Tomatoes are naturally high in acid, and excess consumption can cause acid reflux. Its excessive lycopene content may cause allergic reactions like itching, rashes and burning sensation in the eyes. It can interfere with regular activities of our immune system and slow it down. As a result, the body loses its ability to protect itself from several microbial diseases.
Tomato is a pulpy nutritious fruit commonly eaten as a vegetable with incredible phyto-chemical properties. Botanically, tomato belongs to Solanaceae or nightshade family of common vegetables, which also includes chili peppers, potato, eggplant, etc. Its scientific name is Solanum lycopersicum.
Tomato Nutrition Facts
The water content of tomatoes is around 95%. The other 5% consists mainly carbohydrates and fiber. The main plant compound in tomatoes is lycopene. They also contain beta-carotene, naringenin and chlorogenic acid. One medium sized tomato (123 grams) contains only 22 calories. Tomato is low in Sodium, and very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium and Manganese.
Tomato Side Effects & Safety
Consumption of tomatoes has been linked to many health benefits for your heart, skin and building resistance against infectious diseases, but they can cause dietary complications for some people. People with food intolerance to tomatoes may have difficulty digesting large quantities of tomato, some of the health complications caused by tomatoes are listed below:
Tomatoes are naturally high in acid, which can cause acid reflux. Acid reflux can occur when you eat high-acid foods, such as tomatoes, as well as fatty or spicy foods. If you regularly experience heartburn more than two times a week for several weeks — you may have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which requires medical attention (MedlinePlus: Gastroesophageal Reflux ) .
Excessive lycopene can give us allergic reactions too. Some of the symptoms of lycopene allergy include itching, rashes, hives, chest constriction, swollen lips, burning sensation in eyes, and so on (Lycopene safety- Mayo Clinic).
The major element found in fresh raw tomato is the carotenoid pigment ‘lycopene’. It is a chemical compound that is supposed to keep cancer at bay. But excessive intake of this phytochemical can interfere with the regular activities of our immune system and slow it down. As a result, our body loses its ability to protect itself from several common microbial (bacterial, fungal and viral) diseases. At the same time it also becomes incapable of repairing the existing physical damages (1).
2 to 3 cups of tomatoes are recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. While you can eat only tomatoes to meet your vegetable requirement, the USDA recommends that red and orange vegetables, such as tomatoes, make up only 4 to 6 cups of your weekly vegetable intake in order to provide variety and the required amounts of essential nutrients.