Tomato Nutrition | Tomato Health Benefits

Roma Tomatoes Nutrition & Its 7 Health Benefits

Roma tomatoes, also known as Italian plum tomatoes or paste tomatoes, are a nutrient-dense type of tomato popular for their rich flavour and versatility in cooking.

Often used for sauces and salsas thanks to their meaty flesh and few seeds, Roma tomatoes also offer an extensive range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide a variety of health benefits.

Read on to learn all about nutrition, health perks, serving ideas, and frequently asked questions about Roma tomato nutrition and also health benefits.

Roma Tomatoes Nutrition Facts

Roma tomatoes have an impressive nutrition profile. One raw Roma tomato (about 3” long) has approximately the following:

  • 28 calories
  • 5 grams carbs
  • 1 gram protein
  • 6% DV vitamin C
  • 5% DV vitamin A
  • 3% DV iron
  • 3% DV thiamine

They are very low in fat and high water content, with about 5 grams of sugar (naturally occurring fructose) and 1 gram of fibre per tomato. Their vibrant red colour comes from lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.

This nutrition table compares 1 raw Roma tomato to other common tomato varieties:

Tomato VarietyCaloriesCarbsSugarFiberLycopene
Roma285g5g1g3,897mcg
Cherry276g4g2g581mcg
Grape276g4g1g252mcg
Beefsteak429g8g2g4,348mcg

As you can see, Roma tomatoes are very low calorie and also have similar carb content to other fresh tomato varieties. They do contain slightly more sugar compared to cherry and grape tomatoes. However, they excel when it comes to lycopene content.

Below we’ll explore why vitamins like vitamin C and antioxidants like lycopene make Roma tomato such a healthy addition to your diet.

Roma tomatoes Nutrition

Vitamin & Mineral Content in Roma Tomatoes

Roma tomato contains the following decent amounts of key micronutrients:

Vitamin C

A single Roma tomato provides about 16% of your recommended daily vitamin C. This important antioxidant boosts immune function and iron absorption while protecting cells from damage.

Vitamin K

Roma tomato delivers over 10% of your daily vitamin K, which activates proteins related to bone health and also wound healing.

Folate

One Roma tomato has 5% of the RDI for folate, a B vitamin that creates red blood cells and prevents neural tube defects during early pregnancy.

Potassium

With 237 milligrams of potassium per tomato, romas can also help lower blood pressure and water retention.

Trace Minerals in Roma Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes also contain small amounts of iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium.

Roma Tomatoes

Antioxidants & Beneficial Compounds in Roma Tomatoes

In addition to standard vitamins and minerals, Roma tomato provides disease-fighting antioxidants:

Lycopene

Their rich red colour indicates abundant lycopene levels. This antioxidant can also decrease inflammation, fight free radical damage, and may lower the risk of heart disease and prostate cancer.

Beta-Carotene

Roma tomatoes supply beta-carotene, which forms vitamin A. It also supports immune function plus skin and eye health.

Chlorogenic Acid

These tomatoes also contain the polyphenol antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which may promote lower blood pressure.

Let’s explore the emerging research on the many health benefits of these protective compounds found in Roma tomatoes.

Health Benefits of Roma Tomatoes

With Roma tomato’s robust nutrition and antioxidant profile, eating Roma tomato regularly may provide the following health perks:

1. Improve Heart Health

Lycopene from Roma tomato reduces LDL cholesterol oxidation and also inflammation, potentially lowering heart disease risk. Their potassium and folate content supports healthy blood pressure and also homocysteine levels.

In one study, women who ate the most tomatoes had a nearly 30% reduction in cardiovascular disease risk compared to women who ate few tomatoes.

2. Reduce Cancer Risk

Diets rich in tomatoes may help guard against certain cancers. The lycopene in Roma tomato defends cell membranes from free radical damage.

In lab studies, tomato antioxidants slowed the growth of or destroyed cancer cells including lung, prostate, breast, endometrial and also pancreatic cancers.

