Tomatoes may be a small part of our diet, but they contribute heavily to our health.
While these red fruits are tasty and juicy, why am I craving tomatoes so much?
Does craving tomatoes put you at risk? Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Thus, you can go for it. But you cannot rely on it for filling.
It is my goal to explain all the facts about tomatoes and tomato products in this article.
Table of Content
Craving Tomatoes: What Does It Mean
The desire for a particular food or kind of food is an indication of food cravings, which are common conditions. Craving tomatoes and related products are one of the common food cravings nowadays.
The tomato is one of the most popular fruits on earth. Tomatoes are notable for their nutritive properties and delightful taste.
Red tomatoes are fruits or berries of Solanum Lycopersicum. It is native to Mexico and spread throughout the world by Spanish colonizers.
Nowadays, you can enjoy tomatoes in many ways – raw, baked, cooked, or even as a beverage.
Although, it is used widely in cooking throughout the world. But many people go far in their consumption. They yearn for it badly and want tomato sauce or ketchup on everything, even on ice cream.
It is known as tomatophagia when one has an insatiable lust for tomato products. It happens due to iron deficiency or anemia.
Despite this, you can cure this disorder and overcome your unhealthy desires. The key to this is to maintain a balanced diet and to maintain your physical health.
Why Am I Craving Tomatoes?
Craving tomatoes may be due to many factors. Probably tomatoes taste good on your tongue, or your brain relishes them.
Aside from the delicious taste and appetizing aroma, your nutritional content contributes to hanker tomatoes. For instance, you tend to consume tomatoes and related products when deficient in the following nutrients.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Folic acid
Indeed, nutritional deficiencies caused by eating a restricted diet or skipping meals may lead to cravings for tomatoes. This problem is caused by a lack of enough healthy red blood cells.
Moreover, tomatophagia, particularly in pregnant women, is sometimes a sign of hormonal imbalance or nutritional deficiency.
Tomato-induced exhaustion can also be caused by anemia, though raw tomatoes contain very little iron. People who crave tomatoes because of iron deficiency experience the following symptoms:
- Pale skin
However, whatever the reason is, eating tomatoes is good for your health.
Craving Tomatoes Is A Sign Of Nutritional Deficiency
Do you want tomatoes so badly? The reason goes beyond a simple craving. If you’re having this problem, it could indicate an insufficient supply of vitamins and minerals.
If you crave tomatoes, you might be deficient in the following vitamins and minerals:
Tomatophagia is a rare eating disorder caused by low iron levels. People with anemia are more likely to suffer from this condition.
People with tomatophagia who have anemia should additionally undergo hemoglobin testing to determine the blood’s level of red blood cells. Although there is no link between anemia and iron deficiency, blood tests can help to determine the degree of anemia.
A diet high in iron content would therefore be recommended. As an example, consider the following diet:
Potassium deficiency is another cause of hankering for tomatoes. Potassium is an important element that plays its role in the following ways:
- Keeping muscles healthy
- Regulates fluids in the body
In order to curb a sudden craving for tomatoes, boost your potassium intake with the following food:
Vitamin C Deficiency
Tomatoes contain high levels of vitamin C. A medium-sized tomato contains about 14 milligrams of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is essential for maintaining healthy gums, teeth and supporting a healthy immune system and skin. Aside from that, vitamin C is an antioxidant. It helps reduce the risk of certain cancers by scavenging free radicals from the body.
So, if you lack vitamin C, your body starts craving tomato or vitamin C-rich foods. Aside from tomatoes, these foods provide vitamins C:
- Citrus fruit
- Bell pepper
- Brussels sprouts
Vitamin A Deficiency
In spite of potassium and vitamin C, you’re more likely to crave tomatoes if you’re deficient in vitamin A.
Vitamin A is an important nutrient that helps you in the following ways:
- Slow down the aging process
- Improve vision and eye health.
- Stimulate cell growth
Aside from that, vitamin A can help prevent serious health problems from cancer to AIDS. Vitamin A comes naturally in the form of:
Vitamin E Deficiency
Like other vitamins and minerals, vitamin E deficiency can also make you crave sweets and salty things. Mainly, ketchup and sauces are the frequently desired things with vitamin E deficiency.
