam the house. Is this all you can achieve, or is there more you can accomplish?

The tortoise’s age must be considered while deciding on a diet. In the case of an infant, the diet should be high in protein. On the other hand, if your tortoise is getting on in years, you might want to steer clear of protein altogether.

If you monitor its food, this will have a favorable effect on the tortoise’s general health. Be aware of the nutritional content of any food you choose to feed your pet.

It’s not only dogs and cats who need regular checks. Because of their gentle nature, tortoises are notoriously difficult to diagnose when they become ill. Your pet will live a long and healthy life if you follow a regular checkup schedule. Keeping your pet active and happy is often recommended by veterinarians. Loose-motion and obesity are two of the most common problems for these reptiles.

It doesn’t matter if you call your pet Tomato or Toh-mah-toe; the important thing is to put your pet’s needs first and treat them like a friend.


Tortoise food is considered bland and dull by human standards. It’s reasonable that we’d like to add a dash of color to their meals by spicing them up with a tomato or other fruit. Tortoises may safely eat ripe tomatoes, but they don’t provide much nutritional value to their diets, as we’ve shown. Keep your tortoise’s diet varied by feeding it a variety of veggies, and keep tomatoes for special occasions.

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