When you’re expecting a baby, you’re met with a slew of changes that might overwhelm you or make you question your sanity. Craving tomatoes during pregnancy might be one of the changes that make you rethink your life choices. What do tomatoes have to do with anything, anyway?
Pregnancy cravings and aversions are some of the first signs of pregnancy you’re going to experience. You might notice that some foods suddenly feel off-limits, while other foods feel like they’re the one thing keeping you from throwing up. You might notice you’re suddenly obsessed with tomatoes.
What’s great about craving tomatoes during pregnancy seems to be the fact that tomatoes are generally considered a healthy addition to your diet. When you’re pregnant, you might be scared to experiment with different foods because you’re nauseous or because you don’t want to harm the baby.
With tomatoes, though, you don’t need to worry about a thing. Tomatoes are perfectly safe to consume throughout the entire pregnancy – especially when you’re craving them. Turns out that women tend to crave unhealthy foods more than healthy ones, and that’s when pregnancy cravings become a burden.
Pregnancy cravings can be caused by a myriad of factors, from hormonal changes and nutritional deficiencies to psychological and cultural expectations. With that out of the way, tomato cravings can be caused by an array of factors, too, and that’s what we’re here to discuss.
What are tomato cravings?
A tomato craving refers to an intense desire to eat tomatoes or tomato-based products. Cravings, especially pregnancy cravings, typically go beyond enjoying the taste of tomatoes or wanting tomatoes as a part of breakfast or dinner. A tomato craving represents a specific urge to consume tomatoes.
We mentioned beforehand that cravings (and aversions!) are a part of a healthy pregnancy. When you’re expecting a baby, you might suddenly start getting up at 3 a.m. to scoff down an entire bowl of tomatoes although you’re not that hungry. When that happens, you might be confused about what that means.
Worry not, tomatoes are one of the best foods to crave during pregnancy because they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Delicious and nutritious, tomatoes are a great way for you to stay healthy, fuel your body, and maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
5 reasons why you’re craving tomatoes during pregnancy
Why are you craving tomatoes during pregnancy, though? When you get pregnant, your body experiences a sudden surge of estrogen and progesterone, hormones that happen to alter the way you perceive taste or smell. When that happens, you might develop cravings or aversions to certain foods.
Most people believe that pregnancy cravings are connected to hormonal changes because that’s the one thing that happens with every pregnancy. Whether you’re suddenly nauseated by your morning cup of coffee or you’re drawn to pickles and milkshakes for no freakin reason, your hormones are wildin’!
2. Nutrient deficiencies
Nutrient deficiencies might be the reason why you’re suddenly craving tomatoes during pregnancy, too. When you’re expecting a baby, your body goes through a million changes – hormonal changes are only one of them. Nutrient deficiencies are often a consequence of the changes your body goes through.
With that in mind, though, your body knows what you need and when you need it. You might notice your pregnancy cravings getting more intense when you’re hungry or when you’re missing a specific nutrient that can be found in the thing that you’re craving. You might be craving tomatoes for that reason, too.
Tomatoes are packed with vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, all of which are necessary throughout your pregnancy. You might be craving tomatoes because your body is trying to tell you that you’re missing some of these vital nutrients and that you need to do something to replenish them.
We don’t even need to dwell on the fact that you’re probably feeling stressed out because of your pregnancy. Whether it’s the pregnancy hormones or the fact that you’re fighting time to prepare everything for the arrival of your little bundle of cuddles, you’re probably overwhelmed.
When you get stressed out during pregnancy, though, your body might start sending you signals that you need to do something to make yourself feel better. We tend to feel better after we eat, especially after we eat something delicious and nutritious – and that’s why you’re rushing to eat tomatoes.
4. Diet change
What do we mean by a diet change? More often than not, pregnant women start eating healthy, exercising, and changing their entire lifestyle from the moment they get pregnant. While there’s nothing wrong with that, the sudden diet change leaves them craving certain foods more than others.
Sure, you’re more likely to crave potato chips, french fries, or chocolate because those are the things you’re more likely to keep at bay. But, you can start craving fruits and veggies, too, because you’re seeking emotional satisfaction through food rather than eating to feel full.
