Nutritional value of tomatoes
A tomato contains approximately 16-33 calories, depending on the size, tomatoes are 95% water. Moreover, tomatoes contain small amounts of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and copper.
Certainly, tomatoes are good for your eyesight, as they contain a great amount of beta-carotene (up to 817 mcg per tomato). Beta-carotene is an important carotenoid for good vision. Only a few foods are rich in beta-carotene.
Above all, tomatoes are a good source of lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that decreases the rick of breast and prostate cancer.
How much vitamin C do we need daily?
According to the National Institutes of Health, we need only 90 mg of vitamin C a day.
Plants are the main source of vitamin C. Besides citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, many other foods are rich in vitamin C. For instance, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and peppers are all high in vitamin C. See the whole list here.
Certainly, we don’t need vitamin C supplements. A plant-based diet can provide the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. For instance, even athletes can get all the vitamin C from dietary sources.
How much vitamin C in a tomato?
Tomato is a good source of vitamin C. Just 100g of raw tomato contains 13.7 mg of vitamin C. That’s 15% DV (Daily Value).
Moreover, the vitamin C content of a:
- small tomato (2-2/5″) is 12.5 mg, or 14% DV.
- medium tomato (2-3/5″) is 17 mg, or 19% DV.
- large tomato (3″) is 25 mg, or 28% DV.
- cup of chopped tomatoes is 24.7 mg, or 27% DV.
As, you can see, fresh tomato is a good source of vitamin C. It can help us meet the daily needs of vitamin C. Furthermore, tomato helps us lose belly fat, due to its high vitamin C and antioxidant content.
Vitamin C in tomato juice
100g of tomato juice has 70 mg of vitamin C. That’s 77% DV. Furthermore, tomato juice is low in calories. It has only 17 calories per 100g. Above all, tomato juice is one of the richest foods in lycopene. Tomato juice has 9037 mcg of lycopene per 100g.
Vitamin C content of ketchup
Ketchup is highly processed food. As vitamin C is vulnerable to heat, ketchup doesn’t contain any vitamin C. 100g of ketchup has only 4 mg of vitamin C.
On the contrary, ketchup is high in lycopene. It has 12062 mcg of lycopene per 100g. Lycopene isn’t vulnerable to heat and other processing methods. Hence, ketchup is the main lycopene source for most people.
Use fresh tomatoes in salads
Salad is a great way to eat tomatoes. Besides tomatoes, you can use peppers, cucumber, onions and many more. For instance, the traditional Greek salad is a great way to consume tomatoes:
- tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
- peppers are rich in vitamin C. Peppers have more vitamin C than we need per day.
- cucumber is good for hydration, during summer. Moreover, cucumber is an alkalizing vegetable, rich in electrolytes.
- onions not only are nutrient-rich, but also they have compounds that increase the absorption of minerals.
- olive oil is the highest vegetable oil in polyphenols. Prefer olive oil and flaxseed oil than canola or sunflower oil.
- oregano is also high in antioxidants with many great health benefits.
As a rule of thumb, use only fresh vegetables. Pickled vegetables may be dangerous for your health.