While most people are aware of the benefits of tomatoes, many are still unaware of the health concerns that may arise from too much consumption of this wonderful vegetable. Generally, tomato consumption is safe. But there are some disadvantages that can be associated with excess intake of tomato, most of which are dietary complications. Below, I will be taking you through some of these side effects:
Acid reflux, heart burn, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic disease that occurs when stomach acid or bile passes into the food pipe and irritates its lining. The irritation creates a sensation of burning in the chest that usually occurs after eating, and often gets worse on lying down.
Acid reflux usually occurs when high-acid foods such as tomatoes or spicy foods are eaten. Intake of tomatoes in excessive amounts can alter the acidity in your stomach, which in turn triggers acid reflux.
Lycopenodermia is as a result of excess lycopene in the blood. When lycopene is excess in the blood, it causes discoloration of the skin, usually to a deep-orange coloration. Tomatoes are very rich in lycopene. They are probably the richest fresh fruit source of this antioxidant.
In order to prevent lycopenodermia, you definitely have to regulate the intake of tomatoes, and only consume them in moderation. Lycopenodermia is however not a serious health threat, but is makes your skin look unattractive.
Intolerance from eating tomatoes may vary from one person to another. It usually causes digestive problems such as excess gas or stomach pain. However, this kind of intolerance might only be noticed when tomato is consumed in large amounts.
It is no longer news that individuals with a kidney failure or disorder must regulate their intake of potassium. When the kidneys fail, they become unable to remove excess potassium. So, this mineral builds up in the body to cause hyperkalemia, which can lead to an abnormal heart rhythm.
Tomatoes are rich in potassium. And intake of very large amounts of these vegetables can add a significant quantity of potassium to your body. Due to this, people with kidney failure must monitor their intake of these vegetables. Moreover, tomato preparations like tomato sauce have been found to contain high level of oxalates. Just another reason why kidney failure patients must stay cautious over its consumption (1).
Watch the sodium
While fresh tomatoes are very low in sodium, canned tomatoes contain significant amounts of this mineral. Just a cup of canned tomatoes provides more than 500 mg of sodium. A diet high in sodium increases the risk for cardiovascular disorders, and even osteoporosis.
Increased sodium in the blood results in high blood pressure. A condition that has been proven to increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases.
Apart from the consumption of tomato fruits, many people do ask if tomato leaves are safe for consumption. Tomato leaves are not safe for consumption. In large amounts, these leaves can cause poisoning, with symptoms such as vomiting, severe mouth and throat irritation, diarrhea, spasms, dizziness, headaches, and even death in severe cases.
Tomato consumption for breastfeeding and pregnant women in food amounts is safe. However, there are no enough evidences to determine whether it is still safe for consumption in amounts other than those in foods. Due to this, larger amounts, especially for medicinal purposes should be avoided until more is known.