5. Psychological and cultural expectations
What do psychological and cultural expectations have to do with the fact that you’re craving tomatoes during pregnancy? Whether you’re eating two, or three tomatoes every time you get bored or craving tomato soup on the regular, chances are you were prepared to experience pregnancy cravings.
Pregnancy cravings are one of those things everybody talks about. When you open TikTok after you’ve watched a few clips related to pregnancy, you’re suddenly bombarded with different cravings you’re guaranteed to experience during pregnancy – tomatoes are one of them.
Apparently, psychological factors and cultural associations can influence cravings because we’re conditioned to want to experience the same cravings our grandmothers, mothers, and friends experienced, too. At the end of the day, tomatoes are great for you, anyway.
What are the benefits of eating tomatoes during pregnancy?
When you’re struggling to figure out a way to stay happy and healthy throughout pregnancy, you might start overthinking your tomato cravings. We know that tomatoes are a great way to stack up on vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, you might be wondering what the benefits of eating tomatoes are.
Where do we even start? Tomatoes are packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A, which help immune function and iron absorption, assist with proper blood clotting, and boost cell growth. Vitamin B6, on top of that, helps convert food into energy.
Moreover, tomatoes contain potassium, lycopene, and folate which support heart health and muscle function, protect against cancer, and are crucial for cell production and development. Tomatoes can support cardiovascular health by improving blood pressure, cholesterol, and circulation, too.
What are the risks of eating tomatoes during pregnancy?
With that out of the way, though, that doesn’t mean that you’re allowed to stuff your mouth with tomatoes every moment of the waking hour. Tomatoes might be healthy, but you’re supposed to eat a variety of fruits and veggies to support your and your baby’s health. What are the risks, anyway?
Overeating tomatoes can come with unwanted (and uncomfortable!) side effects. When you consume tomatoes every day, you might notice symptoms of acid reflux, heartburn, kidney issues, improper digestion, gas, tummy aches, and even migraines.
Consult with your doctor before you overeat tomatoes to prevent any possible risks associated with eating tomatoes during pregnancy. Contrary to popular belief, tomatoes aren’t a cure-all.
5 types of tomatoes you can consume safely during pregnancy
1. Cherry tomatoes
Now that we’re nearing the end of the article, you might be wondering whether the type of tomatoes you’re craving makes a difference. Not all tomatoes are made the same, we can tell you that much. When talking about the type of tomatoes you’re allowed to eat during pregnancy – cherry tomatoes come first.
Cherry tomatoes might be on the smaller side of the spectrum, but they’re beaming with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promise to keep you and your baby healthy. Consuming cherry tomatoes during pregnancy is safe, but they should be washed completely before eating.
2. Heirloom tomatoes
Oh, heirloom tomatoes are the crème de la crème of the tomato world and we’re not surprised that you’re dreaming of eating them on your avocado toast or inside your cream cheese bagels. Heirloom tomatoes are special because they’re naturally pollinated rather than genetically modified.
Of course, heirloom tomatoes are known for their thin, tender skin, and juicy flesh – and they’re completely safe to consume during pregnancy.
3. Sundried tomatoes
Sundried tomatoes are a must for pregnant women who adore pizza, pasta, and Italian cuisine – don’t we all? Sundried tomatoes are ripe tomatoes that have been dehydrated by being placed in the sun.
When they’re dried, sundried tomatoes are a potent source of antioxidants that combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Choose sundried tomatoes from a can or a jar to reduce the chance of getting infected with listeria, though.
4. Green tomatoes
Green tomatoes aren’t unripe tomatoes – sort of. When we’re talking about green tomatoes, we’re talking about the specific type of heirloom tomatoes that remain green although they’re ripe.
They’re soft when pressed and they’re even more delicious than regular red tomatoes. They’re everything you need and more when you’re hungry for tomatoes. Worry not, they’re safe to consume during pregnancy, too.
5. Black, yellow, or purple tomatoes
Black, yellow, and purple tomatoes are perfect for pregnant women who eat with their eyes. When you make a tomato salad or a bruschetta with different colors of tomatoes, you’re going to feel like you’re munching on a rainbow. Black, yellow, and purple tomatoes are safe for consumption, too.
With some self-awareness and self-control, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to enjoy your tomato cravings throughout the entire pregnancy, right?