3. Support Immune Function

The vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants in Roma tomatoes can boost your immune system and help fight infection. These nutrients increase the production of white blood cells while decreasing inflammation.

In particular, vitamin C protects immune cells and helps these cells function more effectively to respond to pathogens.

4. Benefit Eye Health

Via vitamins A and C, Roma tomato helps maintain healthy mucus membranes and prevent macular degeneration. The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin also filter blue light and UV damage.

Consuming Roma tomatoes and tomato products may substantially lower the risk for advanced age-related macular degeneration.

5. Aid Digestion & Gut Health

The fibre and water in the Roma tomato support regular bowel movements and hydration. Their nutrients also feed beneficial gut bacteria tied to immune and metabolic health.

Additionally, tomatoes contain carotenoids that may improve communication between brain and gut connections.

6. Provide Electrolytes

Roma tomatoes offer a modest amount of key electrolytes potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Electrolytes are lost through sweat – making tomatoes a good snack for athletes.

The natural sugars and salts in tomatoes can help replenish electrolytes and glucose levels.

7. Reduce Inflammation

Chronic inflammation drives most non-communicable diseases. The vitamins A, C, and E in Roma tomato minimize systemic inflammation and oxidative stress on a cellular level.

In those with inflammation-related conditions like diabetes and obesity, eating Roma tomato helped decrease inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein.

In summary, consuming Roma tomato may promote heart health, reduce cancer risk, support immunity, benefit eyesight, improve digestion, replenish electrolytes, and reduce whole-body inflammation.

Health Benefits of Roma Tomatoes

How to Eat Roma Tomatoes

Beyond the multitude of health perks, Roma tomato simply tastes delicious! Their meaty texture and tomato sweetness make them versatile to enjoy raw or cooked.

1. Fresh Snacking

Roma tomato pairs perfectly fresh with mozzarella cheese, basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. The contrast of their sweetness and acidity makes a perfect caprese salad.

You can also slice romas to liven up sandwiches, burgers, flatbreads, and grain bowls. Or simply snack on them raw with a sprinkle of salt!

2. Sauces & Stews

Because they have less moisture and seeds compared to other tomatoes, Roma tomatoes excel when cooked down into rich tomato sauce for pasta, pizza, and lasagne.

Their thick pulp also creates delicious texture in stews, chilis, and oven-roasted ratatouille.

3. Roasting

Roasting Roma tomatoes coaxes out their natural sweetness and umami flavour even further. After roasting, they make amazing tacos, bruschetta toppings, scrambled eggs, or even ketchup!

4. Juicing & Blending

The pulp and seeds make Roma tomato a bit tricky for juicing. However, you can blend their cooked flesh into gazpachos, smoothies, and tomato juice.

No matter how you slice them, Roma tomatoes bring nourishing benefits and a scrumptious taste to everyday meals.

Are Roma tomatoes genetically modified?

No, Roma or plum tomatoes are always non-GMO. Seed companies have cultivated this heirloom variety over generations through selective breeding rather than genetic engineering.

Do you have to refrigerate Roma tomatoes?

You can store fresh Roma tomatoes at room temperature out of direct sunlight for several days. Placing them stem-side down delays spoiling. For longer storage up to 2 weeks, refrigerate them unwashed in the crisper drawer.

What is the shelf life of Roma tomatoes?

The shelf life depends largely on ripeness level and storage method. In general, fresh Roma tomatoes last 5-7 days at room temperature and up to 14 days chilled in the refrigerator.

Conclusion

Loaded with beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, Roma tomatoes offer an array of nutrients together with a delicious taste. Consuming Roma tomato regularly promotes heart health, may lower cancer risk, benefits immunity and eyesight, and fights inflammation.

Roma tomatoes bring their dynamic flavour and texture to fresh salads, cooked sauces and stews, roasted dishes, and blended drinks. Alongside their culinary versatility, the nutrition and health perks make Roma tomato a standout ingredient and snack to enjoy often.

So next time you shop for tomatoes, add a pack of ripe roma to your cart!