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Tomatophagia: Craving for Tomatoes

Updated on February 5, 2017
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Martie Coetser is a freelance writer from South Africa. She has a keen interest in a variety of topics.

Source

The tomato—Solanum lycopersicum—is an edible, typically red fruit classified as a berry and originally from South America. It is rich in the natural antioxidant, lycopene, a carotene (pigment) that makes fruit and vegetables red. According to research, lycopene might:

  • lower the risk of cancers of the prostate, breast, head, and neck,
  • protect against neurodegenerative diseases,
  • enhance the skin's ability to protect against harmful UV rays,
  • lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS, previously known as prostatism),
  • and reduce the cardiovascular risk associated with type 2 diabetes.

Interesting Facts About Tomatoes

  • The word "tomato" comes from the Nahuatl word tomatl, which means ‘the swelling fruit’.
  • There are many different categories of tomatoes and many other colors besides red. (However, the one who has a craving to eat them don’t regard this fact as important. As long as it is fresh and juicy, it shall be relished.)
  • Tomato leaves and stems are toxic to humans and dogs if ingested, as they contain atropine and other tropane alkaloids.
  • According to some authorities, green, unripe tomatoes are also toxic, containing the poisonous alkaloid, tomatine. Nevertheless, I was assured by friends and Google that green tomatoes are edible and a popular item on the menus of restaurants.
  • Wilted or rotting tomatoes should not be eaten: since 1990 the fruit has been linked to seven salmonella outbreaks.
  • The tomato is the state fruit of Arkansas and Ohio.
  • And it is the state vegetable of New Jersey and Arkansas. Because of its use in cooking the tomato is considered a vegetable as well as a fruit.

Paul @ freedigitalphotos.net
Paul @ freedigitalphotos.net

Nutritional Value of a Tomato, Per 100 g (3.5 oz)

Nutrient
Amount
Percent of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)
Energy
74 kJ (18 kcal)
 
Carbohydrates
3.9 g
 
Sugars
2.6 g
 
Dietary fiber
1.2 g
 
Fat
0.2 g
 
Protein
0.9 g
 
Water
94.5 g
 
Vitamin A (equivalent)
42 μg (5%)
 
Lutein + zeaxanthin
123 μg
 
Vitamin C
14 mg
17%
Vitamin E
0.54 mg
4%
Potassium
237 mg
5%
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Grant Cochrane @ freedigitalphotos.net
Grant Cochrane @ freedigitalphotos.net

A Craving May Indicate a Deficiency of Minerals or Vitamins

Iron deficiency (anemia) has been associated with a craving to eat certain foods or substances: dirt, clay, ice, or crunchy foods. Mark A. Marinella, a physician at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, wrote about an anemic patient who had a desire to eat large amounts of tomatoes, a condition he named "tomatophagia." Dr. Marinella could not explain the connection; he said "there may be something about iron deficiency anemia that does not relate to the iron deficiency that causes the craving." Tomatoes do not contain much iron, as reader Bryn points out below (although as Bryn also points out, they contain vitamin C that may enhance the absorption of iron).

Marinella's experience suggests people craving tomatoes might well go for hemoglobin tests (which measure iron levels in the blood) or eat more iron-rich foods, such as clams, oysters, shrimp, sardines, liver, beef, lamb, cereals rich in iron, soybeans, lima beans, navy beans, pumpkin, white beans, lentils, spinach, chickpeas, cowpeas, duck and prune juice.

Logically, deficiency of any of the ingredients of tomatoes may be the reason for a craving for them. In my case, it was a deficiency of potassium.

I wondered whether giving free reins to a craving might have fatal consequences. So while putting the brakes on my craving for at least 12 tomatoes a day, I quickly checked what I need to know, keeping in mind that every source of information I found was likely to disagree with another.

Any single truth that ever existed, in the world of nutrition, has already been proved a myth. So it's one of my personal rules to take a pinch of salt along with all nutrition information I obtain.

