You may find tomatoes in every household. They are the most common ingredient in salads and cooked meals, including curries, burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas.
If you ask the experts, they may classify tomatoes as fruits. However, we rarely find it bonding with all the other fruits.
Are tomatoes acidic? We have all you need to know if you need the correct answer to this question.
Tomatoes are juicy fruits with a sour taste. People mostly use them to add flavor to their meals. The sour touch and red color add value to your food.
Let’s look at whether tomatoes are acidic or alkaline.
The pH Level of Tomato
You may find it acidic if you know how a tomato tastes. Tomatoes have an acidic nature. They lie closer to the acidic end of the pH scale than the alkaline side. The pH value of a ripe tomato lies between 4.3 and 4.9 (1).
They are nearly three points below the neutral level of the pH scale. Since food items with pH below 4.6 can cause acid reflux, we can safely count tomatoes as acidic fruits.
The Acidity of Tomatoes
The pH reading of different states of tomatoes may vary. If you check a completely ripe tomato, you may find it less acidic. On the other hand, unripe tomatoes can have stronger acidic tendencies.
The acidic properties of tomato make it a key player in producing acids in the stomach. It can also aggravate the symptoms of acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). For unfamiliar people, GERD causes the frequent flow of acids back into the esophagus.
Health experts recommend moderate amounts of tomato consumption to avoid health problems. One of the common ways of eating tomatoes is combining them with other ingredients. You may slice tomatoes in salad, meat chunks, curry, and other food items.
Excessive eating may also cause heartburn due to a higher concentration of acids in the stomach. You may consult your dietician regarding the appropriate amounts for a balanced diet.
Tomato Consumption and Acidic Levels
People like to consume tomatoes in a variety of forms. We have listed the common forms with acidic properties to help you understand better.
Cherry tomatoes are small tomatoes. They are the early-stage forms popular around the globe. Cherry tomatoes have higher sugar concentrations that dominate their acidic taste. While this may be correct, you may not want to mistake the high sugar levels for low acidity.
Ordinary and cherry tomatoes share nearly the same acidic properties. Due to their nutritional richness, cherry tomatoes are widely popular in different cuisines. This unusual type finds its origins in the Central and South American regions. Although tomatoes have similar nutritional properties, cherry tomatoes have the edge over the rest.
They are rich in antioxidants, including phenolic compounds, carotenoids, and flavonoids. These antioxidants are vital in boosting your immunity and retaining good blood health. If you are on a high-caloric diet plan, you may need to consume more cherry tomatoes to meet your daily goal.
Tomato juice has a lower pH value than its raw form. It ranges between 4.1 to 4.6, making it more acidic. The higher concentration of acidity in tomato juice is due to reduced fiber content. The fiber content lies beneath the skin of tomatoes. When you extract the juice, most fiber content remains on the skin.
Drinking tomato juice can benefit you in many ways. The presence of vitamin B, C, and Potassium makes it beneficial for improved blood flow and good organ health.
However, you may encounter acidity problems, stomach issues, and renal infections if you drink excessive amounts of tomato juice. If you follow a diet plan with tomato juice, you may need to consult your dietician to balance the acidity of the tomato content in your stomach.
Some tomato juices may also contain additives, including spices and pepper. Such forms can have adverse effects on your organ health if drunk frequently.
Food manufacturers use preservatives to store canned products. These preservatives are unnatural and may affect the pH levels of the food. If you buy canned tomatoes, you may need to prepare yourself for an extra punch of acidity.
Canned tomatoes are highly acidic than their raw forms. The typical pH value of a canned tomato is nearly 3.5. Their sheer acidic nature makes them unsuitable for those prone to gastric problems.
Restaurants, food shops, and hotels often use canned products for cooking meals. If you visit a nearby restaurant, you may need to opt for meals with a low concentration of tomatoes to avoid acid reflux. If possible, you may avoid consuming canned tomatoes altogether for better health.
Nutrient Breakdown of Tomatoes
Tomatoes, although acidic, have several health benefits if consumed in moderation. They contain vitamins and minerals suitable for good organ function. Some influential nutrients include vitamin A, C, iron, potassium, fiber, and sodium.
If you want to see the complete nutrient breakdown, look at the table below to find the contraction of nutrients in tomatoes.
