Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a fruit of the Night Shade family from South America.
Despite being a vegetable fruit, it is usually eaten and prepared like a vegetable.
Tomatoes are an important dietary source of antioxidant lycopene, which is linked to many health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
They also contain vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
Usually red, tomatoes can also come in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, green and purple. In addition, there are many different types of tomatoes with different shapes and flavors.
This article tells you everything you need to know about tomatoes.
The proportion of water in the tomato is about 95%. The remaining 5% is mainly composed of carbohydrates and fiber.
Here are the nutrients in a small (100g) raw tomato:
- Carbs: 3.9 grams
- Sugar: 2.6 grams
- Fiber: 1.2 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Calories: 18
- Water: 95%
- Protein: 0.9 grams
Carb contains 4% raw tomato, which contains less than 5 grams of carb for a medium sample (123 grams).
Common sugars, such as glucose and fructose, comprise about 70 percent of the carb content.
Tomatoes are a great source of fiber, providing about 1.5 grams of average sized tomatoes.
Most fibers (87%) in tomato are insoluble in the form of hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin.
Vitamins and minerals
Tomatoes are a good source of many vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamin C This vitamin is an essential nutrient and an antioxidant. A medium tomato can provide about 28% of the reference daily intake (RDI).
- Potassium is an Essential Mineral, Potassium is useful for Blood Pressure Control and Prevention of Heart Diseases.
- Vitamin K1 Also known as phylloquinone, vitamins are important for blood clotting and bone healt.
- Folate (Vitamin B9) One of the B vitamins, folate is important for normal tissue development and cell function. This is especially important for pregnant womans.
Other plant compounds
The content of vitamins and plant compounds in tomatoes can vary greatly and between sampling periods.
The main plant compounds in tomato are:
- Lycopene, a reddish-colored and anti-oxidant, has been extensively studied for its beneficial health effects (11 Trusted Source).
- Beta carotene. An antioxidant that often gives food a yellow or orange color, beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in your body.
- Orange. Found in tomato skin, this flavonoid has been shown to reduce inflammation and protect against various diseases in mice .
- Chlorogenic acid, a powerful antioxidant compound, can reduce blood pressure in people with high levels of chlorogenic acid (13 Trusted Source, 14 Trusted Source.
Lycopene such as chlorophylls and carotenoids are responsible for the rich color of tomatoes.
When ripening begins, chlorophyll (green) is reduced and carotenoids (red) are synthesized.
The most abundant carotenoids in cooked tomatoes – this is especially noteworthy when it comes to fruit plant compounds.
It is found in high concentration of the skin.
In general, the tomato is red, the more lycopene it contain.
Tomato products – such as ketchup, tomato juice, tomato paste, and tomato sauce – are the best sources of lycopene in the Western diet that provide more than 80% of the nutritional lycopene.
The amount of lycopene in grams, processed tomato products, is often much higher than for fresh tomatoes.
For example, ketchup contains 10 mg14 mg lycopene per 3.5 ounces (100g), while a small, fresh tomato (100g) contains only 1–8 mg (24).
However, keep in mind that ketchup is often consumed in small quantities. Therefore, it may be easier to eliminate your lycopene intake by eating unprocessed tomatoes. Which also contains less sugar than ketchup.
Other foods included in your diet can have a strong impact on lycopene absorption. Losing this plant mixture with a fat source can increase absorption up to four time
However, lycopene does not absorb at every single rate
Although lycopene contains high amounts of processed tomato products, it is still recommended to use fresh, whole tomatoes whenever possible.
Health benefits of tomatoes
Consumption of tomatoes and tomato-based products has been linked to improved skin health and reduce risk of heart disease and cancer.
Heart disease – including heart attacks and strokes – is the most common cause of death in the world.
A study in middle-aged men linked low levels of lycopene and beta-carotene to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Increasing evidence from clinical trials suggests that lycopene supplementation may help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol
Clinical studies of tomato products indicate benefits against anti-inflammatory and oxidative stress marked.
They also have a protective effect on the inner layer of blood vessels and can reduce the risk of your blood clotting.
Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that spread beyond their normal range, often invading other parts of the body.
Observational studies have linked links between tomato – and tomato products – and lower incidence of prostate, lung and stomach cancer.
Although high lycopene content is thought to be responsible, high-quality human research is needed to confirm the reasons for these benefits.
A study in women shows that high concentrations of carotenoids found in tomatoes can prevent breast cancer from detention.
Cancer is an uncontrollable development of abnormal cells that extend beyond their normal range, often invading other parts of the body.
Observational studies have linked tomato – and tomato products – and lower incidence of prostate, lung and stomach cancer.
Although high lycopene content is considered responsible, high quality human research is needed to confirm the reasons for these benefits.
A study in women suggests that high concentrations of carotenoids found in tomatoes can prevent breast cancer from detaining.
Commercial ripening process
When tomatoes start baking, they produce a gas hormone called Ethylene.
Commercially grown tomatoes are harvested and transported while still green and immature. To make them red before selling, food companies spray them with synthetic ethylene gas.
This process prevents the development of natural flavors and can result in tasteles.
Therefore, locally grown tomatoes may taste better because they are allowed to cook naturally.
If you buy unopened tomatoes, you can speed it up by wrapping it in a paper wrap and placing it on the kitchen counter for a few days. Be sure to check them daily for baking.
Safety and side effects
Tomatoes are generally well tolerated and tomato allergies are rare.
Although tomato allergies are rare, grass allergists are more likely to be allergic to tomatoes.
This condition is called pollen food allergy syndrome or oral allergy syndrome.
In Oral Allergy Syndrome, your immune system attacks fruit and vegetable proteins that are similar to pollen, leading to an allergic reaction such as itching, itchy throat, or mouth or throat swelling in the mouth
People with latex allergies may also experience cross-reactivity to tomatoes.
The bottom line
Tomatoes are juicy and sweet, full of antioxidants, and can to help fight off many ailments.
They are especially high in lycopene, a plant compound that is superior to heart health, cancer prevention and sunburn protection.
Tomatoes can be an important part of a healthy diet.