The benefits of tomatoes have a lot on your body. Because tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Here we are going to discuss the benefits of tomatoes and their side effects.
Health Benefits of Tomato
May Reduce Risk of Prostate Cancer
Lycopene is an antioxidant in tomatoes that have been associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Lycopene acts on various biochemical pathways that help prevent cancer cells from developing and spreading. Lycopene is higher in processed tomato foods (such as ketchup or canned tomatoes) because the processing involves removing water and leaving a more concentrated tomato product.
Supports Heart Health
The lycopene in tomatoes works synergistically with other antioxidant vitamins (like vitamins A, E, and C) to provide compounding benefits for heart health. Some studies demonstrate a relationship between the lycopene in tomatoes and an oxidized LDL and arterial plaque reduction. Tomatoes also contain potassium, which is well-known to reduce blood pressure.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, and more specifically, lutein and zeaxanthin. These two forms of vitamin A accumulate in the retina and prevent age-related macular degeneration. Consuming tomatoes as a part of dishes that include some fat (such as in a salad with olive oil) improves absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins, which are crucial for good eyesight.
Protects Against Sun Damage
The phytonutrients in tomatoes are protective against some of the effects of UVB damage. Although tomatoes alone aren’t enough to prevent skin cancer, including tomatoes in your meal plan, may improve your body’s resilience to the dangers of certain types of sun rays.
May Reduce Risk of Diabetes Complications
Tomatoes have been associated with antihyperglycemic effects in rodents but not in humans. Nonetheless, tomatoes are still beneficial for people with diabetes. Tomatoes have been shown to reduce the oxidative stress that’s caused by diabetes. They also reduce inflammation, accelerated atherosclerosis, and tissue damage, all common complications of the disease.
Boost digestive health
The fluid and fiber in tomatoes may be helpful if you’re prone to constipation. (According to the USDA one large tomato contains 6 ounces of fluid, and 1.5 grams of fiber.) Just be aware that in some people, the acidity from cooked tomatoes may trigger or worsen acid reflux and indigestion.
Help with diabetes management
Tomatoes may be a protective food for people with type 2 diabetes: In one study, people with diabetes who supplemented with cooked tomatoes for 30 days experienced a decrease in lipid peroxidation, a chain reaction in which substances called free radicals attack fat, leading to damage that ups the risk of heart disease. This is particularly important because diabetes doubles the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Guard skin health
A 2011 study found that the combination of tomato paste and olive oil protected against sun damage, and boosted the production of pro-collagen, a molecule that gives the skin its structure and keeps it firm and youthful. Scientists believe that the lycopene in tomatoes is key. It’s at its highest concentration when tomatoes have been cooked, and olive oil boosts its absorption from your digestive system into your bloodstream.
Protect against cancer
Observational studies have found links between the superstar compound lycopene and fewer incidences of prostate, ovarian, lung, and stomach cancers.
100-gram Raw Tomato Nutrition
- Calories: 18
- Water: 95%
- Protein: 0.9 grams
- Carbs: 3.9 grams
- Sugar: 2.6 grams
- Fiber: 1.2 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
Carbs comprise 4% of raw tomatoes, which amounts to fewer than 5 grams of carbs for a medium specimen (123 grams). Simple sugars, such as glucose and fructose, make up almost 70% of the carb content.
Tomatoes are a good source of fiber, providing about 1.5 grams per average-sized tomato. Most of the fibers (87%) in tomatoes are insoluble, in the form of hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin.
Vitamins and minerals
Tomatoes are a good source of several vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin C: This vitamin is an essential nutrient and antioxidant. One medium-sized tomato can provide about 28% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI).
Potassium: An essential mineral, potassium is beneficial for blood pressure control and heart disease prevention.
Vitamin K1: Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K is important for blood clotting and bone health.
Folate (vitamin B9): One of the B vitamins, folate is important for normal tissue growth and cell function. It’s particularly important for pregnant women.
Tomato Side Effects
Tomatoes are acidic, and they might cause heartburn. Tomatoes are packed with malic and citric acids and can make the stomach produce excessive gastric acid (which is responsible for food breakdown). When the volume of the acid increases, it is forced to flow up the esophagus, causing the symptoms. In fact, even cooking tomatoes may not be of much help.
