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Bright red and juicy tomatoes can up the taste of any culinary dish. While many think of tomatoes to be a vegetable, botanically, they are a tangy fruit with seeds. That justifies my habit of eating them raw with a sprinkle of rock salt. However, lately, I came across a study that suggests some surprising side effects of tomatoes. It immediately made me sing the blues of why everything I love is either harmful, toxic, or taken!
Well, the benefits of tomatoes should outweigh their harmful effects. Nonetheless, the popular saying, ‘excess of anything is harmful’ comes to mind. And unfortunately, it is true when it comes to gorging on tomatoes in bulk.
To explain the same in detail, Healthshots spoke to Avni Kaul, a nutritionist and wellness coach. She listed some of the adverse effects of tomatoes on health.
This may come as a surprise, but some compounds in tomatoes are tough to break down by our digestive juices. They are rich in calcium and oxalate which are often undigested and not expelled out of the body. These minerals get deposited and lead to the formation of kidney stones.
The sour taste of tomatoes prompts the acidic nature of them. So, eating them in big quantities can cause heartburn and acid reflux. “If you often suffer from acidity or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), you need to watch out for the dosage of tomatoes.” says Kaul, who is the founder of Nutri Activania.
An alkaloid constituent of tomatoes called solanine is the culprit for pain and swelling in the joints. This may cause a buildup of calcium in tissues and inflaming the joints. If you have an existing joint problem, you need to go easy on eating tomatoes.
While dietitians and nutritionists alike hail the skin benefits of tomatoes, eating them too much may be adverse for your skin. Over consumption of tomatoes may lead to Lycopenodermia, a condition caused by excess lycopene in the blood. This may result in giving a washed-out and dull appearance to your skin. Mind you, Lycopene is a good antioxidant present in tomatoes but it’s quantity should be limited to 75 mg per day.
A compound called histamine in tomatoes is responsible for allergic reactions from tomatoes. The symptoms of allergy like skin rashes, coughing, sneezing, and itching in the throat may be visible right after consuming it. Therefore, it is a given that one should keep a safe distance from tomatoes if they are allergic to it.
After reading this, don’t cancel your plan of cooking that delish tomato pasta! It is absolutely fine to reap the antioxidant benefits from the tomatoes by cooking with them. Or even using them topically to remove sun tan is great. However, keep one or two back in the refrigerator if you’re overdoing them.