Health Benefits of Tomatoes

It seems that tomatoes are at the center of low-calorie living. They naturally lend themselves to health-conscious cooking, being sweet yet low in calories.

Tomato and Caper Crostini Recipe
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
Tomatoes are the centerpiece of the
Tomato and Capers Crostini Recipe.

Tomatoes are one of the most frequently consumed "vegetables" in the United States, whether raw, steamed, fried, stewed, crushed, pureed, or reduced to a sauce. Though thought of as a vegetable, tomatoes are botanically classified as fruits. They are also one of our best sources of vitamin C.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

While not bursting at the seams with vitamins and minerals, tomatoes are indeed rich in vitamin C. This antioxidant plays a key role in maintaining a healthy immune system.

They also contain beta-carotene and several other carotenoids that may have their own disease-preventing properties, particularly against heart disease and cancer. One carotenoid, lycopene, may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Tomatoes also offer a good dose of that possible stroke preventer, potassium.

Nutritional Values of Fresh Tomatoes
Serving Size: 1 medium tomato
Calories 24
Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Carbohydrate 5 g
Protein 1 g
Dietary Fiber
1 g
6 mg
Vitamin A 1,025 IU
Vitamin C 15 mg
Potassium 292 mg
Carotenoids 3,992 microgram

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