Tomatoes and tomato sauce are also listed as a couple of foods that may trigger reflux. Tomatoes may also worsen the symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, it is best to avoid acidic foods like tomatoes to avoid acid reflux symptoms.
Allergies And Infections
Symptoms of a tomato allergy most often occur immediately after the fruit is consumed. These include hives, skin rashes, eczema, coughing, sneezing, itching sensation in the throat, and swelling of the face, mouth, and tongue. According to a Polish study, tomatoes contain a compound called histamine that may cause certain allergic reactions.
Tomatoes can also cause allergic contact dermatitis – where your skin becomes severely itchy and swollen after touching the fruit. Tomatoes can also lead to itchy lips. Another possible allergic reaction to do with tomatoes is a red patch around the eyebrows and eyelids.
According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, individuals with advanced chronic kidney disease must limit their intake of potassium, minerals tomatoes are rich in. People with severe kidney issues may also be required to limit their intake of tomatoes as they contain a lot of water.
High potassium levels in the blood, which is one of the causes of kidney disease, could be dealt with by avoiding tomatoes or tomato sauce, or anything made of tomatoes. Tomato sauce is also high in oxalate, which is another reason susceptible individuals must steer clear of it.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Tomatoes, given their irritating skins and seeds, maybe one reason for irritable bowel syndrome. And if you already have IBS, tomatoes can also trigger bloating. Tomatoes are also one of the most common food allergens that may cause intestinal problems.
Diarrhea can occur in individuals suffering from tomato intolerance. As per a report published by Longwood University, tomatoes are greasy and acidic and must be avoided during diarrhea. And according to another report by the University of Minnesota, tomatoes could be a source of an organism called salmonella that causes diarrhea.
Ensure you choose lower sodium versions of tomato sauce as most sauces have a high sodium content. Even tomato soup can have too much sodium. Just one cup of soup can contain anywhere between 700 to 1,260 mg of sodium. Canned tomatoes can contain 220 mg of sodium for every half cup.
We know tomatoes are excellent sources of lycopene. This can also be a bane. Excessive intake of lycopene can cause lycopenodermia, which is the deep-orange coloration of the skin. This may not be a health threat but is surely not very attractive to look at. Lycopenodermia can also occur with excessive consumption of lycopene supplements. But worry not – the condition is reversible.
Acidic foods like tomatoes may irritate the bladder and result in urinary incontinence. Tomatoes may also cause bladder symptoms, and in certain cases, cystitis (burning sensation in the bladder).
People allergic to tomatoes may have difficulty in breathing. We can also accuse tomatoes of being conducive to mold development – and molds, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, can cause allergies and respiratory problems.
Acute Gastrointestinal Upset
Since tomatoes are highly acidic, they may cause acute stomach upset if you are already suffering from acid reflux or heartburn. Tomatoes can also make the stomach produce more acid, which may cause acute gastrointestinal upset.
These side effects simply tell us that we must be careful and not consume tomatoes in excess. But that’s not all – there is another set of people that, in this aspect, must practice caution more than anybody else.
What happens if you eat tomatoes everyday?
Consumption of tomatoes will provide anti-inflammatory properties and thus, can be really beneficial for overall heart and brain health. Tomato is a good source of potassium and is linked with lowering the elevated blood pressure in the body. Thus, preventing cardiovascular diseases.
What are the benefits of eating tomatoes?
Tomatoes are loaded with a substance called lycopene. It gives them their bright red color and helps protect them from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. In much the same way, it can help protect your cells from damage. Tomatoes also have potassium, vitamins B and E, and other nutrients.
Is eating tomatoes good for skin?
Tomatoes are full of antioxidants including vitamin C; therefore, eating tomatoes may help reduce the amount of cell-damaging free-radicals in the body and will give you a youthful skin. Tomatoes fight cellular damage, further retaining the moisture, thereby, preventing fine lines and wrinkles.
Is it good to eat raw tomatoes at night?
Some foods are a bad idea to eat before bed — and not because of the calories. Certain foods can cause sleepless nights and digestive issues. Even healthy foods like tomatoes and watermelons should be avoided before sleeping.
Does eating tomato whiten skin?
Also, tomatoes have higher antioxidants , this helps reduce fine lines on the skin. Also, eating tomato sauce and tomato juice can help clear up acne. Another fruit apart from the strawberry that is extremely high in antioxidants are oranges. These help brighten the skin.