Primary Benefits of Tomatoes
Moderate amounts of tomatoes can be beneficial for your health. Whether you consume them with other food items or eat them raw, their nutritional richness can improve your health in many ways.
Better Cardiovascular Health
Tomatoes can improve your cardiovascular health. They contain antioxidants that will enhance your blood flow and sugar levels. Lycopene is an antioxidant that gives the tomato its red color. When you eat tomatoes, lycopene enters your bloodstream and stabilizes the sugar levels (2). The improved blood flow ensures a healthy heart rate.
Moreover, lycopene can reduce death rates by minimizing the chances of heart diseases and stroke. You may also find lycopene in supplements. However, health experts recommend the consumption of natural resources, including tomatoes.
Improved Ocular Health
The antioxidants present in tomatoes can also benefit your visual function. Lycopene, along with other nutrients, is influential in improving your vision. Many people face poor vision issues due to a decline in ocular muscle function. Tomatoes can help to restore muscle strength with the aid of beta-carotene and lutein (3).
Eating tomatoes can also help prevent eye diseases like glaucoma, dry eye, and temporary and permanent vision loss.
Better Digestive Function
One of the primary benefits of tomato consumption is improved digestive function. A typical tomato contains around 1.5 grams of fiber. Moderate eating can help you improve your digestive process effectively. If you have constipation issues, tomatoes can help you fight them. Moreover, the fluid content in tomatoes contributes to your bowl movement.
While this may be valid, tomatoes may worsen your stomach problems if you are prone to acid reflux and GERD. When cooked, tomatoes may influence other ingredients in the recipe to increase the overall acidic content. To avoid such cases, you may consult with your health services provider.
Improved Diabetic Health
Tomatoes can be a life-saver for type-2 diabetic patients. Consuming moderate amounts of ripe tomatoes can help you avoid fats and lipids’ peroxidation (4). More importantly, carbohydrates have a dominant role in aggravating diabetic conditions. They can metabolize quickly, resulting in high sugar levels. Tomatoes have a moderate concentration of carbohydrates.
They do not have starchy properties and also rank low on GI scores. Typically, food items with GI score lower than 55 are suitable for diabetic patients. Tomato has a GI value of less than 15. It makes it super safe for type-2 diabetics.
Better Skin Health
If you have skin problems, tomatoes may help you fight them off. There are many ways tomatoes can help to improve your skin condition. The high concentration of vitamin A gives them pro-collagen properties. Collagen production promotes healthy skin and prevents it from aging early.
Applying tomato on your face can eliminate the dead skin cells, causing the darkening patches. Moreover, vitamin C in tomatoes can protect your skin against harsh UV exposures in the daylight. Tomatoes also prevent acne problems due to their skin oil reduction properties.
Another significant benefit of tomatoes is their cancer prevention properties. The high concentration of antioxidants in tomatoes boosts your body’s immunity.
Cartenoids in tomatoes enhance the defense system by minimizing the possibility of free radical damages. Free radicals can lead to chronic diseases and poor immunity.
Besides carotenoids, lycopene plays an influential role in fighting against prostate, lung, stomach, and ovarian cancer.
Better Body Weight
Tomatoes are among the most integral ingredients of a healthy diet plan. If you are working to lose your body weight, tomatoes can help you. When you eat tomatoes, they encourage the formation of the amino acid, Carnitine.
This amino acid has fat-burning properties (5). You can control your body weight by using moderate amounts of tomatoes in your daily meals.
To find out the appropriate amounts to consume daily, you may consult your fitness trainer or dietician.
The simple answer to your question, are tomatoes acidic is yes. While this may be correct, there are many ways you can use to minimize the acidic concentration of tomatoes. The above information can help you analyze the pros and cons of eating tomatoes.
However, if you are fond of tomato consumption, you may need to find a fair balance in your diet.
To make tomatoes a part of your diet plan, you can consult your dietician about developing a customized plan that suits your body’s health.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How to make tomatoes less acidic?
If you want to reduce the acidic effects of tomatoes, you can add moderate amounts of baking soda after cooking them. Baking soda has alkaline properties that help balance tomatoes’ acidic concentration. You may also add other alkaline food ingredients to balance the acidity of tomatoes.
Can I find acid-free tomatoes?
You may not be able to find acid-free tomatoes. However, some types may have reasonably low acidic content, including Oxheart Pink, Oxheart Yellow, and Roma. You can search online to find supermarkets that offer these varieties.
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