They're sweet, juicy, delicious - and they pack a powerful nutritional punch. Here, nine surprising benefits of the simple tomato.

Tomatoes 101
One serving of red, ripe, raw tomatoes (one cup or 150 grams) is a good source of Vitamins A, C, K, folate and potassium. Tomatoes are naturally low in sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. Tomatoes also provide thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, all of which are necessary for good health.

On top of that, one serving of tomatoes gives you 2 grams of fiber, which is 7 per cent of the daily recommended amount. Tomatoes also have a relatively high water content, which makes them a filling food. In general eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, confers protection against high blood pressure, high cholesterol, strokes, and heart disease.

One tomato packs one powerful punch of nutrition, but there's much more!

Healthy skin
Tomatoes make your skin look great. Beta-carotene, also found in carrots and sweet potatoes, helps protect skin against sun damage. Tomatoes' lycopene also makes skin less sensitive to UV light damage, a leading cause of fine lines and wrinkles.

Strong bones
Tomatoes build strong bones.The vitamin K and calcium in tomatoes are both very good for strengthening and repairing bones.

Lycopene also has been shown to improve bone mass, which is a great way to fight osteoporosis.

Fight cancer
Tomatoes are a natural cancer fighter. Lycopene (again!) can reduce the risk of several cancers, including prostate, cervical, mouth, pharynx, throat, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectal, prostate and ovarian cancer. Tomatoes' antioxidants (vitamins A and C) fight the free radicals which can cause cell damage.

Balance blood sugar
Tomatoes can keep your blood sugar in balance. Tomatoes are a very good source of chromium, which helps to regulate blood sugar.

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by:
Jo Ann LeQuang