The Benefits Of Tomatoes Can Make A Tricky Turn Into Side Effects!

Cherry tomatoes on the vine,garlic and basil

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Most people don’t think, “danger!” when it comes to tomatoes, but maybe we should be a bit more wary of them. Or at the very least, be cautious when ingesting tomatoes and take notice of any side effects that your body might have from them. In tomatoes, the compound lycopene is what is responsible for most of the problems that occur from eating tomatoes, even though lycopene is also the compound responsible for the benefits of tomatoes as well! Tricky!

Tomatoes are high in antioxidants, a rich source of vitamins and minerals, protect against heart disease by preventing lipid oxidation, fight against the bad effects of cigarettes, improve vision, aid in digestion, lower blood pressure, help to manage diabetes, prevent against urinary tract infections and gallbladder stones, and even can improve skin tone. With all of these benefits, it seems hard to believe that tomatoes can also be harmful to you. Some individuals are more susceptible to the effects of lycopene though and especially those that have a disease that will be negatively impacted by tomatoes.

Here are the few negative side effects of tomatoes that you should watch out for. Also, if you are one of the people affected by diseases such as hypertension, stomach ailments, bleeding disorders or a few other diseases, it is best to stay away from tomatoes altogether. Continue reading to find out what to watch out for!


1. Acid Reflux/Heartburn

Acid reflux is one of the most common side effects of tomatoes, but it isn’t a serious one usually. Heartburn will go away by itself in time or can be canceled out with certain medications or foods. The heartburn is caused by the citric and malic acid contained in the tomatoes which causes the stomach to produce excessive gastric juices. These will sometimes flow up the esophagus, if there is too much for the stomach to handle, which is what causes the heartburn.

Both raw and cooked tomatoes will cause heartburn if you are susceptible to heart burn, although cooked tomatoes will have less of an impact than raw ones. Tomatoes are best avoided if you have GERD or any kind of serious acid reflux issues.

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2. Allergies & Body Aches

Some people might actually be allergic to tomatoes. They could possibly develop symptoms including rashes, itchy mouth, throat, or skin on your face, hives, eczema, coughing, sneezing and swelling of the face, mouth or tongue. Tomatoes contain histamine which is one of the main compounds responsible for triggering allergies. Most often, allergies are triggered when the fruit is consumed, but tomatoes can also cause dermatitis – a allergy-like condition that occurs when someone touches the fruit.

The histamine in the tomatoes can also cause body aches by producing swelling in the joints and elsewhere in the body. These body aches can also potentially be caused by solanine, a basic compound in tomatoes that builds up calcium in the tissues. An excessive amount of this can cause inflammation of the tissues.


3. Digestive Ailments

Tomatoes can cause a few digestive problems for those susceptible to them or with compromised systems already. One of the biggest issues is Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and it can be caused from the seeds of the tomatoes. Tomatoes can also cause bloating in those that suffer from IBS already.

Diarrhea can also be experienced from eating tomatoes. Improperly washed or raised tomatoes can carry salmonella which causes diarrhea, but tomatoes themselves are quite acidic which can lead to an intolerance and thus stomach problems. If you are already suffering from acid reflux or GERD, tomatoes can aggravate the problem and cause you to suffer from acute gastrointestinal upset.

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4. Kidney and Bladder Issues

Tomatoes are rich in potassium and can be a cause for concern for those who are already suffering from kidney ailments. The high water content of tomatoes is also a reason for those with severe kidney disease to stay away from tomatoes.  Both potassium and excess water can aggravate kidney ailments so it is best to not indulge in tomatoes if you’ve got kidney problems.

Along the same lines as the kidneys are the urinary tract and bladder. Since tomatoes are acidic, it can cause bladder irritation and cystitis which is a burning sensation in the bladder. Tomatoes can also cause urinary incontinence if the person is susceptible.


5. Migraines

Tomatoes have been known to trigger migraines. The validity of this being one hundred percent correct, or correct for all, is still being debated and some doctors will tell you to be stay away from them while others will classify them as a safe food. In general, foods high in salt or sodium will trigger migraines and tomato products, such as tomato sauces and pastes, are known to contain high amounts of sodium.

Migraines can be caused by many different foods, but if you notice a reaction after eating tomato-based products, then make sure to start avoiding them. Simply making a switch to other products or cutting tomatoes out of your diet might help with the reduction of migraines.



Even though tomatoes are seen as harmless by most of the population, their acid content and powerhouse of nutrients may cause problems for those that are pre-disposed to certain ailments. If your doctor has warned you to stay away from tomatoes for a medical reason, it is usually because of the high potassium and water content or the lycopene contained within.


READ ALSO: Raw Vegan Homemade Tomato Basil Soup You Need To Try Video


Less serious problems such as allergies and acid reflux can be managed and one can still eat tomatoes, just in a limited quantity. If you are particularly allergic to tomatoes make sure to not make contact with them either as it can lead to dermatitis and further rashes.

Tomatoes are a widely enjoyed food and many dishes are prepared with them including pizzas, pastas, salads and many others. If you have an issue with tomatoes, always be cautious of the foods you are eating that you didn’t prepare yourself. Tomato side effects can be managed and avoided with proper care.