Based on the volume of consumption per person, tomato is the top source of Vitamin A and C in the western diet. It also contains significant amounts of dietary fibre, beta-carotene, iron, lycopene, magnesium, niacin, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin and thiamine.
Tomato is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.
Tomato is particularly rich in lycopene, a carotenoid responsible for its deep red colour. Lycopene is a strong antioxidant that may bring many health benefits to the body. The foremost benefit of antioxidants is that they destroy disease-causing free radicals in the body and Lycopene is ten times more efficient at eradicating free radicals than Vitamin E. Research suggests that antioxidants in tomato are good for the heart, help prevent premature aging and reduce the risk of a range of chronic diseases.
Unlike most foods, cooking or processing of tomato (e.g. tomato paste, tomato soup, tomato sauce) is beneficial to health. This is due to the fact that heat breaks down the cell walls, increasing the available lycopene content.