Just like cucumbers, tomatoes are nonsweet fruits that are often referred to as vegetables. Tomatoes are a culinary treasure and the signature ingredient in scores of savory dishes. Tomato scores a 95 out of 100 in Dr. T.C. Fry’s “A General Guide to Food Selection.”
Tomatoes are in peak season from July through October. A midsize tomato measures just more than 2⅗ inches in diameter, weighs 123 grams and contains 22 calories. Tomatoes contain 95 percent water.
Tomatoes come from the family of Solanaceae, or the nightshade family. The fruit originates from Central America, and thousands of cultivars are grown, from heirloom, campari and plum to cherry and grape tomatoes.
Tomatoes, which contain a sizable amount of protein and fat for a fruit, are a rich source of Vitamins A, C and K along with manganese and potassium. Tomatoes are also a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant helpful for the skin.
China produces the most tomatoes, with 50 million tonnes in 2012. India and the United States produced 17.5 million tonnes and 13.2 million tonnes, respectively, in 2012. Turkey and Egypt round out the list of the leading five producers, with 11.4 million tonnes and 8.6 million tonnes, respectively, grown in the same year.
Stats for 100 Grams of Tomatoes, Red, Ripe, Raw Year-Round Average
- 18 calories
Percentages based on the Reference Daily Intake for a 2,000-calorie diet
- Vitamin A: 16.7%
- Vitamin C: 22.8%
- Vitamin K: 9.9%
- Manganese: 5.7%
- Potassium: 6.8%
- Carbohydrates: 78.8%
- Protein: 11.9%
- Fat: 9.3%
- Nonsweet fruit