Source

Vitamin C

According to my source, an average tomato contains approximately 14 mg of Vitamin C. Humans can tolerate 1000 mg per day of Vitamin C. So to overdose on vitamin C, one would have to eat more than 71 tomatoes a day. So I eliminated the possibility that I was getting a vitamin C overdose, because 12 tomatoes are more than enough to still my craving for 24 hours.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A overdose can be fatal! The adult human upper limit for Vitamin A consumption is 3000 micrograms per day. According to my source an average tomato contains about 42 micrograms of Vitamin A, so I would not approach the limit until 71 tomatoes a day. (Furthermore this limit is for vitamin A in pure form, not the carotene in tomatoes, which is less potentially toxic).

I don't think I can handle more than 12 tomatoes a day, as such voracity causes nausea, headache, and that awful inflated feeling one gets when he or she has eaten too much of anything.

So I decided that overdosing on Vitamin A from eating tomatoes was not a possibility either.

Vitamin E

The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin E, also known as tocopherol, is 15 mg per day, although many experts recommend much more. An average tomato contains 0.54 mg. So It would take 27 tomatoes a day to even get to the recommended dietary allowance, let alone an overdose. Who can eat 27 tomatoes per day? Already determined: not me.

Potassium

Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K (Kalium), responsible for the proper function of muscles and nerves. It also keeps the electrolyte and acid-base levels in the body balanced. Most important, it regulates blood pressure.

The body does not store a reserve of potassium; it is a macro mineral that needs to be taken in on a daily basis, though it is easy to obtain, as it is found in most foods.

Many nutritionists recommend an intake of 2000 mg per day, though the Institute of Medicine 2004 guidelines recommend 4000 mg per day.

An average tomato contains more or less 237 mg potassium, which means I can eat 8-16 tomatoes per day, depending on which recommendation you follow, without exceeding the recommended intakes.

Knowing myself and my ailments, I immediately suspected my craving was due to a deficiency in potassium (not iron, or not just iron). I have always trusted my body; it tells me when it needs to be boosted with some nutrient that is in short supply. However, I don't want to overdose either.

The Consequences of Potassium Overdose

As potassium is, among many other nutrients, a regulator of blood pressure, people with high blood pressure should for obvious reasons not overdose themselves with this mineral. But I am lucky, my blood pressure is below normal. Perhaps this low blood pressure was the instigator of my craving.

I could easily regard this finding as a good enough reason to relax my cramp on my crave and go relish 12 screaming tomatoes. Yes, they are screaming loud and clear, calling me, all of them at once: irresistible. But my in my nutritional reading, my scanning eyes had picked up the word 'kidney' in one of the paragraphs I thought I could skip.

The kidneys control potassium excretion, so evidently an overdose will cause problems. A sick (or confused) kidney may excrete too much potassium into the blood stream. This could lead to the malfunction of muscles and nerves, and the result could be fatal cardiac arrhythmia.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the infamous Dr. Death, applied concentrated potassium chloride in his practice of euthanasia. He regarded this method as most effective and fast acting, as it neutralizes the electrical conduction of the heart and therefore induces immediate heart failure.

Concentrated potassium chloride is also used as the last of the lethal injections in the execution of criminals because it stops the heart in just a few minutes.

Symptoms of Hyperkalemia (Overdose of Potassium)

  • palpitations
  • stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • muscle spasms
  • slow, weak pulse
  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • tiredness
  • heart failure

