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This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Tomatoes Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 94.5 g
Calories: 18 kcal
Protein: 0.9 g
Carbohydrate: 3.9 g
Dietary fiber: 1.2 g
Sugars: 2.6 g
Fat: 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 13.7 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.6 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B9: 15 μg
Vitamin A: 42 μg
Vitamin E: 0.5 mg
Vitamin K: 7.9 μg
Calcium: 10 mg
Iron: 0.3 mg
Magnesium: 11 mg
Phosphorus: 24 mg
Potassium: 237 mg
Sodium: 5 mg
Zinc: 0.2 mg

Tomatoes are perhaps best known as a staple of Italian cuisine and as a base for sauces, but this fruit (considered a vegetable for most culinary uses), is useful not only as a bases for stocks, soups and sauces, but is also excellent in salads, stuffed with quinoa, or even just as part of a fried breakfast.

Tomatoes are an excellent source of a whole range of nutritional benefits, but it is their high antioxidant content and the presence of the cancer-fighting carotenoid lycopene that really sets this food apart.

Nutritionally, tomatoes are fairly solid in terms of per-calorie nutrient density. 1 large tomato (182g) contains 32 calories but for that, you receive 41% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin C, 30% DV of vitamin A, 12% DV of potassium and 8% DV of fibre.

The vitamin C and the potassium present in tomatoes are both proven to increase your cardiovascular health long-term in the right amounts, and the large amounts of vitamin A are excellent for eye health maintenance. Fibre, of course, is essential for digestion. While fibre appears regularly in large amounts on this list, it is important to remember that a huge number of people have digestive problems simply because their diets lack fibre.

Aside from their nutritional benefits, tomatoes really excel when it comes to two things: their cardiovascular benefits and the presence of the potent cancer-fighting phytochemical lycopene.

Firstly, tomatoes are a fantastic benefit to your long term cardiovascular health. In addition to the cardiovascular benefits mentioned above due to the presence of vitamin C and potassium, tomatoes, as this review notes, fight cardiovascular disease (the biggest killer in the western world) in a number of distinct ways.

These include high levels of antioxidants, the reduction of blood pressure, and the reduction of homocysteine levels (high homocysteine levels are a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease).

In addition, tomatoes have been proven to decrease LDL cholesterol (known as ‘bad’ cholesterol), another major risk factor, and platelet aggregation, which may lead to atherosclerosis (the formation of plaque that blocks the arteries).

Secondly, tomatoes are extremely high in lycopene, a carotenoid with a proven effect on your risk of prostate cancer. Studies on lycopene and prostate cancer have repeatedly shown an association between higher levels of lycopene and a lower risk of prostate cancer.

It seems that a reduction in DNA damage may be part of this effect, but regardless, even when compared with other carotenoids the link between eating large amounts of tomatoes and a lower incidence of prostate cancer seems to stick.