The Health Benefits of Eating Tomatoes During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is an important period in any woman’s life, and all expecting mothers pay extra attention to the food. All food products that pregnant women take should be rich in vitamins and nutrients and should be safe for the baby helping growth and development baby.
Tomatoes may be part of a pregnancy diet: it’s not only safe to eat them during pregnancy, tomatoes help the mother-to-be and the fetus to keep strong health and protect them against a number of malaises.
- Nutritional value of tomatoes
- Health benefits of eating tomatoes
- Risks related to taking tomatoes
- Ways of consuming tomatoes
- How to choose a perfect tomato
Nutritional value of tomatoes
Tomato is often considered a vegetable though technically it’s the fruit of the tomato plant. It has a large number of nutritional benefits and forms an important part of global cuisine.
- One tomato of medium size contains about 22 calories, no fat, 5 g of carbohydrates, 1 g of protein, 1 g of dietary fiber, 6 mg of sodium.
- It provides 40% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C, 20% of the RDI of vitamin A, 2% of the RDI of iron and 1% – of calcium.Scientific researches have also shown that raw tomatoes contain a very powerful antioxidant lycopene. It’s a special chemical protecting against cell damage, helping in reducing development of preeclampsia and in successful delivery.
Health benefits of eating tomatoes
What are the health benefits of eating tomatoes during pregnancy? Apart from the good taste, tomatoes give a number of benefits to pregnant women:
- Tomatoes not only nourish the body with vital nutrients but also keep the expecting mother and her baby healthy due to hight content of vitamin A and iron.
- Taking tomato juice during pregnancy helps to reduce body weakness and increase energy level.
- Tomato juice also ensures improvement of vision and hair growth of the newborns.
- Tomatoes purify the blood and assist in improving blood circulation, while tomato juice helps to decrease blood pressure.
- Expecting mothers have extra iron needs daily, and taking tomatoes is an easy way to prevent anemia during pregnancy.
- Vitamin C containing in tomatoes helps to build healthy teeth, gums and bones. It also assists in the absorption of iron.
- Vitamin K assists in preventing blood loss during the delivery and reduces the risk of hemorrhages .
- Presence of alpha-lipoic acid helps in converting glucose into energy making a pregnant woman more vital and helping her to overcome dullness.
- Folic acid which is highly essential during pregnancy is also provided by tomatoes. This chemical protects neonates against neural tube defects.
- Nicotinic acid helps in reducing blood cholesterol level and preventing heart disorders.
- Raw tomatoes have an antiseptic effect and thereby help in protecting against infections during pregnancy.
Risks related to taking tomatoes
Are tomatoes always good for pregnancy? Though consuming tomatoes is healthy for all people and in particular for expecting mothers, eating too many tomatoes can be risky.
Right amount of tomatoes keeps one healthy and provides a balanced diet, but eating more tomatoes can lead to some harmful consequences:
- Over-eating tomatoes during pregnancy can trigger heartburn as they contain acid.
- Taking too many tomatoes may lead to digestion problems, stomach pains and gas.
- Pregnancy diet with excess tomatoes may be the reason of mild discoloration of both the expecting mother and the fetus.
Ways of consuming tomatoes
One can take tomatoes in various ways depending on one’s personal taste:
- You can take raw tomatoes in the form of salads or cook it.
- Many houses transform tomatoes into ketchups, soups or juices due to its acidic nature.No matter how you consume tomatoes, they are claimed to be one of the best foods. Tomatoes give a good taste to your mouth and will help the fetus in the womb to grow.
How to choose a perfect tomato
To get all benefits that tomatoes provide and enjoy their taste, one should choose the right tomato.
- First of all, look carefully at the outside of the fruit: the perfect one is of a bright red color and has no blemishes or bruises. The tomato that looks pale or dull is going to be a flavorless disappointment. Good tomatoes don’t have any black spots either. Even a tiny black spot can mean that the tomato is rotten inside.
- However, a perfect exterior is not the thing to rely on since tomatoes are often picked green for easier transportation and longer storage. Often they ripen on their way to the store, but some suppliers spray tomatoes with ethylene gas to quicken ripening. Such tomatoes are bland, so it’s better to look for the tag “vine-ripened” in the grocery store or buy tomatoes from local farmers.
- After inspecting the appearance of the tomato, check how heavy it is and try to squeeze it (it should be not too hard and at the same time firm enough to react to your action). A good tomato doesn’t have any soft spots which later turn out bruises and shorten shelf life. If tomatoes feel unnaturally soft, that means they are no longer fresh. Weight should also be taken into account: juicier tomatoes are heavier and denser, while unripe fruit seems to be light.
- Final step is to smell tomato up by the stem. The scent should be sweet, earthy and strong. More fragrant tomato is usually more flavorful. Try to avoid plastic wrapped tomatoes as in this case it’s not possible to smell and thoroughly check them.
Tomatoes are one of the most vital fruits providing vitamins and health benefits. It is safe to eat tomatoes during pregnancy, but over-eating is not good like with any other food. Tomatoes not only supply vitamins A, C, iron and lycopene, they also promote total body health and help the fetus to grow.