Pregnancy is a very important phase in any woman’s life. The need for vitamins and nutrients are more for a pregnant woman than those who are not pregnant. All are expecting mothers should take food rich in nutrients and vitamins to ensure healthy growth and development of the fetus in the womb and healthy pregnancy. One thing a pregnant woman needs to ensure is the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Among the many options, fresh tomatoes can be a healthy snack during pregnancy. But is it safe to eat tomatoes during pregnancy? Read on to know more on this are given below.
It is not only safe to eat tomatoes during pregnancy, and it is a very healthy choice for both the pregnant women and also the fetus inside the mom womb. Since pregnancy is a period where you need to be extremely careful of what you take and ensure you fill your plates with nutritional and healthy choices in your diet plan, you cannot go wrong with tomatoes. Let us see how they are g below.
Nutritional value of tomatoes
Carbohydrates Tomatoes are low in carbohydrate content. Only 3.89g of carbs you can get by eating 100gm of tomatoes. The majority of that carbs portion in tomato is dietary fibre. Fats The fat content of the tomato is very low. Out of 100gm of tomatoes, 0.2g is fat. Protein Tomato has very little protein content. If you eat 100gm of tomato, you will get 0.88g of protein. Micronutrients Tomato has a high content of micronutrients such as Vitamin C, A, and K. It is also a good source of calcium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Health Benefits Of Eating Tomatoes During Pregnancy
High on nutrition: One medium-sized tomato contains enough vitamin C to take care of 40% of your daily intake. It also includes 20% of the daily requirement of vitamin A. It also contains iron and calcium. All these nutrients are essential for the healthy growth of the fetus. For instance, vitamin C can help build immunity, and vitamin A ensures good vision and iron ensures no anaemia
High on energy: Pregnant women often feel lethargic. They need more energy than usual as their body is preparing for the baby’s growth. A medium-sized tomato contains 22 calories – enough to give strength and reduce lethargy, but not enough to spike the sugar content or the weight. this is very advantageous because pregnant women are susceptible to gestational diabetes and unhealthy weight gain
High on fibre: One medium-sized tomato contains 1 gram of dietary fibre. Dietary fibre is an essential nutrient that aids digestion. Fibre helps in the formation of stool. Tomatoes have a vast amount of fibre in it. Constipation tomatoes during pregnancy is a big problem among pregnant women which can be tackled with the consumption of tomatoes.
Remedy for UTI: Urinary Tract Infection or UTI is a medication condition which you would want to avoid during pregnancy. Tomatoes have a significant amount of water content. So, eating tomatoes during pregnancy non a regular basis will help you to urinate properly and prevent any risk for Urinary Tract Infection.
Detoxifying properties: Tomatoes are known to detox the body by purifying the blood and improving the blood circulation. This, in turn, also helps to reduce blood pressure, a common problem by tomatoes during pregnancy
Source of folic acid: Tomatoes contain folic acid which, as you know, is very important during pregnancy to ensure the growing fetus does not develop any neurological troubles
Source of vitamin K: Tomatoes also contain vitamin K, which brings down the risk of haemorrhages as it prevents blood loss
Source of nicotinic acid: Tomatoes contain nicotinic acid that protects the heart by reducing cholesterol thereby bringing down the chances of heart problems
Antiseptic: Tomatoes are also antiseptic in nature, which means it can help you fight against infections during pregnancy
Source of lycopene: Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which protects the body against cell damage. It has some unique benefits during pregnancy too. It reduces the chances of preeclampsia and helps in healthy delivery
How Can You Include More Tomatoes In Your Diet?
Not only that tomatoes are very healthy, but it is also yummy. It can be incorporated into your daily diet in a number of ways.
It can be used in salads
Many of the Indian curries already incorporate tomatoes and tomato purees
Tomato soup is a healthy and yummy mid-day meal
Tomato juice (without filtering) can also be a great choice to reduce dullness
Slices of tomatoes can be kept inside a sandwich
Homemade kinds of ketchup are another great idea. Avoid these bought from store ones, as they contain too much sugar and sodium
Thankfully, as we mentioned before, Indian food already includes tomatoes. For instance, most of our curries contain tomato and onion pastes. We also add tomatoes to some of our breakfast delicacies like Upma and chutneys. Even in continental recipes, it is not uncommon to see sundried tomatoes and grilled tomatoes.
How To Choose A Perfect Tomato
It is very important to choose the right tomato in order to enjoy all its benefits and taste. Some ways of choosing the perfect tomato are:
First look for a tomato that has a bright red colour and no blemishes or bruises or tiny black spots. Dull or pale looking tomatoes don’t have any flavour in them
Try and buy “vine-ripened” tomatoes directly from the farmers or look for these type of tomatoes at the grocery store as they are free from chemicals that are commonly used to ripen the tomatoes
Once you have checked the appearance of the tomato, try to inspect it further by squeezing it. It should not have any soft spots but at the same time should not be too hard. Heavier and denser tomatoes are juicier while unripe tomatoes will be lighter in weight
Finally, you can make out if the tomato is more flavorful or not by smelling it. You can smell a tomato by the stem, and it should be sweet, earthy and strong
Are There Any Risk Factors Associated With Consuming By Pregnant Women?
Just like any food item, too much of tomatoes can also backfire. It is important to keep all food items in moderation during pregnancy so that your diet contains a large variety of fruits, vegetables and grains. Although tomatoes during pregnancy are healthy, if you consume too many tomatoes during pregnancy, it can lead to:
Discolouration in both the expecting mother and the growing fetus
Remember that the above problems occur when you consume a lot of tomatoes. So do not worry about the minor side effects when you consider including tomatoes in your daily diet. Pregnancy is a beautiful (not to mention important) phase in your life. Make healthy choices that will ensure the health of both you and the baby inside. If one food item, like tomatoes during pregnancy, can help you gain a number of nutrients, you should not hesitate to add it to your daily diet. Have a happy, healthy and safe pregnancy!