Fruits and Vegetables Containing Potassium

(click column header to sort results)
Food  
Amount  
Potassium Content (in Milligrams)  
Papaya
one
781
Prune juice
one cup
707
Tomato Juice
one cup
535
Sweet Potato
one baked, with skin
508
Molasses
one tablespoon
498
Cantaloupe
one cup cubed
494
Banana
one small
467
Honeydew Melon
one diced
461
Avocado
one-half medium
450
Potato
one-half medium, with skin
422
Tomato
one large chopped or sliced
400
Pinto Beans
one-half cup cooked
400
Yogurt
six ounces
398
Milk
one cup 2% white
377
Lentils
one-half cup
365
Raisins
one-third cup
363
Peas
one-half cup
355
Soy Milk
one cup
345
Kiwi
one medium
252
Mango
mango
323
Salmon
three ounces baked or broiled
319
Asparagus
one cup fresh or cooked
288
Pumpkin
one-half cup cooked
282
Mushrooms
one-half cup cooked
277
Turkey
three ounces, roasted, dark meat
259
Brussels Sprouts
one-half cup fresh
247
Sunflower Seeds
one-fourth cup
241
Orange
one small
237
Orange Juice
one-half cup
236
Beef
three ounces cooked lean
224
Cottage Cheese
one cup low-fat (2%)
217
Peanut Butter
two tablespoons
214
Pear
one medium
208
Peach
one medium
193
Peanuts
one ounce, salted
187
Green Beans
one-half cup fresh
187
Carrots
one-half cup fresh
177
Watermelon
one cup
176
Zucchini (Summer Squash)
one-half cup cooked
173
Chocolate
one and one-half ounce bar
169
Apple
one small
159
Peaches
one-half cup canned, in juice
158
Ricotta Chese
one-half cup
154
Pineapple
one-half cup canned
152
Cauliflower
one-half cup fresh
151
Apple Juice
one-half cup
147
Peas
canned, one-half cup
147
Broccoli
one-half cup fresh
143
Strawberries
one-half cup fresh sliced
138
Ice Cream
one-half cup, vanilla
131
Corn
one-half cup frozen
120
Mandarin Oranges
one-half cup
98
Grapes
ten small
93
Cucumber
one-half cup sliced
88
Iceberg Lettuce
one cup
87
Green Beans
one-half cup frozen
85
American Cheese
one ounce
79
Applesauce
one-half cup, sweetened
78
Blueberries
one-half cup fresh
63
Egg
one
55
Cheddar Cheese
one ounce
28

Pain and Swelling in the Legs May Be Related to Potassium Intake

A circulatory condition called chronic venous insufficiency can cause pain and swelling in the legs, and may be related to potassium intake.

Suat Emon @ freedigitalphotos.net
Suat Emon @ freedigitalphotos.net

© 2012 Martie Coetser

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    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 months ago from South Africa

      Besarien – I was not aware of the nicotine in tomatoes. But keep in mind, nicotine has a serious effect on a person’s vitimin C level. Smoking also suppressed the body’s craving for needed vitamins and minerals. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C. Cauliflower, too. So, it could be that there is no nicotine in fruit and vegetables, but rather the vitamins and minerals we need especially since we are no longer fooling our body with nicotine. I am certainly going to do some more researching, because knowing what vegetables and fruits contain nicotine could make quitting cigarettes even easier, not so? If we can’t smoke nicotine, at least we can eat it. Lol!

      Thank you so much for your comment, and sorry you had to wait 2 weeks for my reply.

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 2 months ago

      Tomatoes also contain nicotine. I craved them, cauliflower and eggplant constantly when I quit smoking. Yep, all three high in nicotine. Really nicely written hub and your photos are making me hungry!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      Shyron E Shenko – Is it not wonderful to find the cause of our cravings? My craving was instigated by a deficiency of potassium. Blessings to you, too, Shyron :)

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 months ago from Texas

      Martie, thank you for this information, I love tomatoes and so does my hubby - he is the one with the craving for them, now I know why when I read "Marinella's experience suggests people craving tomatoes might well go for hemoglobin tests (which measure iron levels in the blood) or eat more iron-rich foods.

      Hubby goes weekly for the hemoglobin tests and if it is below 10 points he get a shot, and sometimes he has to get iron injections along with the Pro-crit shot.

      Blessings to you my dear friend.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Peg, this hub seems to be quite popular, according to the number of reads per day/week/month. To think there was a time when people just ate for the sake of eating. Today they want to know every detail on nutrition. Thanks for reading and commenting :)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Interesting topic and educational as well. I had to check out your article about this craving to see what it was all about. Quite informative with a lot of good detail on nutrition.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Tillsontitan, we have tomatoes throughout the years. I believe they are grown in 'tunnels' during winter. I have never-ever found them 'out of stock'. But oh, the moment I think of tomatoes, I have to find one to eat. I also love tomato jam.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Vctoria, my mother-in-law used to say when you have eggs and tomatoes, you have food... :) Personally I can do a lot without tomatoes, but only for myself. That is if I don't battle with a craving. The moment I have to prepare meals for others, I need a couple of tomatoes.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Here tomatoes are seasonal too! There's nothing like a fresh grown tomato in the summer to top off whatever you're eating, and a salad? Wouldn't be the same without a fresh tomato.

