A cucumber and a tomato are available year-round and are in season in the summer. They combine to create a simple Mediterranean salad with olive oil, or a garden salad with leafy green lettuce. The varieties of cucumbers are diverse, but most have a similar flavor. The seedless type is the most significant difference among them. A tomato can range in size from a small cherry to a large beefsteak tomato, and the colors range from yellow to red to purple. The nutritional content of a tomato and cucumber includes healthful nutrients that reinforce the USDA's emphasis on consuming fruits and vegetables each day as a component of a balanced diet.
Tomato Calories and Macronutrients
A medium-sized tomato 2.5 inches in diameter provides 22 calories, or nearly 1 percent of a standard 2,000-calorie diet. It also contains 1 g of protein, which helps regulate the digestion of the 4.8 g of carbohydrates it provides. Carbohydrates sometimes enter the bloodstream quickly, which causes a sugar rush and crash that is harmful to metabolism. The 1.5 g of fiber in a tomato fills your stomach and satiates your appetite, preventing cravings for unhealthy foods that add calories to your diet.
Tomato Potassium, Vitamins and Water
Tomatoes have 292 mg of potassium or 8 percent of the 3,500 mg American Dietetic Association daily value. Potassium balances the fluid in your body. A fluid excess may increase your blood pressure, a factor in cardiovascular disease. The 17 mg of vitamin C in a tomato is the equivalent of more than 25 percent of the 60 mg ADA daily value. Vitamin C will help your skin heal and repair itself, and it slows aging, which also supports skin quality. The color of a tomato is a clue that it contains beta carotene, a form of vitamin A. Your body requires 5,000 IU of vitamin A each day. The tomato has 20 percent of that value, or 1025 IU. A tomato also provides your body with hydration. Its composition consists of an average of 94 percent water.
Cucumber Calories and Macronutrients
A medium cucumber also provides fewer than 1 percent of the calories in a typical diet. The 1.2 g of protein is not significant compared with a primary protein source, such as meat that typically provides about 20 g, but it does help sustain energy. The cucumber carbohydrate and fiber content is 4.3 g and 1.4 g, respectively. Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy and fiber improves digestive health by providing the substance in stool that stimulates frequent, healthy waste elimination.
Cucumber Potassium and Water
A cucumber also provides 273 mg of potassium, which is 8 percent of the 3,500 mg ADA daily requirement. Potassium regulates the electric impulse in your heart, preventing arrhythmias that interrupt normal cardiovascular health and cause anxiety. The cucumber's composition is primarily water. Each cucumber is approximately 97 percent water.
- USDA: Nutrient Data Laboratory: Tomatoes, Red, Ripe, Raw, Year Round Average; Cucumber, Peeled, Raw
- "The New Food Lover's Companion"; Sharon Tyler Herbst, et al.; 2007