Nutritional Value of Tomatoes

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Tomatoes are a type of fruit that is rich in nutrients and important for good health. When it comes to eating tomatoes, there may be some confusion

Is eating tomatoes good for you? Does that mean you should eat them every single day if you can? There’s been a lot of debate around this topic.

Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional value of tomatoes and information about their health benefits, effects on diet, and possible concerns about eating them.

Important Nutritional Value of Tomatoes

The tomatoes are probably the only fruit, that most people will call a vegetable. This bright red, highly nutritious, and exceptionally popular food is eaten not only on its own but as a part of a huge array of other dishes too.

Tomatoes are highly versatile and the list of uses of tomatoes can be an extensive one. They are used to make tomato ketchup, tomato soup, tomato sauce, tomato juice, and a variety of other food products. However, the best nutrition you can get is from the homegrown ripe ones.

Tomatoes Are High in Lycopene:

Of all the ingredients found in tomatoes, lycopene is certainly one of the most important. It is one of the very powerful natural antioxidants. Lycopene protects against several age-related diseases such as colorectal, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. 

It also prevents certain cardiovascular diseases.

Lycopene is fat-soluble. Cooking tomatoes with a small amount of fat make this compound more bio-available. 

It is mostly found in the skin of a tomato. Usually the redder the tomato the more lycopene it has.

The interesting thing about lycopene is that rather than being destroyed, it is actually more useful in foods like ketchup than in raw tomatoes. 

But before you jump start on eating more ketchup every day, just remember ketchup also has lots of unwanted sugar. So it is always best to eat more raw tomatoes to increase the lycopene intake rather than going for processed foods.

Tomatoes Are High in Vitamins:

Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin A, C, and K. 

One medium-sized tomato (about 120 grams), will give you 15.6 milligrams of vitamin C. This is just over a quarter of all the vitamin C your body needs in a day. 

You can get one-fifth of the vitamin A that you need in a day from a medium-sized tomato.

A medium-sized tomato is also capable of providing you with one-tenth of the daily need for this vitamin.

Other than these 3 vitamins tomatoes also have Vitamin E, B3, B5, B6, and B9.

Minerals in Tomatoes:

Tomatoes also have a rich array of minerals including potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese.

Tomatoes are low in sodium and at the same time are richer in potassium, one medium tomato has 292 mg, per USDA data. Potassium plays a key role in cardiovascular health, and is  essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and keeping your heart beating regularly,

Tomatoes also contain small amounts of calcium. One cup of chopped fresh tomatoes contains about 6 milligrams of calcium. Foods high in calcium, such as milk and other dairy products, can help build strong bones and teeth.

Tomatoes Help Maintain Sodium/potassium Balance:

Eating tomatoes help to maintain the Sodium/potassium balance. Tomatoes are low in sodium and at the same time are richer in potassium. This, in turn, regulates the blood pressure and allows the cell to function normally.

Buy Organic Heirloom Tomato Garden Seeds

Other Nutrients in Tomatoes:

Just to point out just how incredibly nutritious the tomato is, here are some more nutrients that are present in tomatoes

  • Choline
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B3 / Niacin
  • Vitamin B5 / Pantothenic acid
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B9 / Folate
  • Fluoride
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium, and
  • Dietary fiber

Find the full list of ingredients here.

Health Benefits and Disease Prevention:

So now as you know the nutritional value of a tomato, let see what are the health benefits of eating tomatoes and how this fruit prevents many diseases.

Cancer Prevention:

Toxins are a part of the reason we get sick and can contribute greatly to cancer. Tomatoes help remove these toxins from our bodies, which is why they can prevent and even reverse some cancers.

Lycopene is specifically used to target prostate cancer. Researchers found that men with high levels of lycopene were less likely to die from prostate cancer than men with lower levels source.

The same can be said for breast cancer. Research has shown women who eat more lycopene-rich foods like tomatoes are less likely to develop breast cancer than women who eat fewer lycopene-rich foods.

Lowers Blood Pressure:

Blood pressure is another major killer in this day and age. According to this research “a higher sodium-potassium ratio is associated with significantly increased risk of CVD and all-cause mortality”.

Eating tomatoes help to maintain the Sodium/potassium balance. Tomatoes are low in sodium and at the same time are richer in potassium. This, in turn, regulates the blood pressure and allows the cell to function normally.

Improves Overall Health of the Heart

Tomatoes are high in Vitamin C which is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radical damage.     

Lycopene is known for its heart-healthy benefits which include preventing blood clots and reducing the risk of stroke or heart attack.

A high level of potassium helps maintain blood pressure.

All these factors can benefit your cardiovascular system, lower cholesterol levels, and help in improving the overall health of the heart.

How to remove lectins from tomatoes.

Reduce Constipation:

As tomatoes are high in water and dietary fibers eat tomatoes daily can help prevent constipation by supporting bowel movement.

Improves Eye Health:

Tomatoes can protect your eyesight by reducing the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants known as carotenoids, which prevent macular degeneration from occurring. They also have Vitamin A that promotes eye health and proper vision.

Improves The Skin:

Tomatoes are also an important source of vitamin C, which is essential for skin health. It is needed for the production of collagen, an essential component of the skin, hair, nails, and connective tissue.

The antioxidants in tomatoes help prevent aging and may even help prevent some forms of skin cancer such as melanoma (source).

Helps in Pregnancy:

Tomatoes also contain vitamin K which helps the body absorb calcium. This is beneficial for pregnant women because it helps strengthen bones and teeth.

The folate found in tomatoes helps prevent birth defects by assisting with the proper development of the brain and spinal cord of the fetus.

How To Include Tomatoes In Your Diet:

The most important thing to remember when adding tomatoes into the diet is that fresh is always better than canned varieties. 

Canned tomatoes tend to lose nutritional value due to being heated during the canning process. If fresh tomatoes are not available, regular canned varieties will do fine in a pinch. 

Some of my favorite ways of eating tomatoes are: 

  • Add tomato slices to sandwiches and wraps, 
  • Make tomato soups, and 
  • Use fresh tomatoes with cucumbers and onions and make salads.

Side Effects of Eating Tomatoes:

However, there are side effects of eating tomatoes to be taken into account when ingesting this popular vegetable. following are some of the examples where you should avoid tomatoes:

Particularly for those who have impaired kidney function, eating too many tomatoes can cause potassium overload which can lead to severe complications.

An increase in potassium levels can also trigger heart palpitations in people with high blood pressure and arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) a tomato-rich diet can worsen your reflux symptoms.

However, the effects are highly individualized and may not occur to everyone. It is still better to speak with your doctor before taking on any dietary changes in order to avoid any complications.


I hope you enjoyed this post about the nutritional value of tomatoes. Now, if you want a regular supply of healthy tomatoes, the best way is to grow your own fruits at home.

Here’s our rundown of what you need and how to go about growing tomatoes from seeds. I am sure you will love the article.

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prasenjit saha author Gardening ABC

Hi there! My name is Prasenjit and I’m an avid gardener and someone who has grown a passion for growing plants. From my hands-on experience, I have learned what works and what doesn’t. Here I share everything I have learned.

2 thoughts on “Nutritional Value of Tomatoes”

  1. Last season i had about 90 tomato plants growing in my garden. Lots of tomatoes we have eaten and the taste is excellent, you can never compare with those from the supermarket!


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