      Once winter approaches we get tomatoes from other parts of the country, but by the time they get to us they have little left to resemble the taste of a true tomato.

      This was not only fun to read but informative and helpful. An evergreen hub for sure.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I've always craved tomatoes, but I think it's just because I love them so much! I have certain things I must always have on hand--even the less tasty ones in the winter. Tomatoes are on the list of staples I have to have, along with coffee, milk, and--oh, I can't think right now. But tomatoes? Definitely have to have them. Neat hub!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Thelma, I've never added any Amazon and Ebay links. One of the reasons of this editing is to get hubs more suitable for reading via cellphones, and this means pictures may not be next to a text capsule.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      Hi ! I´m back again to see the changes as this has been edited by HP. I noticed that you have no ads from Amazon or Ebay in your article. Was there ads before this was edited?

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      @ Happyboomernurse – I tend to take tomatoes in my food and salads for granted, but when I develop a craving, I know I have a potassium deficiency

      @ Mary hyatt – Oh no! And I was waiting to see more pictures of your tomatoes?

      @ teaches12345 – The pictures are indeed a great appetizer :)

      @ midget38 – This is what I love about Hubpages – we learn as we write and read :) Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      I never knew that a craving indicated deficiency! Thanks for the tips, Martie. Shared!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      The photos are a nice touch. I love this fruit- veggie. Thanks for listing the benefits.

    • profile image

      Mary hyatt 2 years ago

      I love home grown tomatoes but I don't crave them. I tried this year to grow tomatoes in pots. What a disaster that was!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

      Dear Martie,

      Excellent article containing much information I was not aware of, and the pictures are mouth-watering.

      I love tomatoes, especially fresh from the garden, but do not crave them.

      Thanks for posting this info, especially the chart listing the potassium levels in different kinds of food.

      Hugs,

      Gail

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Hi, vocalcoach! Drooling is the word... when I see a bowl with slices tomatoes. I love a lot of pepper on it, and salt, of course. Sometimes I want it with sugar. Yummy! I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers while you're recovering from knee surgery, Audrey. Hip surgery will be my lot in a year or two. In the meantime I have to control the pain !! Hugs to you :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Dearest Maria, I haven't seen any changes... Let's check again next week... There may be six instead of three tomatoes... :) Love you!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Dear fpher, we have tomatoes throughout the year. I'm going to buy another dozen tomorrow, as talking about it activates my crave :) Miss you too :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Hi bravewarrior, a deficiency of potassium makes me crave tomatoes from time to time. And I would never refuse a tomato sandwich :) Thanks for commenting :)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Just sit me in front of a big ole tomato plant and im in heaven

      What a pleasant treat this hub is martie!

      Your photos left me drooling and i enjoyed the list of foods with potassium amounts provided.

      The comments left by others were an added bonus to your fantastic article.

      As i recover from my knee surgery i sip on nice hot mug of organic tomato juice topped with a generous helping of grated cheddar cheese.

      A superior hub which i will share with others

      A big congratulations on reaching the big five here on hub pages!

      Audrey

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Three years later this post is juicier and better than ever.

      Thanks for sharing again, dear Martie, as have I...

      And now, I'm off for a tomato sandwich. Love and hugs, mar

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Hey Martie my dear friend......I do like tomatoes......but honestly, around my part of the country, they are strictly "seasonal." I say this because that is the only time I eat them. Fresh, locally grown tomatoes cannot be beat!! They are absolutely delicious, juicy, firm and taste to perfection. (My opinion)

      So...basically, I O.D. on tomatoes during the season! I put them on everything and eat them every day. Do I worry about the acid? Obviously not!

