Tomatoes are the fruit of the Solanum lycopersicum plant, though United States customs regulations classify them as vegetables. There are numerous cultivars of tomatoes that range in colours, shapes, and sizes. The most common commercial tomatoes are spherical and red.

Health considerations

Tomatoes are a source of vitamins C, K, A, and various B vitamins as well as minerals including potassium and manganese. Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, beta-carotene, and flavonoids. Intake of tomato lycopene is associated with reduced cancer and cardiovascular disease risk. See: Lycopene

Keep in mind

Micronutrient content varies depending on growing conditions. Use of oil in tomato product processing can improve availability of lycopene. Tomatoes will begin to lose flavor when refrigerated beyond three days.

May be found in

Tomato sauce, tomato paste, prepared dishes, sun-dried tomatoes, sauces, spreads


University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition

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