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Biological Name: Lycopersicon esculentum, Lycopersicon lycopersicum
Family: nightshade

Parts Used: Fruit

Nutrition Information


Tomato, Green, Raw, 2-3/5 inch dia

Tomato, Red, Raw, 2-3/5 inch dia, 4.75 oz

Tomato, stewed (canned)

Tomato, sauce, Contadine, Italian Style

Serving Size

1 tomato

1 tomato

1 cup


Calories 30 26 80 30
Prot, gms 1.5 1.0 2.0 1.0
Carbs, gms 6 6 13 7
Sodium, mg 16 11 460 670
Fiber, gms 1.8 1.6 1.7 --
Fat, gms 0.3 0.4 2.7 <1.0
Sat. Fat, gms 0.0 0.1 0.5 trace
Cholesterol, mgs 0 0 0 0
%Fat, Cals 8% 12% 29% <22%

Vitamin A, IU

790 766 673 975
Thiamine, mg .07 .07 .11 .05
Riboflavin, mg .05 .06 .08 .04
Niacin, mg .62 .77 1.1 1.2
Vitamin B6, mg .1 .1 .09 --
Folic Acid, mcg 11 19 11 --
Vitamin B12, mcg


0 0 --
Vitamin C, mg 29 24 18 25
Calcium, mg 16 6 26 29
Iron, mg .63 .55 1.07 .72
Magnesium, mg 12. 14 15 34
Potassium, mg 251 273 250 420

Zinc, mg





 Active Ingredients

Along with the potassium, folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron, tomato also contains lycopine, an antioxidant that protects against some cancers.

Tomatoes are one of the best sources for lycopine. Lycopine is an anti-oxidant that protects the cells in our body from oxidants that have been linked to cancer. Laboratory tests showed that lycopine was twice as powerful as beta-carotene at neutralizing free radicals. People who eat a large amount of tomatoes and tomato products are found to have a reduced risk for a number of types of cancers including but not limited to prostate, lung and stomach, pancreatic, breast, cervical, colorectal, oral and esophageal cancers.

Brief History

In the United States, more tomatoes are consumed than any other single fruit or vegetable. Tomatoes far outdistance oranges, potatoes, lettuce, peas, carrots, and bananas!

The tomato is native to the Americas. Aztecs and Incas are credited with harvesting the earliest tomatoes as early as 700 A.D. Spanish conquistadors carried it to Europe from Mexico and Central America in the 16th century. Tomatoes quickly found favor in the Mediterranean countries of Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Early tomatoes were very small, about the size of today's cherry tomatoes. Tomato didn't make much inroads into Northern Europe due to fear and ignorance. The French called it "The Apple of Love," the Germans "The Apple of Paradise;" but the British believed it was poisonous.

The Creoles in New Orleans finally brought tomatoes into the kitchen in 1812 with their tomato-enhanced gumbos and jambalayas. The people of Maine quickly followed suit, combining fresh tomatoes with local seafood.

But it would be another half-century before tomato really got an acceptance as an edible food. By 1850, the tomato was an important produce item in every American city.

Today, many varieties of tomatoes are available such as:


The large, all-purpose beefsteak types


The oval plum variety, used chiefly for cooking purposes


The small, tasty cherry tomato, often served in salads


The large, yellow or orange, low-acid tomatoes

How To Pick Tomato

The very best tomatoes are the succulent, vine-ripened kind simply grown in your own backyard. You can also buy them in season from local farms, outdoor produce stands, or farmer's markets. They will be bursting with flavor and nutritional goodness.

The commercially marketed tomatoes are usually picked green and artificially ripened with ethylene gas. Many food gourmets complain that they are "tasteless, have a mealy texture, and a lower vitamin content than fully grown tomatoes that have ripened on the vine." Smell the tomato. Gassed tomatoes are odorless. Vine-ripened tomatoes, on the other hand, will have the characteristic tomato fragrance.

Healing Benefits of Tomato

Cancer Benefits

Reduces the risk of prostate cancer


Reduces the risk for lung , stomach, pancreatic, breast, cervical, colorectal, oral and esophageal cancers.


Good for Coronary Heart Health


Reduces high blood pressure (Hypertension)


Prevents Diarrhea


Soothes Eye Irritation


Skincare -  Makes skin shiny and vibrant


Heals Sunburn


Heals Wounds and Sores


Restores Vitality - For Persistent Fatigue


Supports Liver Health

For More Information See: 

Medicinal (Healing) Applications of Tomatoes


Tomatoes may cause indigestion and heartburn. 
Tomatoes may be allergic to some.

Tomatoes belong to nightshade family. Nightshade family contains a toxic substance called solanine. Tomatoes are no exception to this. They may trigger headaches in susceptible people.

Tomatoes are a relatively common cause of allergies. An unidentified substance in tomatoes and tomato- based products can cause acid reflux, leading to indigestion and heartburn. Individuals who often have digestive upsets should try eliminating tomatoes for 2 or 3 weeks to rule out tomatoes as the cause.

Many commercially prepared pickles and other condiments contain tomatoes, including ketchup and chili sauce, pasta sauces, chutneys, and the Latin-American salsa. Many of these are high in sugar, oil and added salt. Watch the ingredients and do not take if you are on sodium restricted diet.

Related Topics: 

Tomatoes and Cancer


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