Signor Pomodoro: benefits and side effects of tomato
Tomato is a berry (that’s right, it’s not a mistake) of the nightshade family and is popular in many cuisines. You can’t make Ukranian borshch, stews, gravies, pickles (from Hungarian lecso to ketchup and adjika sauce) without tomatoes.
Why tomatoes are so popular? Of course, it’s because they taste good but they are also beneficial for our health.
Nutrition facts about tomatoes
Regardless of the type and color (today you can grow or buy not only traditional red tomatoes but also yellow, orange, purple, pink and even tiger tomatoes), all tomatoes contain:
- vegetable fiber;
- glucose and fructose;
- vitamins A, C, E, K and B;
- starch and protein nitrogen;
- lycopene and xanthophyll;
- calcium, sodium, phosphorus, iron, iodine, chlorine, magnesium, silicon, sulfur and other elements from the periodic table of elements;
- hormones of happiness such as serotonin and thiamine.
While tomatoes are rich in different elements, they contain few calories and for this reason, tomatoes are included in many diets. The numbers speak for themselves – 100 g of tomatoes contain only 23 calories.
What are the benefits of tomatoes?
Tomatoes are among favorite fat-fighting foods but they also have a lot of other benefits.
- Vitamin C and hormones of happiness make tomatoes natural antidepressants. They help to control mental health, boost your mood and give energy by regulating the functions of the central nervous system.
- Lycopene is a natural antioxidant and it helps to relieve many conditions, prevent asthenia, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
- A balanced complex of microelements from iron to iodine has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, controlling blood pressure, reducing the level of “bad” cholesterol and thinning the blood.
- Phytoncides provide antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
- More than 90% of tomatoes is water which means that tomatoes can be used as diuretics to regulate the functions of kidneys.
- High concentration of Vitamin B makes tomatoes an essential ingredient for people who prone to skin conditions.
- A complex of acids helps to relieve the symptoms of gastritis with low acidity.
It is recommended to regularly include tomatoes to a diet to improve the functions of reproductive glands in men and women, prevent anemia and reduce the appearance of varicose veins.
The more often you eat tomatoes, the better. It’s not about quantity but about frequency.
A useful tip: nutrition specialists recommend 20 average tomatoes a week or 3 tomatoes every day for a healthy person.
It is also important how you prefer to eat tomatoes. Ironically though, cooking tomatoes increases useful nutrients, especially lycopene. So, boil tomatoes or just drop them into the boiling water before eating. While all tomatoes are good, traditional red tomatoes are the most useful
One drop of poison …
As with any other foods, tomatoes may have side effects. They are not many but we must tell you about them, nevertheless.
- If you were diagnosed with arthritis, gout, kidney disorders, you will want to avoid eating tomatoes. Oxalic acid negatively affects water-salt metabolism and can cause certain health problems and acute exacerbation of a chronic disease.
- People who have allergy should be cautious with tomatoes as tomatoes may trigger allergic reaction.
- Exacerbation of pain may occur in patients with bladder stones due to many acids in tomatoes. Tomatoes contain oxalic acid, citric acid, amber acid, tartaric acid, and apple acid.
- Tomatoes have a laxative effect and in some situations, it can work against you.
- Those who love pickles – from tomato juice to pickled tomatoes – should be aware of the risk of forming stones in bladder and kidneys.
- Pickled tomatoes should be avoided by people with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.
As with other foods, eat tomatoes in moderation and avoid them in case you suffer certain diseases.