Tomatoes are everywhere!Tomatoes are found over half of the recipes we eat. Be it in the form of salads, ketchup, pickles, a dressing or simply to complement a curry.
But do they cause kidney stones?
There are growing health concerns about tomatoes being the cause of the kidney stones. This article focuses on whether or not tomatoes cause kidney stones. It also focuses on the bad and good effects they can have on your health.
Will Eating Tomatoes Lead To Kidney Stone?
Yes, tomatoes can be a reason behind kidney stones.
How? Tomatoes contain an element called oxalate but not in very high quantities. Consuming too much of oxalate can cause kidney stones in the long run as oxalate absorbs the calcium from various foods and stores it in it the body.
When both oxalate and calcium combine they can be hazardous and lead to calcium kidney stone formation.
If you eat too much oxalate-rich food, it can harm your kidneys. Have a variety of foods to eat from.
Eating tomatoes are safe but not if you overdo on the quantity.
It is not recommended that people who already suffer from kidney stones to eat tomatoes.
Why? Read on for the answer
Advice For Those Already Suffering From Calcium Stones
These are the most common types of stones that form in the kidney. Oxalate combines with calcium in the body. Excess of oxalate may lead to the formation of such stones.
For people who already have calcium stones, it is advised that they consume foods that are low on oxalate.
They should regulate some foods like tomatoes, Chinese and Mexican food which is high in salt and food rich in calcium like cheese, yogurt, milk, tofu etc.
Food higher in oxalate include berries, spinach, parsley, cocoa, nuts, bran, beets and Swiss chard.
Use Tomatoes Wisely
Now, the question arises How can I use tomatoes if I am suffering from the kidney stone?If using in curries, boil the whole tomatoes, blend it in a mixer and strain it. This will give you the perfect puree without seeds.
Just make a puree and strain it.Avoid eating it in salads.
What Are Kidney Stones?
What are calcium kidney stones again? To know it you must first know what are kidney stones?
A kidney stone is a sort of material that forms inside your kidney. A stone can be stuck either in your bladder, your urethra or your ureters.
They can vary in size ranging from gravel to as small as the size of sand. They can be highly painful and block the passage through which urine passes.
Basically, there are 4 types of kidney stones.
- Calcium stone: This is the most common type of kidney stone. The calcium combines with oxalate (which is also very common) and forms a stone. 75% of most kidney stones are of this type.
- Uric Acid stone: Too much of acid in the urine leads to the formation of this kind of stone.
- Cystine stones: Caused by the disease that runs in the family and is rather a rare kind of stone formation.
- Struvite stone: These stones may appear after an infection in your urinary system.
Other Foods That Can Cause Kidney Stones
There are certain foods connected with the formation of kidney stones such as:
- Foods rich in oxalates like tea, tomatoes, aerated drinks, spinach and nuts.
- Excess of uric acid like in red meat.
- Deficiency of fluids in the body.
- Foods high in salt content like pickles, seafood etc.
Benefits Of Eating Tomatoes
You cannot just ignore tomatoes just because of their high oxalates content. Tomatoes are packed with nutrients, which obviously will result in a lot of health benefits. Here are a few to start with:
1. Good For The Heart
Intake of tomatoes has been proven to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. The phytonutrients present in it is associated with lowering the formation of blood clots and lumps.
2. The Antioxidants Benefit The Body
Antioxidants are needed by the body to keep the oxygen supply in the body in check. Tomatoes are a very rich in Vitamin E and C which are essential antioxidant nutrients which keep the cardiovascular system and the body healthy.
3. It Is Good For The Bones
Vitamin K and certain antioxidant present in tomatoes regulate the formation of bone tissues and the bone density.It also maintains bone health by enhancing the ratio of calcium in the body.
4. Anti-Cancer Properties
A healthy intake of tomatoes can lower the risk of developing various kinds of cancers, namely lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer in men.
They have high antioxidants and anti-inflammatory index which help to reduce the risk of cancers.
5. They Are Good For Your Skin
Tomatoes are a high source of lycopene which is beneficial for the skin. It is an important ingredient found in many facials and cleansers.
Why go for the costly artificial stuff when you can make a tomato face pack at home?Just add tomato paste to a cup of yogurt. Your very own homemade face pack is ready.
6. Repairs Damage Caused By Smoking
They have coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid which protects the body from carcinogens that are produced from cigarette smoking. This way they reduce the damage done.
7. Good For The Eyes
Vitamin A also found in tomatoes is beneficial for improving vision, which also helps prevent the development of night blindness.
8. Excellent For Your Hair
Vitamin A also benefits the hair health by making them fantastically shiny and strong.
Side Effects Of Eating Too Much Tomatoes
Aside from these numerous health benefits listed above, tomatoes can also harm your health if taken in high quantities.
1. Disturbs The Immunity
An important nutrient found in tomatoes is lycopene. Lycopene does wonders for the skin and helps keep cancer out. But there is a drawback if it is taken in high quantities. Excessive intake of lycopene can affect the functioning of the immune system and slow it down.
2. Can Cause Heartburns
Tomatoes are full of acids. Eating excessive tomatoes can be a reason for gastrointestinal disorders.
A very common reaction from eating foods rich in acids is “acid reflux”.
In this disorder, the acid from the food raises the levels of digestive acids in the stomach and these acids reach out to the esophagus and give a burning sensation.In worst case scenarios one can experience a heartburn.
3. Causes Discomfort To The Stomach
Eating too many tomatoes can result in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), also triggered by the lycopene present in them.
It is accompanied by sharp pain and discomfort in the abdomen. Further, it can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, be bloating and indigestion.
4. Vitamin Overdose
As seen in the nutritional index of tomatoes above, you can see it is abundant in so many Vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. Overeating tomatoes can cause the excess of vitamins in the body and can do more harm than good.
Can Cause Kidney Stones?
The answer is Yes. Eating way too much of tomatoes may cause kidney stones in the long run. Also, they can be harmful to the people who are already suffering from the kidney stones.
Many times we are blinded by myths about certain foods. It is better to know the facts before jumping to any conclusion.
Mostly, every food is beneficial when taken in the correct quantity. Similar is the case with tomatoes. It is commonly used in the kitchen either as a salad or complements the curries. If taken correctly it is a super healthy ingredient to add to your everyday diet.