Nutritional value of tomato
The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum, L. 1753) is an annual plant of the Solanaceae family whose berries, with their characteristic red color, are widely used in food in many countries of the world.
The green parts of the plant are toxic, as they contain solanine, a steroidal glycoalkaloid that is not eliminated even by normal cooking processes; for this reason, the stem and leaves are not used in the food sector.
The berries (fruits) of tomatoes also contain solanine (α-tomatin and dehydrotomatin) but in very low quantities: the ripe red fruit contains from 0.03 to 2.3 mg / 100 g of fresh weight, the reddish-yellow tomato for salad it contains on average 6 mg / 100 g of fresh weight, while green tomato for salad contains on average 9 mg / 100 g of fresh weight. It should be noted that the green tomato for salad is actually at the beginning of ripening and contains a much lower quantity of solanine than the completely immature green fruit, where the solanine content can exceed 50 mg / 100 g of fresh weight.
The ripe fruit of the tomato is rich in nutrients, albeit low in calories, and is commonly used for food purposes, in salads or as an ingredient in the preparation of sauces and cooked dishes, such as pizza. Tomato juice or centrifuged, taken as a drink, makes available to the body a significant amount of lycopene, an antioxidant that is believed to have a certain protective function against the risk of prostate cancer.
Tomatoes are berries that have anticancer and antioxidant properties and are rich in vitamins and useful against gout and rheumatism.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamins and mineral salts, suitable for those suffering from gout, asthenia, rheumatism, uremia, hypertension, nephritis, constipation. Tomatoes facilitate the digestion of foods that contain starch and calm inflammation of the digestive and intestinal tract.
Tomatoes contain two important substances, coumaric and chlorogenic acids, which have the ability to block the effects of nitrosamines, carcinogenic substances that cause damage to the lungs greater than that of a cigarette;
The lycopene contained in tomatoes is found in the cell walls. By cooking them with a little oil, the cells burst and release more of this important substance.
Due to their properties, tomatoes are also used as natural cosmetics and are useful for preventing various diseases and dysfunctions such as rheumatism and food poisoning, as well as cases of gout and hypertension.
Nutritional factsheet –
100 g of tomatoes contain 17 kcal / 72 kj. Furthermore, for every 100 g of these berries we have on average:
– Water 94.2 g;
– Carbohydrates 2.8 g;
– Sugars 2.8 g;
– 1.2 g protein;
– Fat 0.2 g;
– Cholesterol 0 g;
– Total fiber 1 g;
– Sodium 3 mg;
– Potassium 290 mg;
– Iron 0.4 mg;
– Calcium 11 mg;
– Phosphorus 26 mg;
– Vitamin B1 0.03 mg;
– Vitamin B2 0.03 mg;
– Vitamin B3 0.7 mg;
– Vitamin A 42 µg;
– Vitamin C 21 mg.