Vitamin E is an important component of skincare products. It is because of its skin glowing and hydrating effect on a cellular level.
Vitamin E doesn’t just keep the skin young; it also prevents most heart diseases and lowers the bad cholesterol in the blood!
Dietary sources of vitamin E include the following:
What Vitamins And Minerals Are Tomatoes High In?
Unlike other fruits, tomatoes are more nutritious; they are full of vitamins, phytochemicals, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients support cell growth and function. Aside from that, these nutrients can also eliminate a variety of pathogens and free radicals from the body.
Tomatoes contain a multitude of nutrients, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Folic acid
The tomato is also rich in other carbohydrates, protein, fiber, fat, and minor carotene (phytoene, gemma carotenes, etc.).
An overview of the nutritional profile of medium-sized red plump tomatoes (123g) is presented below:
|Total Fat||0.3 g|
Benefits Of Eating Tomatoes
In case you are craving tomatoes or tomatoes-related products, you can have them! It is a healthy food due to its antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals.
Tomatoes have several health benefits, among which are:
- The lycopene and adiponectin in tomatoes kill cancerous cells.
- Also, components in tomatoes inhibit cancer cell proliferation.
- Moreover, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C all lower blood pressure naturally.
- Furthermore, tomatoes are low in calories, which help you lose weight and burn fat.
- Among tomatoes’ antioxidants are compounds that reduce inflammation and fight cellular damage. It also improves the texture of the skin and makes it healthier.
- During pregnancy, tomatoes are good for the health of the mother and the baby.
- Apart from these, it is rich in carotene, folate, and antioxidants, and it is low in calories, which is good for heart health.
- Additionally, tomatoes reduce homocysteine levels and platelet growth.
- Tomatoes can be a great addition to smokers’ menus.
- In addition, lutein, phytochemicals, and vitamin A make tomatoes useful for your eyes.
- Also, tomatoes contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for brain health.
- For the health of the stomach, tomatoes provide a unique combination of nutrients such as fiber, antioxidants, chloride, and lycopene.
- Tomato lycopene and other compounds give patients with diabetes a protective effect against oxidative stress. It reduces diabetes symptoms as well.
- Besides, tomato juice may help prevent urinary stones.
- Tomatoes can prevent kidney stones as well as gallstones.
- Apart from that, tomatoes contain vitamins that help to strengthen bones.
- Above all, a tomato-rich diet enhances immunity.
- As well, the anti-inflammatory properties of tomatoes make them a good choice for cooking.
- In males, tomatoes increase fertility.
- Also, Ischemic stroke risk can be reduced by tomatoes’ lycopene.
- Moreover, DNA-damaging agents are neutralized by tomatoes’ lycopene.
- The antioxidant lycopene found in tomatoes may also help to prevent fatty liver disease.
Is It OK To Eat A Lot Of Tomatoes?
The health benefits of eating tomatoes cannot be overstated. It is rich in nutrients, and your body will receive all the vital nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Vitamin C and antioxidants protect your body on the inside from harmful toxins, free radicals, and other health hazards.
It is best not to give in to your cravings too much! Taking it in moderation is wise. Although, there is no recommended daily intake of tomatoes. You should not rely on red plump fruits or ketchup alone, but include a variety of other foods with them!
Indeed, high consumption of tomatoes or tomatoes-related products may be unsafe. It is also risky to rely only on tomatoes since they can poison the body.
What Are The Side Effects Of Eating Tomatoes?
While tomatoes have plenty of health benefits, excess ingestion may lead to adverse reactions. Tomato alkaloids and other chemical compounds may interfere with your normal health and cause abnormal body functions.
These are a few of the disadvantages of eating tomatoes:
- Swelling and pain in the joints
- Acid reflux
- The high sodium level in the body.
- Kidney problems
- Urinary incontinence
- Difficulty breathing
The overuse of tomatoes can also cause poisoning. Here are some signs that you have been poisoned because of tomatophagia.