      Thanks for your TOMATO TRIBUTE!!! Miss you, Paula

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Interesting article, Martie. I love tomatoes but I can't say I've ever craved them. Usually when I crave something it's seafood or something salty.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      peachpurple, thanks for telling me. I was under the impression raw tomatoes are toxic. Will give it a try :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Mary, I wish you luck. I, too, feel quite encouraged to grow my own. Thanks to David Stillwell's aka deavenmidtown's constant posts about his vegetable garden :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Hi David, tomatoes are a core ingredient of our meals. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, name it during any season and tomatoes are part of it. I like tomatoes, but I will not die for it.... unless I have a deficiency of Potassium :: Thanks for reading and commenting :)

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I usually eat raw tomatoes, sweet n juicy

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      One of my greatest challenges in life is to grow my own tomatoes! Don't laugh....I have a green thumb when it comes to flower gardening, but I have NEVER been able to grow tomatoes! I am once again trying this year. Wish we luck.

      Great Hub with great information!

      Voted UP, etc. and shared.

    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 2 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Nice article Martie. Each year I grow about 300 pounds of tomatoes. One of the keys, that I use when eating tomatoes like a crazy pig is to drink a lot of water. I love tomatoes. I look forward to a tomato sandwich each June... as that is the time when the slicing tomatoes usually produce.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 2 years ago from California

      Indeed you may, especially taking diuretics.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      tireless, I am constantly craving potatoes - and now it struck me that I may need an ongoing supplement of potassium/kalium :)

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 2 years ago from California

      My tomato craving has turned to potato craving; same deficiency :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Hi K-lowjuz - Thanks for confirming that a craving for tomato is caused by a potassium deficiency. My potassium deficiency was caused by diuretics. Why, we don't know the consequences of taking diuretics without potassium supplementary until we find ourselves craving for tomatoes or something else. Yes, my doctor did described it, but "clever me" thought it was not that important and expensive enough to ignore. I hope you will soon be well.

    • profile image

      K-lowjuzcravr 2 years ago

      I have been craving tomato juice (with lemon:) just about desperately for a month and happened to have some lab work scheduled. Sure enough, low potassium. My thyroid is low ( Hashimoto's) always but my doctor was able to lower the amount of replacement hormone. Any correlation?? Thought I read something somewhere...too sleep deprived to remember!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you, Bryn. I will add your comment to the hub.

    • profile image

      Bryn 3 years ago

    • profile image

      Bryn 3 years ago

      WRONG - Tomatoes hardly have any iron at all. They contain Vitamin C, which can help with iron absorption.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      Hi, Jessica, obviously you are not overdosing yourself with potassium; your body needs all of it. The contents of this article is based on research and not suck out of my thumb. I love tomatoes, but only developed a crave when I have a deficiency of potassium.

    • profile image

      Jessica 3 years ago

      If this were true, I'd be dead......

      I crave tomatoes, including juice. I cannot control my craving. I drink an entire gallon on tomato juice within an hour some days. I just drank a half gallon today.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      SCervantes, mine was definitely a potassium-deficiency, though I know it could have been iron. We should never ignore our cravings; our body's way to communicate with us... Thanks for confirming that a craving for tomatoes could be an iron-deficiency :)

    • profile image

      SCervantes 4 years ago

      I deal with iron-deficiency anemia. First clue my iron count is low...an overwhelming urge to eat whole tomatoes!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Enjoy that tomato, Nick! Oh, and what is tomato soup without basil?

    • profile image

      Nick 4 years ago

      Holy moly, I think I just got a twitch from wintang that so badly.Fortunately when I get home I'm totally going to hit that. I have one beautiful tomato left from my last farmers market visit and basil in my garden!!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      c mark walker - I have learned to listen to my body. Cravings, excluding addiction to unhealthy substances, normally indicate some or the other deficiency. So go for it! Enjoy your phagia :)

    • c mark walker profile image

      Charles Mark Walker 4 years ago from Jasper Georgia

      I never knew there was a term for late spring tomato cravings...that's so funny. I get those all year for different things. I eat seasonally so strawberries are on the menu this month.Waiting for peaches;wonder what "obiaphagia' that is?

