Tomatoes come in many different shapes and sizes, and can be prepared in various different ways.
Certain foods can be high in certain nutrients which can make it unhealthy to eat more than a particular amount per day.
Today, I will explain how many raw tomatoes you should eat a day.
On average, a maximum of 2 large raw tomatoes (1 cup) per day is recommended.
Tomatoes contain high amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A.
If you consume more than that it can have a laxative effect.
One large tomato contains 20% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C and vitamin A.
On a typical day, you’ll likely consume other foods that contain a good amount of vitamin A and vitamin C.
Therefore, 2 large tomatoes is a good ballpark figure but it can vary based on the other foods you consume. In this article I will explain whether it’s OK to eat tomatoes everyday, and whether it’s better to consume raw tomatoes.
Is It Good to Eat Raw Tomatoes?
Tomatoes that are freshly picked off the vine have the most flavor.
But, they can also be sauteed in various recipes, or boiled and blended to make tomato soup.
Raw tomatoes are consumed regularly, but is it good to eat raw tomatoes?
It’s perfectly fine to eat raw tomatoes. On average raw tomatoes have 20% more nutrients than cooked tomatoes.
Tomatoes contain a high amount of vitamin C and vitamin A.
Because of that if you consume more than 2 cups of raw tomatoes at once it can have a laxative effect, cause nausea, and vomiting.
Consuming tomatoes as you normally would for example in a salad, sandwich, drinking a glass of tomato juice, a bowl of tomato soup, or snacking on some cherry tomatoes won’t have any ill effects.
The only issues arise if you consume more than about 2 cups a day of tomatoes raw or cooked per day.
Here’s a table that shows a side-by-side comparison of the relative levels of nutrients found in raw and cooked tomatoes.
|Nutrient (RDI*)||Stewed tomatoes||Raw tomatoes||Difference %|
|Vitamins||34%||66%||Raw tomatoes have 50% more|
|Minerals||41%||24%||Canned tomatoes have 58% more|
|Total||75%||90%||Raw tomatoes have 20% more|
The healthiest way to eat tomatoes
The healthiest way to eat tomatoes is to eat them raw.
Raw tomatoes contain on average 20% more nutrients than cooked tomatoes.
However, both raw and cooked tomatoes contain a fair amount of beneficial nutrients.
And when combined with other foods you consume leads to an overall healthy and balanced diet.
Here’s a table that shows the number of nutrients in one large raw tomato:
|Nutrient||Percent of RDI per 3.4 oz (100g)|
Of note is the amount:
- Vitamin C – 17% RDI
- Vitamin A – 21% RDI
- Vitamin K – 10% RDI
Vitamin C is very healthy and has been shown to boost the immune system and reduce the risk of developing cancer due to the discovery of its benefits by the work of Linus Pauling, who won the Nobel Prize in Science for this work.
Other foods that are particularly high in vitamin C are citrus fruits which also have quite an acidic flavor to them.
Vitamin A is key to maintaining the health of your organs according to the National Institute of Health (source).
And Vitamin K is good for blood function.
There have been some concerns about lectin.
And tomatoes contain some of the highest levels of lectin.
However, the amount of lectin in tomatoes is not at levels that can be toxic.
However, interestingly lectin is found in greater amounts in the skin and seeds of tomatoes according to medical professionals.
I explained the details of lectin in tomatoes and the best ways to prepare tomatoes to reduce the amount of lectin they contain in this article about lectin in tomatoes.
How much tomato juice should you drink a day?
Tomato juice is a bit of an acquired taste but can be spiced up a bit by adding other vegetables to it to balance out the acidic taste.
It’s fine to consume 2 cups of tomato juice per day.
Any more than that and you’ll be consuming too much vitamin C.
This excess vitamin C is generally rejected by the body you will get the following symptoms if you consume more than 2 cups of tomato juice a day:
These symptoms can leave you dehydrated which will make you very thirsty so you’ll need to consume a lot of water to replace the water you’ve lost.
And dilute the excess levels of vitamin C.
How your body responds to more than 2 cups of vitamin C can vary based on the levels of nutrients in your body.
As well as the other foods you consume.
I personally find when I consume too much vitamin C, for example, if I consume more than half a gallon (half a liter) of orange juice I get diarrhea.
This is if I consume it quite quickly for example if I drink that amount within 30 minutes to an hour.
If I do that I need to go to the bathroom urgently about 3 times within 2 to 3 hours before it’s cleared from my system.
The main danger is if you’re out and about and can’t get to a bathroom within 30 seconds or so.
The effects of diarrhea are so strong that you generally can’t hold it even if you want to.
Unlike when you normally need to go to the bathroom where once you have the urge to go you can delay it by an hour or two without having an accident.
Therefore, although it has a cleansing effect on the body, it’s best not to consume more than 2 cups or so that you don’t get diarrhea.
Is It Ok to Eat Tomatoes Everyday?
Tomatoes are delicious especially when grown yourself where they are generally much more flavorful.
They also go great with leafy greens and other salad vegetables which many people consume everyday.
So, I thought I’d analyze what happens if you eat tomatoes everyday.
It’s perfectly fine to eat tomatoes everyday.
Eating tomatoes everyday provides you with many beneficial nutrients.
Tomatoes are particularly high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K, which are known to have beneficial health effects when consumed.
They also contain minor amounts of the other vitamins and minerals.
There are no known negative effects from consuming tomatoes everyday.
The main concern is if you consume too much which can give you diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
This is if you consume more than 2 cups of tomatoes in a day.
What Happens if You Eat Tomatoes Everyday?
Tomatoes are versatile and when they’re in season they are so abundant that you may want to consume them everyday.
Tomatoes contain various nutrients in high amounts and you may be concerned there are some potential risks to eating tomatoes everyday.
Here’s whether it’s an issue or not.
Eating tomatoes everyday provides your body with beneficial vitamins and minerals. 1 large tomato contains 17% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of Vitamin C.
Consuming more than 4 to 5 tomatoes in one day can give you diarrhea or cause you to vomit due to the large amounts of vitamin C.
They also contain 20% of the RDI of Vitamin A, and 10% of the RDI of Vitamin K. Excess Vitamin A can also give you nausea, diarrhea, and cause you to vomit.
However, there are no known negative effects to consuming tomatoes everyday.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.