- Excess saliva in the mouth
- Throat and mouth irritation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mild spasms
- Death (in severe cases)
Craving Tomatoes During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, odd cravings are as common as missed periods. These cravings are weird. From craving milk to craving chalk, it is totally strange. Similarly, craving tomatoes during pregnancy is strange as well as a body’s wisdom sign.
Indeed, craving tomatoes during pregnancy literally means you are deficient in certain nutrients.
Indeed, iron, potassium, and all other nutrients the mother should be able to get before the baby is born.
You can please your tomato hankering, but be careful not to overdo it.
Overeating can negatively impact your pregnancy and your infant’s development. The following are a few adverse effects of consuming too many tomatoes during pregnancy and while nursing:
- Upset stomach
Is Craving Tomatoes A Sign Of Pregnancy?
Indeed, craving tomatoes is a sign of nutritional deficiencies and hormonal change. But it will not tell you whether you are pregnant or not.
Although unusual cravings are common during pregnancy, it is not always the case. You may crave tomatoes for some other reason.
In case you’re craving tomatoes, and you’d like to know if you’re pregnant or not. Below are some indicators that you’re pregnant:
- Frequent urination
- Tender breast
- Morning sickness
- Mood swings
- Unusual cravings
- Elevated basal body temperature
How Is Tomatophagia Treated?
Tomatoes are OK to eat, but you should avoid consuming too much. So how can you keep your hands from grabbing these juicy red tomatoes?
Even though there may be no medical cause for tomato cravings, you can reduce them by using the following measures:
- Try healthy tomato-containing foods such as tomato soups, salads, omelets. Moreover, it is also nutritious on the pasta and spaghetti toppings.
- Drink more water to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated may help you to control unusual urges.
- Ensure you include all the foods and drinks you eat, including the amounts. If you do this, you might learn a great deal about your diet and cravings.
- Ensure that you eat a healthy, balanced diet. Your body will be healthy, and you won’t be deficient.
- You can get the same nutrients from foods other than tomatoes. It will also contribute to a well-rounded diet, preventing carotenemia and lycopenemia.
What Can We Replace Tomatoes With?
Here are some options that contain similar nutritional content to tomatoes or do even better for your health if you’re craving tomatoes but want to avoid them.
- Green peppers
- Red peppers
- Guava fruit
- Kiwi fruit
Why Do You Crave Tomato Juice?
Craving tomato juice or related products may be a sign of tomatophagia. It mainly occurs due to nutritional deficiencies, such as iron, potassium, vitamins, and minerals. Also, hormonal imbalance contributes to this condition.
Besides, if you are thirsty or hungry, you’re more likely to crave tomato juice.
Is Craving Tomato Soup Good During Pregnancy?
A tomato soup is fairly easy to prepare and contains many essential nutrients. Some of these nutrients are folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
During pregnancy, you should consume tomato soup from a casserole to lower hypertension. As this soup contains a plethora of nutrients, the broth is exactly what you need.
Why Should You Never Eat Tomatoes?
Tomatoes may contain a toxic alkaloid chemical called solanine that may result in toxins in the body cells. But it is present in low quantities. You can eat raw or cooked tomatoes in moderation, but not too much.
What are substitutes there for fresh tomatoes?
Although juicy red fruits are a complete package of nutrients and wonderful in taste. But, if you don’t have tomatoes in your kitchen cabinet, and you wish to have their taste and nutrients content, you can substitute for them. These are a few suggestions:
- Red Capsicum
- Canned Tomatoes
Why Am I Craving Tomatoes – Final Thoughts!
A craving is a healthy sign of the body that tells you that it needs something to function properly. You can fulfill your desires; it is not too bad for you.
Yet, if you go too far with it, you can suffer health consequences. For instance, consuming too many tomatoes-based products may result in carotenemia or lycopenemia.
So, moderation is key, and you should add a variety of foods to your diet to maintain your nutritional status.
If you consume too many tomatoes, it is essential to see your doctor to rule out an underlying medical condition.