Tomatoes 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits


The tomato, also known as Solanum lycopersicum, is a plant from South America that belongs to the nightshade family. Despite being a botanical fruit, people typically cook and eat it like a vegetable. They contain large amounts of folate, vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium.

When fully grown, tomatoes can be red, but they can also be yellow, orange, green, or purple. Also, there are many types of tomatoes, each with its own shape and taste. There is a lot of information about tomatoes in this article.

Nutrition facts

For tomatoes, about 95% of their weight is water. Carbs and fiber make up the remaining 5%.

This is what a small (100-gram) raw tomato contains:

  • Calories: 18
  • Water: 95%
  • Protein: 0.9 grams
  • Carbs: 3.9 grams
  • Sugar: 2.6 grams
  • Fiber: 1.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams


Carbs make up about 4% of raw tomatoes, or less than 5 grams for a medium-sized (123 grams) tomato.

Simple sugars, like glucose and fructose, make up almost 70% of our carbs.


A medium-sized tomato contains about 1.5 grams of fiber, making it a good source of fiber.

In tomatoes, 87% of the fibers are hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin fibers in tomatoes that make up 87% of the fibers.

Vitamins and minerals

Tomatoes contain many vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin C: This vitamin is both an antioxidant and an important mineral. A medium-sized tomato contains about 28% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI).
  • Potassium: Potassium is an important chemical that helps keep blood pressure in check and keeps heart disease at bay.
  • Vitamin K1: Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K aids in blood clotting and maintains bone health.
  • Folate (vitamin B9): Folate is a type of B vitamin that helps cells and tissues grow and work properly. It’s especially important for women who are pregnant. 

Other plant compounds

Tomato types and sampling times can have very different amounts of vitamins and plant compounds.

Tomatoes contain several primary plant chemicals.

Lycopene: Many studies have explored the health benefits of lycopene, an antioxidant and red colour.

Beta-carotene: It is an antioxidant that gives foods their yellow or orange colour. Your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A.

Naringenin: Tomato skin contains this flavonoid, which has demonstrated the ability to prevent mice from developing various diseases and reduce inflammation.

Chlorogenic acid: Because it is a strong antioxidant, chlorogenic acid may help people with high blood pressure.

Chemicals known as chlorophylls and carotenoids, such as lycopene, are responsible for this deep color.

Chlorophyll (green) breaks down, and carotenoids (red) form when the fruit begins to soften.


When it comes to the plant chemicals in tomatoes, lycopene stands out because it is the most common carotene found in ripe tomatoes.

The skin is where you can get the most of it. Most of the time, tomatoes with a red colour have more lycopene.

Tomato goods, like ketchup, tomato juice, tomato paste, and tomato sauces, contain the most lycopene in the Western diet. In the US, they make up over 80% of all dietary lycopene.

Most of the time, processed tomato products have a lot more lycopene per gramme than fresh tomatoes.

One small fresh tomato (100 grammes) only has 1–8 mg of lycopene, while 3.5 ounces (100 grammes) of ketchup have 10–14 mg of lycopene.

But remember that most people only eat a little bit of ketchup at a time. So, eating raw tomatoes may be a better way to get more lycopene. They also have a lot less sugar than ketchup.

Some of the things you eat may have a big impact on how well you absorb lycopene. If you eat this plant substance with fat, it can help your body absorb it four times better.

However, not everyone absorbs lycopene at the same rate.

Health benefits of tomatoes

Consuming tomatoes and tomato-based foods has been associated with improved skin health and a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer.

Heart health

Heart health: Heart disease, which includes heart attacks and strokes, kills more people than any other illness in the world.

A study of middle-aged men found that having low amounts of lycopene and beta-carotene in the blood made them more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

Taking lycopene supplements may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, according to more and more clinical studies.

Clinical tests have shown that tomato products can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress markers.

Additionally, they protect the inner layer of blood vessels and may lower your risk of blood clotting.

Cancer prevention

Cancer is when abnormal cells grow out of control and invade other parts of the body.

Observational studies have found links between eating tomatoes and tomato products and a lower risk of getting prostate, lung, and stomach cancer.

The high lycopene content is thought to be the cause, but more high-quality studies with humans are needed to be sure.

According to a study on women, tobacco contains a lot of carotenoids, which may help protect against breast cancer.

Skin health

People think that tomatoes are good for your face. Lycopene and other plant chemicals found in plant-based foods may help prevent sunburn.

One study discovered that people who ate 40 grams (1.3 ounces) of tomato paste with olive oil every day for 10 weeks had 40% fewer sunburns.

Process for commercial ripening

Tomatoes make ethylene, a gaseous hormone, when they start to ripen.

Growers pick and ship tomatoes for sale while they are still green and not fully grown. Before they are sold, food companies spray them with fake ethylene gas to make them red.

This process stops natural flavours from developing, which could make tomatoes boring.

Tomatoes grown closer to home may taste better because they ripen naturally.

If you buy tomatoes in newspaper and leaving them on the kitchen table for a few days will help them ripen faster if you buy them when they are not yet ripe. Just make sure to check on them every day to see if they’re ready.

Safety and side effects

Most people can handle tomatoes, and only a very small number of people are allergic to them.


People who are allergic to grass pollen are more likely to be allergic to tomatoes, even though tomato allergies are rare. It’s known as pollen-food allergy syndrome or mouth allergy syndrome.

People with oral-allergy syndrome have allergic responses like itching in the mouth, scratchy throat, or swelling of the mouth or throat. This happens because the immune system attacks fruit and vegetable proteins that are similar to pollen. People who are allergic to rubber can also be allergic to tomatoes.

The bottom line

Tomatoes have a lot of good things for you, and they may even help fight some diseases.

They have a lot of lycopene, a plant substance that has been linked to better heart health, lowering the risk of cancer, and keeping you from getting sunburned. It’s possible to eat tomatoes and stay healthy.

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