Can you eat tomatoes?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query,  “Can you eat tomatoes?”. We will also talk about the nutritional value of tomatoes and the benefits of adding tomatoes to the diet.

Can you eat tomatoes?

Yes, you can eat tomatoes as they not only make the dishes more tasty and delicious but also are a rich source of minerals and nutrients along with antioxidants that are vital for wellbeing. 

Tomatoes can be eaten raw by themselves, as a part of a salad, or can be cooked by adding to soups, curries, stews, bolognese, or lasagna, and also can be consumed as a juice.

Tomatoes are a fruit according to science but are generally used and prepared as a vegetable. The tomatoes are red when they mature which is due to the degradation of chlorophyll and synthesis of lycopene.

Lycopene is an antioxidant that is abundant in tomatoes which are known to have a lot of health benefits including reducing the risk of heart diseases and cancer.

What is the nutritional value of tomatoes?

Tomatoes contain 95% water and the remaining 5% of carbohydrates and fiber. Tomatoes also contain Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Folate, potassium, and antioxidants such as lycopene, chlorogenic acid, beta-carotene, and naringenin which are all essential for the proper functioning of the human body.

A 100 grams of tomato contains the following nutrients.

  • Calories: 18
  • Water: 95%
  • Protein: 0.9 grams
  • Carbs: 3.9 grams
  • Sugar: 2.6 grams
  • Fiber: 1.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams

Potassium is abundant in tomatoes which is vital as it helps control blood pressure and helps prevent heart diseases. Vitamin K1 also known as phylloquinone is also present in tomatoes which is beneficial for bone health and blood clotting. Folate or Vitamin B6 is also an important nutrient that helps in cells and tissue growth.

Even though there is no Vitamin A present in tomatoes, it contains beta-carotene which is converted into Vitamin A in the body and supplements any lack of the vitamin.

What are the benefits of adding tomatoes to the diet? 

All the beneficial nutrients and minerals present in tomatoes make up for a healthy addition to the diet.

Boosts immune system 

The main antioxidant that is present in the tomatoes is lycopene which is responsible for many health benefits the tomatoes have to offer. Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps combat free radicals that cause havoc damaging the cells which can affect the immune system. 

Healthy heart 

The high levels of beta-carotene and lycopene present in tomatoes help reduce the risks of heart attacks and strokes as they help lower the LDL or the bad cholesterol in the system. These also help in protecting from blood clotting in the arteries and veins.

Prevents cancer 

The antioxidants such as lycopene, beta-carotene, and carotenoids have their roles in preventing the growth of cancerous cells and also protecting the cells from damage. Adding tomatoes to the diet can help prevent different cancers like prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and stomach cancers.

Good vision 

Lutein and zeaxanthin are the substances that are present in tomatoes that are said to protect the eye from the impact of blue light emitted by computers or television screens.

Oral hygiene 

Lycopene, an antioxidant prominent in tomatoes, is known to help protect from gingivitis and periodontitis by combatting the free radicals that can damage the cells.

What are the side effects of eating tomatoes?

Tomatoes have a lot of good benefits but there are some negatives to eating tomatoes in excess. Some people can experience certain symptoms if they are suffering from a certain illness.

Acid reflux 

Tomatoes are acidic in nature and can cause heartburn leading to acid reflux by making the stomach produce an excessive amount of gastric acid which flows upwards into the esophagus resulting in heartburn.

Allergic reactions 

Some people can be allergic to tomatoes and tomato products and will experience allergic effects such as hives, rashes, fever, coughing, sneezing, itching, and eczema in the face, mouth, and tongue. If you seem to experience any of the symptoms, immediately stop consumption.

Teeth decay 

As tomatoes are acidic, eating an excessive amount of tomatoes can deteriorate the enamel of the teeth and cause decay. It is advised not to brush the teeth immediately as it can make it worse as the teeth can be brittle due to acidic reactions. It is safe to wait for 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can you eat tomatoes?”. We also talked about the nutritional value of tomatoes and the benefits of adding tomatoes to the diet.

I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.

References  

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/tomatoes#plant-compounds

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/ss/slideshow-tomato-health-benefits

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