When we look back at our lives, we can split them up into a couple of sections.
Our high school years, the childhood period, etc. But we were thinking – how about a simple 50/50 split. The times we spent thinking tomatoes are vegetables and the time when we actually figured out what’s what.
That classic question is answered, yes, but you need more information dang it! There is no chance you didn’t enjoy tomatoes and it’s many form factors throughout your life. But now you’re on the Paleo diet and you need some details.
Well don’t worry, we can help. We searched all over the world (wide web) to find the answers. So let’s get this going and spread the knowledge:
What are tomatoes, are they healthy, and most importantly – can you eat Tomatoes on Paleo?
Can You Eat Tomatoes On Paleo
There is no other way to put this than simply – the answer is an absolute YES.
The Paleo diet, like all others, allows certain foods while others should be avoided. The list of foods that should be in your fridge is this: lean meats, fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and seeds. The idea is that you should eat anything that humans ate in the Paleolithic era.
Now if we take a look at that list, we can see that fruits and veggies are completely safe. This means that the confusing tomato berry (yes, berry), needs to get in your meals ASAP if it’s not there already.
See Also: Can You Eat Tomato Sauce On Paleo?
What Are Tomatoes, Again?
You might have caught us saying the word berry a second ago. Well, that’s what a tomato is, a berry!
Tomatoes belong to the Solanum Lycopersicum plant, more commonly referred to as the tomato plant. It comes from Central America, but can be found in South America as well.
On the botanic side of the story, it’s a fruit that you don’t want to see mixed in your food salad. This is why there’s so much confusion, and why it is considered a culinary vegetable. Another reason is that the sugar levels are much lower than you can usually find in fruits.
Basically, it’s good in a salad but weird in a fruit smoothie.
The Health Benefits Of Tomatoes
The tomato is considered by some experts to be a superfood. What this means is that there are many benefits and few drawbacks to eating the stuff.
Not only that, it is packed full of healthy and nutritious elements.
We’re going to go through some of those benefits right now, just in case you’re still not on our side.
The tomato, like any other food, is a great addition to your body when it comes to the intake of certain substances. But if you need to eat certain foods while avoiding others, because of some medical condition – always get your doctor’s opinion first. And if you are on any medication, remember to never go overboard with any food.
Even air is bad for you if you take in too much of it. So keep your intake at a somewhat normal level and you should be fine.
Like we already said, tomatoes are considered a superfood, and one of the components that they are full of is vitamin C.
With the combination of it and other antioxidants, free radicals should have a hard time forming. Free radicals can cause cancer cells to appear, so stopping their formation is a pretty good idea if you ask us.
Certain studies also suggest that high levels of beta-carotene in your body can prevent tumor development in the prostate. While we’re on this subject, tomatoes also contain lycopene; a plant compound that gives tomatoes their red color. Aside from the color, it has also shown great results in prostate cancer prevention.
Handling Blood Pressure
The main thing about maintaining healthy blood pressure is keeping sodium intake low. And while that is generally something you should keep your eye on, high potassium intake could be just as important.
What potassium does is help widen the arteries in and around your heart. This lets your body regulate blood pressure quite easily.
So with this combination, you should be set to go!
Tomato Shaped Heart And Vice Versa
Another advantage of tomatoes is the positive effect it has on the heart. Many heart diseases are related to low levels of lycopene in the body.
Lycopene is, like we mentioned already, one of the substances found in tomatoes, so enough munching of the stuff could save a life!
No Sugar, No Diabetes
Tomatoes contain very little amounts of sugars. This is one of the main reasons that they’re not included in the fruit family very often.
The positive side of that, especially for us Paleo folks, is that low sugar levels help our bodies function better, faster, and healthier.
The main problem with sugar is that if enough of it enters the bloodstream, your body no longer knows how to handle it. Insulin can’t be pumped in to take care of the massive glucose amounts and diabetes is developed.
So if you’re looking for a low-sugar fruit to add to your meals, look no further!
Tomato Colored Goggles
Because of the high levels of carotene, tomatoes can help cure some problems that are caused in the eyes.
The healing of some small injuries can be sped up with tomatoes, just don’t go too far!
Remember that lycopene we keep mentioning all over the place? Well, that same compound has been proven in multiple studies to help with skin health.
Sunburns can also heal quicker if the body has enough lycopene to go around.
The Health Risks
The health risks of tomatoes are few and far between. But there is always something we have to mention.
Tomatoes have the reputation of not being the cleanest fruit out of the box. But that’s not the fault of our favorite berry! This reputation made it a part of The Dirty Dozen, a list of 12 fruits and vegetables that have the highest levels of pesticide found on store-ready products.
This problem is solvable, though – always buy from local markets that you can trust. Buying organic tomatoes doesn’t always solve the problem, but it does help.
Whatever you do and wherever you buy your tomatoes, make sure you wash them well before eating.
Nutritional Values Of Tomatoes
So we know that they’re healthy and you probably know they taste great. But what about the nutritional value?
So far they sound too good to be true, so let’s take a look at the numbers to figure out what’s going on here.
Nutritional Values Of Tomatoes
Well isn’t that something? The perfect fruit gets even better.
Sure, no food should be eaten in excessive measures. But this is a healthier version of water!
The protein numbers are nothing to brag about, but the low carb levels sure are. The potassium helps the heart as we mentioned already, and the cholesterol is at a perfect zero.
All in all, you can pretty much add tomatoes to any meals you see fit. We suggest always having it in your salads since the texture adds something special.
Can You Eat Tomatoes On Paleo – Final Words
There are many vegetables that we would suggest you implement in your meals and salads. But none of those is a superfood, quite like tomato is.
The tomato is a fruit, a berry, and a veggie at the same time and it manages to be great in all those roles.
It’s a low-sugar fruit that has amazing health benefits.
It has many shapes and sizes, so we feel confident in putting the cherry tomato between our favorite berries as well.
The vegetable side of the story is possibly the best part. Put it in any salad, roast it in an oven, or make a delicious soup. Whatever you do to it, you’ll have a perfect addition to your meal, or even a fully healthy one!
Just make sure to always know as much as you can about where the tomato you’re eating comes from. The Dirty Dozen reputation is one that truly shouldn’t be attached to such a superfood like this, but it is what it is.
If your Paleo diet didn’t involve enough tomatoes, we reckon it’s time to make some changes!