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Peggy - you are not the first to say that green tomatoes are not poisonous. And now I am really curious and feel like going into this. It could be a myth! Well, it must be, but why? Maybe only certain types are not to be eaten green. Let me ask Google.... :))

      http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=201209...

      I think I better delete that sentence in my hub.

      Thanks for you visit, Peggy :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Martie,

      I have 9 tomato plants in our garden this year...many different varieties and quite a few are heirloom ones. I found this hub to be very interesting! Whether fruit or vegetable...I love them in all guises...salsas, Italian sauces, roasted or grilled and fresh. I also love green fried tomatoes. I never knew that they were considered poisonous. They are served in many restaurants in the South that way. Up, useful and sharing.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Thelma, good to see you in my corner. What a great idea to grow one's own tomatoes. I think it is high time for me to do it myself. Thanks for commenting and sharing :)

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Wow! This hub has loads of informations. I love tomatoes very much that I´m growing them in my garden for my own use. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful;-)

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Rasta, thank you so much for this information. I am going to try your recipe for beet-carrot-ginger juice. I know their nutritional value too well, just never thought of making a liquid meal of them. A I've said, I am not creative in the kitchen.

      Oh, once upon a time I had all the desire in the world to be, and I actually was for a while, but, between me and you, when a husband does not appreciate his wive's efforts in the kitchen in a proper way, she loses interest and simply change into a robot-chef doing the most essential. (And this is also the case in other departments of marriage...)

      Back to tomatoes...

      Thanks again for sharing your knowledge. Much appreciated!

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      @MartieCoetser. Blending beet, carrot and ginger is traditional in Jamaica. I use a strainer to get pure juice. Doing a little research has proven this is a complete meal, especially for vegans. It solves the vitamin (c), mineral and protein crisis that vegetarians dread.

      I use to binge on tomatoes too. Since I have been having beets, the urge is less. Your article also helped me to understand why. It is because beets contain lots of iron and vitamin C which I was craving. I really never recognized tomatoes as a source of iron. Iron is also synthesized by vitamin C. Therefore, iron in fruits and vegetable is bio-available. I still buy tomatoes in bulk though.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Rasta, I love beet. Just cooked without any extras.... Never thought of liquidizing (raw?) beet. Is that possible? The kitchen is unfortunately not my favorite hangout - just a place where I do essential work - feeding the family. If it was not for the family, I would only prepare a meal for myself a day before I die from hunger... Lol!

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Since I have been juicing beets, I have been eating less tomatoes. Your style of starting off with a poem is interesting.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you, Sturgeonl :)

    • Sturgeonl profile image

      Sturgeonl 5 years ago

      This is a spectacular resource packed full of valuable information. Voted up an awesome!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Jolynn ~ My problem was potassium (kalium) deficiency. But also beware, too much potassium (overdose) could be dangerous. Take care :)

    • profile image

      Jolynn 5 years ago

      I found this by googling why i had tomato craving. I have an outrageous craving for V8 juice and drank 1,4 litres a day for 2 weeks! every day! then i was off the v8 for 2 weeks and today i have an insatiable craving! i enjoyed your info. i think i will look into the anemia thing!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Sarah, I am sure you have a kalium (potassium) deficiency - you can get this mineral at your local chemist - it is not expensive. Taking it will cure your crave for tomatoes withing days. You might as well also take magnesium & calcium, both important minerals needed by our bodies, and what about vitamins? Your crave could also be an iron deficiency, but I put my money on kalium. Google the names to see their functions. Cheers and have a nice day :) Please keep me informed.

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      Sarah 5 years ago

      I have been craving tomatoes now for about three months, since my Doctor put me on blood preassure pills, along with a vaso dialator. I sit here at night just chomping at the bit not to go eat more, or V8. Or salsa, mostly tomatoes and V8. This is quite weird since I am allergic to acid fruits, I usually break out all over my face but not this time. Not one blister, but I have not been in the sun either. I read on a different blog that a woman was eating like 10 a day due to her craving for them. She has a blood transfussion and her lining of her stomach was bleeding and had to be repaired. She almost died. They also said she was on a painkiller for her overactive nerves like fibromyalgia. but what do I do, it's like a drug for me! I wish I knew why? I'm getting blood work done tomorrow! Will keep you poster.....

