How often can tomatoes be eaten? Here’s the whole truth

Eating tomatoes is an all-Italian custom: vegetables are among the most loved and most consumed in summer. Why do we love them? Because tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, a natural antioxidant that promotes cell and skin renewal. A diet rich in lycopene is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer and may also help protect against other types of cancer and heart disease.

However, most research on tomatoes has focused on eating raw tomatoes rather than cooked ones. Or at least that’s what you might think once you read the headlines about this nutrient-rich red vegetable. In fact, recent research clearly shows that cooking tomatoes break down their cell walls and make nutrients more bioavailable.

In fact, this process makes cooked tomatoes healthier than raw ones. But what does this mean for our diet? Should we be eating more raw tomatoes and fewer cooked tomatoes? But above all, how many tomatoes can we eat a day? We try to answer all questions.

Eat tomatoes, does that mean?

One large tomato contains about 10 grams of lycopene. Depending on the quality and ripeness of the tomatoes, 10% of the vitamin C is also added. If eaten raw, tomatoes provide about 9% of the daily requirement of vitamin A and 10% of the daily requirement of folic acid.

Tomatoes also provide about 10% of the daily requirement for vitamin K, as well as some B vitamins and potassium. When eaten cooked, tomatoes provide about 20% of the RDI of vitamin A, and about 10% of the RDI of vitamin C, some B vitamins and potassium. It also provides a small amount of iron, magnesium and copper.

The antioxidant lycopene has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer and slow its progression. And the other carotenoids, vitamin E and selenium do the same. However, research has found that the bioavailability of lycopene is much lower when eating raw tomatoes compared to cooked tomatoes. Unless you add a little oil. If we cook it after that, the contribution will increase.

The antioxidant activity of tomatoes has also been studied for other types of cancer. Research has found that eating tomatoes at least twice a week is associated with a reduced risk of breast and colorectal cancer. It also reduces the risk of heart disease. In this sense, they prefer the proportion of salt and potassium that lowers blood pressure in the right balance.

contraindications

Tomatoes also contain solanine, a substance that becomes toxic once it enters our bodies. So we can not eat tomatoes in large quantities. We can have one small tomato per day or three large tomatoes per week. If you do not suffer from any diseases, you can also eat 3 small tomatoes per day but only for a limited time.

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