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    Tomato During Pregnancy: Benefits & Risks

    Pregnancy Best Foods

    Tomato During Pregnancy: Benefits & Risks

    Updated on 15 May 2023

    Tomatoes are a staple in many households, but for pregnant women, it's important to know whether they are safe to consume and what benefits they offer. In this article, we will explore the benefits and risks of tomato during pregnancy, and provide tips on how to safely incorporate them into your diet. So, if you're a soon-to-be mom wondering if tomato in pregnancy is safe for you and your growing baby, read on to learn more.

    Is it safe to consume tomatoes during pregnancy?

    Tomatoes are safe to consume during pregnancy, as long as they are consumed in moderate amounts. Pregnant women and their unborn babies can benefit from the vitamins A, C, folate, lycopene, and iron in it. Vitamin C can also improve the absorption of iron which pregnant women need.

    However, excessive consumption of tomatoes can lead to heartburn and digestive problems. To choose the right tomatoes, look for bright red, vine-ripened varieties with no bruises, blemishes, or black spots, and avoid consuming overripe tomatoes.

    Tomato's nutritional value

    Following is the list of nutrients in a small, 100 gm raw tomato:

    • Calories: 18.
    • Water: 95%.
    • Protein: 0.9 gm.
    • Carbs: 3.9 gm.
    • Sugar: 2.6 gm.
    • Fiber: 1.2 gm.
    • Fat: 0.2 gm.

    Benefits of tomatoes during pregnancy

    Easting tomato during pregnancy can provide pregnant women several health benefits such as:

    1. Improves immunity

    Approximately 40% of daily vitamin C is available in a single medium-sized tomato. Daily intake of vitamin C can help boost the immunity of pregnant women and reduce the risk of infections during pregnancy.

    2. Promotes digestion

    Tomatoes are great for digestive health because of their high fiber content. Fiber encourages smooth bowel movements during digestion (peristalsis), and increases the secretion of digestive enzymes.

    3. Keeps the heart healthy

    Pre-eclampsia, or high blood pressure, can be a high risk during pregnancy; however, regularly eating tomatoes can lower this risk. Tomatoes contain potassium, which increases circulation and eases cardiovascular strain.

    4. Great source of folate

    Tomatoes are a natural source of folate and can be a great way to get the daily recommended dose of folic acid. Folic acid is essential to prevent neural tube and other congenital abnormalities.

    5. Rich in antioxidants

    Lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, is effective in fighting against cancer-causing free radicals and reducing the damage caused by them. Antioxidants can also reduce risk of hypertension and pre-eclampsia.

    Risks of tomatoes in pregnancy

    Consuming excessive amounts of tomato during pregnancy may pose the following risks:

    • Tomatoes are acidic and excessive consumption may cause heartburn and acid reflux.
    • Tomatoes contain oxalate and consuming it excessively regularly can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
    • Tomatoes also contain tomatine, a natural alkaloid, which can trigger migraine and cause severe headaches.

    As a result, it is important to consume tomato in pregnancy moderately to avoid these potential risks.

    How should I pick & store tomatoes?

    Here are some points you must remember while purchasing tomatoes and storing them:

    • Avoid tomatoes with blemishes or dark spots.
    • The tomato should be heavy for its size, with good weight.
    • The tomato should be firm but soft enough to give in to real pressure.
    • The tomato should smell fresh near where the stem was.
    • Don't store tomatoes in the refrigerator.
    • Store tomatoes on a flat surface with the stem side down.

    You may also like: Is Eating Onions Safe During Pregnancy?

    Including tomatoes in your diet during pregnancy

    You can reap the many benefits of tomatoes by adding them to your pregnancy diet in the following ways:

    • By adding them to a vegetable salad, you can consume raw tomato during pregnancy.
    • You can also consume tomatoes by adding them to several purees and curries.
    • Drinking tomato soup in pregnancy is another way to reap its benefits.
    • Tomato juice is a great pick-me-up and can be had as a snack or with breakfast.
    • Tomato slices are also a great addition to fresh sandwiches.
    • Sun-dried or grilled tomatoes are common ingredients in continental dishes.

    You may also like: Eating Spicy Food During Pregnancy: Is it Safe or Not?

    Is tomato juice safe during pregnancy?

    Yes, tomato juice is generally considered safe for consumption during pregnancy. Homemade tomato juice is a good substitute for fresh fruits and vegetables and is particularly beneficial in the first few months of pregnancy when the body is adjusting to the new conditions. Pregnant women should drink tomato juice in moderation and avoid it altogether if they have kidney problems or pre-existing stomach or intestinal issues.

    Is it okay to consume canned tomatoes during pregnancy?

    It is better to avoid canned tomatoes during pregnancy as the nutrients and enzymes in the tomatoes are destroyed during the canning process, which is carried out at high temperatures to kill microorganisms. Additionally, Bisphenol A (BPA), a hazardous chemical is used in food can linings, which can be harmful to both the mother and the fetus.

    For a healthier pregnancy diet, it is recommended to choose fresh alternatives over canned foods, but if they are unavailable, canned fruits and vegetables can be nutritious and convenient options. It is important to read labels and choose low-sugar and low-sodium options and avoid cans that are dented, leaking, or bloated when buying canned food.

    You may also like: 11 Foods You Must Include in Your Diet When You're Expecting

    Is it okay to consume tomato ketchup or sauce when pregnant?

    It is okay to consume small amounts of tomato ketchup and sauce when pregnant. This was a concern when tomato ketchup and sauce contained too much Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). However, due to MSG's recent GRAS (generally regarded as safe) designation, consuming commercially packaged tomato sauce and ketchup is fine, as long as it is consumed in moderation.

    Final Thoughts

    In conclusion, tomatoes during pregnancy can provide important nutrients like vitamins A and C, potassium, and folate. However, pregnant women should be cautious when consuming tomatoes that have been canned or processed, as they may contain harmful additives. It is also important to wash fresh tomatoes thoroughly before consuming them to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.


    1. Antartani R, Ashok K. (2011). Effect of lycopene in prevention of preeclampsia in high risk pregnant women. J Turk Ger Gynecol Association.

    2. Wu X, Yu L, Pehrsson PR. (2022). Are Processed Tomato Products as Nutritious as Fresh Tomatoes? Scoping Review on the Effects of Industrial Processing on Nutrients and Bioactive Compounds in Tomatoes. Adv Nutr.

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