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      PDX - good t see you! I agree - tomatoes are delicious :)

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      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Regardless of nutritional content, I love tomatoes. Well done!

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Hady, well that is what I, too, learned during my research. But somebody commented that they've in fact eaten it when they were children? I can't see who it was - I am in the comment capsule now - but you will find the comment somewhere in the line...

      Thanks so much for your comment. Take care :)

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      Hady Chahine 5 years ago from Manhattan Beach

      Nice hub! Until now I never knew consuming tomato stems or green tomatoes is toxic to a person's health. Thanks!

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      coffeegginmyrice, oh yes, sauteed tomatoes and onions are delicious - we love to eat it as a sauce on our 'pap'.

      'Pap' is a starch dish down here - a porridge-like dish made with maize meal. We eat this 'pap' instead of rice or pasta with grilled and fried meat and/or sausages. On the menu will also be salads of all sorts. This is our 'barbeque' menu. Some people don't like 'pap', as it is 'poor man's food' - they will replace the pap at barbeques with bread roles or a potato-bake.

      Thank you for your delicious comment.

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Deborah, I hope you had enjoyed a delicious tomato :)

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you, Marcy! We are just never too old to hear reasons behind ordinary occurrences for the first time :)

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      I hope it was a big, juicy, delicious tomato, Sunshine :)

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      cclitgirl, I wish I could have some of your tomatoes. It must be delicious! Yummy!

      Thank you for your appetizing comment.

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Kris, I enjoyed the research and learned a lot myself.

      Thank you for sharing this one with your followers. The more we and everybody knows about ordinary things, the better off we will be in this world.

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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      I love the taste of sauteed tomatoes with lots of sweet onions! I enjoyed your hub! Voted up, up and away! Bookmarking and sharing! Thanks, Martie!

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      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Great hub filled with all sorts of interesting information. And now I must go find a tomato to satisfy this strange craving I have all of a sudden. : )

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      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      Happy Birthday, Martie!! I grew up in Ohio, the Tomato State, and I love everything about them. This is the first I've heard of the reason behind cravings, though!

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      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I will eat a tomato today in honor of your birthday!!:)

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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Oh man, I am a tomato LOVER! Hehe, I just planted four different varieties in my garden: Inca Hybrid, Cherokee Purple, Grape and Tomatillo. Yum, yum, yum. I think I eat tomatoes just about every day. Then again, that makes sense: together with beans, squash and corn, this was another wonderful Native American contribution to society. :) Voted and shared.

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      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      Another wonderful article - thanks for sharing all this good information. I loved learning that this specific craving had a name tied to it:) I will share with my follows as I think many will also find this interesting.

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Hi prasetio, I remember your hub. First thing when I wake up, I am going to fetch the link and add it to my hub. Thank you for reading and commenting. Have a great day. (2:05am SA)

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      prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I love tomatoes. Though I had wrote about this fruit, but your hub is better than me. Thanks for writing and share with us. I learn many things here. Rated up and pushing all buttons, except funny. Take care!

      Prasetio

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Millionaire Tips, welcome in my corner. Well this was the first time I had such an amazing crave, and I was surprise to learn it actually has a name - tomatophagia. Thanks for your comment.

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      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      You have presented lots of useful information about the tomato. I hadn't heard of tomato cravings before, although I have craved tomatoes from time to time - nothing to the extent that you have. I am glad the potassium tablets are helping the cravings, so you can enjoy tomatoes in moderation now.

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Maria, after tests - costed me an arm and a leg - my 'condition' (re legs) is officially diagnosed as natural aging and incurable. Now wth? I am not yet 60 and still 40 to go before I will regard myself ready for old-aged ailments. So what exactly is aging? The bones or the veins or the what? Sadly the first doctor I consulted said the same - something about the bending of the veins causing bla-bla-bla.... as if my veins are not supposed to bend when I am in a sitting position. No, really, I don't understand.... but back to tomato's... Thanks to potassium tablets - 2 per day - I no longer have a craving for tomatoes.

