The Real Reason You're Craving Tomatoes

Everyone has craved a certain food at some point, but usually it's things like candy, chips, and baked goods that you can't get out of your mind. However, sometimes you may find yourself longing for a fruit like tomatoes. Craving tomatoes is actually a common enough occurrence that it has its own name: tomatophagia (via Healthline). It is most common in pregnant women, but can occur in anyone.

Tomatophagia is often associated with nutrient deficiencies. Tomatoes contain many vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, and being low in any of those nutrients may cause you to crave the fruit. If you are low in lycopene, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, or folic acid, which are all found in tomatoes, you may find yourself experiencing tomatophagia. This craving has also been associated with iron deficiencies, although experts aren't sure why because tomatoes contain very little iron. However, iron-deficiency anemia can result in craving many different types of foods and tomatoes may happen to be one of them. Symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia include fatigue, weakness, pale skin, and cold feet and hands. If you think your tomato cravings are caused by this deficiency, visit your doctor.

Benefits of tomatoes

Whether you're craving tomatoes or not, this fruit is an important part of any diet. Tomatoes are packed with many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium (via Health). One tomato provides almost 40% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C as well. Tomatoes also contain an antioxidant called lycopene, which can help lower your cholesterol levels and blood pressure, as well as reduce the accumulation of artery-clogging plaque in your body. In turn, this can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Eating tomatoes can also improve your vision, boost your digestive health, improve your skin, and protect against some types of cancer. Fortunately, tomatoes are a versatile fruit and can be easily added to your diet. They can be eaten raw, which makes them easy to enjoy as a snack or an addition to salads. They can also be sautéed and added to pasta dishes, vegetable stir frys, and more. Tomatoes can even be cooked down and pureed into soups and sauces. However you prefer to eat them, try to eat tomatoes more often to enjoy their health benefits.