Can You Eat Green Tomatoes Raw?

by Charlie

Tomatoes are the fruits of the tomato plant, even though we consider them to be vegetables. You can trace the history of tomatoes back to as far as 700 A.D. The most common type is large, round, and red. However, there are numerous varieties of tomatoes in the world today, including green tomatoes. 

There are two types of green tomatoes; unripe red tomatoes and actual green tomatoes. Before red tomatoes ripen, they hold a green color, but, as they age, they take on the red pigment. Green tomatoes remain green even after ripening. 

Ripe green tomatoes are soft when you press them, unlike unripe red tomatoes, which will feel solid. Like red tomatoes, the green tomatoes are highly nutritious, packing decent amounts of carbohydrates, fiber, and other compounds. 

Can you eat green tomatoes raw? Yes, you can eat green tomatoes raw. They are juicy, sweet, and full of antioxidants, which help in fighting various diseases. They can make a valuable contribution to people looking to maintain a healthy diet.

Ripe green tomatoes are just as nutritious as their red counterparts. 

Are Raw Green Tomatoes Poisonous?

Most plants, including standard vegetables and herbs, contain toxins. This is a type of defense mechanism to limit predation. That is why people can get sick after overeating various vegetables. Being omnivores, humans can absorb and break down most plant toxins, as long as they are not too potent. 

Green tomatoes are in the same family, Solanaceae, with various poisonous plants such as deadly nightshade, henbane, datura, and mandrake. Therefore it is no surprise that tomatoes contain toxic alkaloids such as solanine, atropine, and tomatine. Nevertheless, as tomatoes ripen, the levels of these alkaloids gradually reduce. 

The highest concentration of these toxins is in the stem and leaves of the tomato plant and immature tomatoes. However, these alkaloids are in such small quantities that for you to get a lethal dose, you’d have to eat about 300 green tomatoes. 

So, are green tomatoes poisonous? Yes, green tomatoes are mildly toxic, but not enough to cause much harm to humans. They contain small amounts of alkaloid toxins that are not potent enough to be life-threatening to humans. But, when you eat green tomatoes in excess, these alkaloids can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

Plus, ripe green tomatoes, like the red ones, contain smaller doses of the alkaloids, making them less of a threat to humans. Nevertheless, individuals with autoimmune disorders are at a high risk of experiencing inflammation from eating tomatoes. 

What are the Health Benefits of Green Tomatoes?

While green tomatoes can seem less vibrant than red tomatoes, they are no less nutritious. Eating green tomatoes offers excellent health benefits to people who choose to include them in their diet. The nutrients in green tomatoes help neutralize free radicals, strengthen immunity, speed healing, promote skin health, and prevent heart problems

Firstly, green tomatoes have vitamin A and flavonoids, which work together to fight the effects of free radicals. Free radicles form when we are exposed to radiation from electronic devices or the sun’s U.V. rays. Taking decent amounts of green tomatoes helps manage and lower the presence of free radicals in the body. 

Vitamin A, B6, and C in green tomatoes assist in boosting the body’s immunity. These vitamins strengthen the antibodies that combat harmful substances in the body. Green tomatoes contain bioflavonoids, which have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that speed up the healing process. 

They also contain potassium, which works with vitamin A and C to maintain the skin’s elasticity. These nutrients are famous for promoting skin freshness and tone. The presence of dietary fiber in green tomatoes aids in lowering the risk of heart problems. Some of the fiber in tomatoes is soluble, which reduces cholesterol levels and heart disease development.

What Nutrients Can We Find in Green Tomatoes?

Green tomatoes contain nutrients such as water, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K1, and vitamin B9. They also have beneficial plant compounds like chlorogenic acid, naringenin, and beta carotene.

One hundred grams of raw green tomatoes offers 18 calories. Water accounts for 95% of the weight of tomatoes. Green tomatoes have low amounts (less than five grams) of carbohydrates. The carb content comprises mostly of simple sugars like glucose and fructose. 

Tomatoes also pack a fair amount of fiber, but mostly insoluble ones like cellulose, lignin, and hemicellulose.  

Vitamins and minerals are also part of the package when eating green tomatoes. They supply about 28% of the RDI for Vitamin C and a decent potassium quantity, which is beneficial in heart disease prevention. 

You can also find vitamin K, which is crucial for blood clotting functions in green tomatoes. They also provide folate necessary for healthy tissue growth and cell function, especially in pregnant women.

Final Thoughts 

  • There are two types of green tomatoes, which are unripe red tomatoes and real green tomatoes. Unripe red tomatoes are green at first but turn red as they mature, while whole green tomatoes are green even when ripe.
  • You can eat green tomatoes raw because they are tasty and contain useful nutrients that promote a healthy lifestyle. 
  • Green tomatoes contain minute amounts of alkaloid toxins, and these quantities decrease as the tomato ripens. These toxins are not potent enough to be life-threatening to humans. However, eating green tomatoes excessively can cause an accumulation of these toxins and cause digestive discomfort.
  • Raw green tomatoes have numerous health benefits such as boosting immunity, reducing free radicals, promoting healthy skin, speeding the healing process, and preventing heart problems. 
  • Green tomatoes mostly contain water along with nutrients like carbohydrates and fiber. They also host various vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B9, Vitamin K, and minerals such as potassium. 
  • Overall, raw green tomatoes can be a valuable addition to your regular diet.

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