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What Are the Benefits of Green Tomatoes?

by
author image Sara Ipatenco
Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.
What Are the Benefits of Green Tomatoes?
green tomatoes on a vine Photo Credit Dewitt/iStock/Getty Images

Fried green tomatoes is a traditional Southern dish that uses not-quite-ripe tomatoes to create a flavorful side dish. While not as nutritious as vine-ripened red tomatoes, green tomatoes do have many nutritional benefits. Adding sauteed green tomatoes to a green salad or as a side to grilled meat may help you consume more essential vitamins and minerals. Never eat raw green tomatoes because they have a toxin that can be poisonous, Dianne Onstad cautions in her book "Whole Foods Companion."

Vitamin C

What Are the Benefits of Green Tomatoes?
green and red tomatoes on a vine Photo Credit chomplearn/iStock/Getty Images

Ripe, red tomatoes pack a vitamin C punch, and green tomatoes have similar amounts of vitamin C even though they have not fully ripened yet. One cup of green tomatoes supplies as much as 42 milligrams of this important vitamin. Consuming plenty of vitamin C may help you strengthen your immune system so your body is able to fight off colds, flu and other illnesses more easily. Vitamin C is also crucial for the health of your teeth, gums, bones and skin. Adding cooked green tomatoes to your diet is one way to increase your intake vitamin C.

Fiber

What Are the Benefits of Green Tomatoes?
bowl of chopped green tomatoes Photo Credit matka_Wariatka/iStock/Getty Images

Green tomatoes are a healthy source of fiber, which your intestinal and digestive systems rely on for good health. One cup of green tomatoes supplies about 2 grams of dietary fiber. Fiber is present in most fruits, vegetables and whole grains, so increasing your intake of these foods, including cooked green tomatoes, can help you get enough in your diet. The Harvard School of Public Health reports that a diet that includes plenty of fiber may help you reduce your risk of several life-threatening conditions, including heart disease, colon cancer and Type 2 diabetes. Fiber also keeps your digestive system working well so you are less likely to experience constipation.

Beta-Carotene

What Are the Benefits of Green Tomatoes?
green tomatoes on vine Photo Credit Barbara Freiberga/iStock/Getty Images

The concentration of beta-carotene in green tomatoes is similar to that of red tomatoes. Beta-carotene is present in many fruits and vegetables and helps your body produce vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential because it helps protect the health of your eyes. Vitamin A also helps you produce healthy white blood cells and encourages proper cell division. A 1-cup serving of green tomatoes provides you with 623 micrograms of beta-carotene.

Other Nutrients

What Are the Benefits of Green Tomatoes?
vine of green tomatoes Photo Credit HowardPonneso/iStock/Getty Images

A 1-cup serving of green tomatoes provides you with several additional nutrients as well, including 23 milligrams of calcium and 367 milligrams of potassium. Green tomatoes also contain protein, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K.

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