Tomatoes are extremely nutritious vegetables that are good for health almost all the time. Unless you have some specific health issues that require you to stay away from them, tomatoes should ideally be included in your everyday diet. Tomatoes are highly nutritious, and have a wide array of health benefits. When you are pregnant, it is important that you eat a little more than the usual recommended amount of vitamins and other nutrients to ensure that the growing baby becomes strong and healthy. You need to eat healthy for that, and a healthy diet always includes ample quantities of fresh vegetables and fruits. Tomatoes are one of those foods that you must have while you are pregnant, both for yourself and the baby.
Provides vitamin C
Tomatoes are a great source of Vitamin C, which is one of the most essential nutrients that a growing baby needs. Not just that, Vitamin C is also an essential component in a pregnant woman’s diet to keep her healthy and strong. Vitamin C helps in the proper development of teeth, bones, and gums. Besides that, Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron much better, which is extremely important during pregnancy as the pregnant woman needs to consume a higher amount of iron. You would of course be taking iron supplements, and their absorption will be facilitated by including ample tomatoes in your diet.
There is also a high amount of lycopene in tomatoes, which is an antioxidant which helps protect the body against cell damage. According to the National Institute for Health, pregnant women can safely consume high amounts of lycopene as long as it is derived from fresh produce and not supplements, which still remains a grey area in research. Since you will need lycopene while you are pregnant, enjoy the benefits by eating a lot of fresh tomatoes.
More on the way
Some new varieties of tomatoes have been grown that would be specifically beneficial to pregnant women, since they contain folates. Folates or folic acid is one of the most important nutrients required by pregnant women. Folic acid is crucial in the development of the baby, as it helps in the healthy development of the nervous system and the spine, preventing birth defects such as neural tube deformities and spina bifida. These genetically engineered tomatoes can help immensely in your pregnancy.
However, these have still not been approved as more tests are required before they are released to the public, so it will still be some time before you can see those varieties in your local market.
It should, however, be noted that despite all its benefits, tomatoes can also be the cause of discomfort for some women. In case you have high uric acid levels in your body, you need to steer clear of tomatoes. In the second trimester, you will also fall prey to frequent heartburn, and having too many tomatoes will increase discomfort, thanks to their acid content. But you can certainly manage the discomfort by limiting your tomato intake.
Also read: Can I eat potato during pregnancy?
Tomatoes can be eaten fresh or cooked. They can be part of salads, made into soup, or curried into a nice side. Make sure they are thoroughly washed if eaten raw, and cooked to perfection every time.