Have you ever wondered if a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable? Botanists classify tomatoes as a fruit because they develop from the ovary of flowering plants and contain seeds. However, because tomatoes are prepared and served like vegetables, they are often thought of as a type of vegetable. Regardless of the category tomatoes fall into they are delicious and nutritious.
Tomato Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 small whole (2-2/5" diameter) (91 g)
Tomatoes contain a very small amount of fat, less than one gram per serving.
Protein in Tomatoes
There is just under one gram of protein in a small tomato.
Micronutrients in Tomatoes
Tomatoes provide vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.
Tomatoes provide health benefits from the vitamins that they provide.
The vitamin C in tomatoes is important for wound healing, strong bones and teeth, good immune function and helps to increase iron absorption.
Lycopene is an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce prostate cancer. Additionally, lycopene can increase HDL (healthy cholesterol) and reduce LDL (bad cholesterol). Some studies have shown a relationship between lycopene in tomatoes and the reduction of the presence of oxidized LDL, which can contribute to the plaque on the walls of the arteries.
Tomatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin A, which is an essential component for normal vision and immune function. They are also a very good source of vitamin K, which assists in blood clotting and potassium, which can help to reduce blood pressure.
Is tomato sauce high in carbohydrates?
The number of carbohydrates in a typical tomato sauce will depend on whether or not the recipe has sugar in it. Some types of sauce, such as marinara, do not require sugar, whereas many tomato sauce recipes yield a sweeter sauce because of the sugar content.
Some types of jarred sauce can contain as much as 100 calories and 18 grams carbohydrate per serving. However, a general nutrient profile for one-half cup of canned tomato sauce is about 40 calories, 0 grams fat, 820 mg sodium, 8 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 4 grams sugar, 0 grams protein. Note that the sodium content is very high in canned sauce and, if you are making your own sauce, you can reduce the sodium content by choosing tomatoes that have no salt added to them.