      I'm going to add a capsule to the hub to cover the fact that Kalium is another word for Potassium.... I've taken for granted that everybody knows this.

      Thanks for coming by, Maria. Hugs galore going your way....

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      Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      OMG, who does Lindsay Lohan think she is fooling with that crack on moderation (LOL)?

      I'm not sure how I missed this nutrient-packed hub, Sista. I had known of your 'condition' and am agog at the comprehensive information you have shared with us!

      I love Lydia's vocals.... Would you please forward the name of your make-up artist?!

      Voted UP & UAI...!

      Now if you will excuse me, I am fixing a duck sandwich with a short glass of prune juice, so I shall catch you later!

      Hugs and stuff, Maria

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Will, may you reap in abundance!

      :)

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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Here in Arizona, it's time to plant tomatoes!

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      tirelesstraveler - Yummie! Tomorrow we'll have fish with basil, rosemary and tomato for dinner... thanks to you.

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Becky, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with me. I've decided to skip the doctor for another 2 weeks while I sort my potassium level out, drop the diuretic and more frequent walking and exercises. One does not realize how time flies while sitting in front of a screen, writing and/or surfing the Internet. I love broccoli and bananas. I think it will take about 2 weeks to feel whether the deficiency is sorted out or not? I guess it is high time to get myself some proper Vitamin and mineral supplements. I may feel 25, but that 'feeling I' is not my flesh and bones. Thanks!

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      Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Martie, you know don't you, that symtoms of low potassium sound very much like your problem with your legs. The muscles are effected. I have no thyroid and low potassium is a side effect. Also of the diuretic I take and the blood pressure pill I take. That is why the Dr. put me on a potassium pill, to help keep it up. Just food wasn't doing it and I eat bananas and broccoli all the time.

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      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      After piling fresh basil and rosemary on some fish this evening I grilled the whole thing. Yum! The only thing missing was the tomato. Potassium deficiency caught my attention. After 14 days of gastroenteritis my husband is potassium deficient. Your extensive list of potassium rich foods gave me ideas on what to feed my husband. Liquid potassium is really hard on the stomach. Love tomatoes!

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      AliciaC – this is my first craving for tomatoes - quite weird. Thanks for clicking in. Take care :)

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      poetvix – And there was butter versus margarien... and now butter is again good for us, or have they change their minds again about this? I know people who are so into this eat-green-business; they drive their friends and relatives nuts. There is a specific name for them, but can’t remember it now. Thanks, Rhonda, for your lovely comment. Take care :)

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      drbj – oh, let me just give you a hug! That was exactly how much I liked tomatoes before this crave - on a hamburger, on pizza, in a mixed salad and as a gravy on our most delicious staple food, mieliepap (maize meal). The very poor eat this pap every day, while the middle class will seldom if ever have a barbeque without pap and tomato-stew. (Onions, tomatoes, green pepper, and, if we want to have it, mushrooms – all stewed into a delicious gravy/sauce.) Sometimes I felt like eating a tomato sliced and topped with sugar, but one is enough. And now this: A mind-wrecking craving.

      My knowledge and wisdom about tomatoes were also the same as yours – lol! - Although I also knew it contains Vitamin C and too much increase the body’s acid level. Nevertheless, I would have failed a test about tomatoes with you.

      Thank you so much for always delighting me with your fantastic sense of humor. I love you to bits :)))

      (7:40am and r u s h i n g to work >>>>>>>)

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Ruchira – Imagine all of us take after the color of our favorite fruit and vegetables :)) Thanks for coming over for the read and leaving me a smile-provoking comment.

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Alastar Packer – Your comment was the first I’ve read this morning, and you’ve given me such a smile I will love you for the entire day. If I was 20 years younger and lived in NC, you would have been my husband living on tomato juice. I was not at all aware that tomatoes are known as Love Apples. Thanks for the lovely informative comment and for always delighting me with your sharp comments.

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Yes, Ruby, I did go dancing the other night. I danced for 8 hours and only short breathers in between – it took me 2 weeks to recover – but beside normal, aching-like-hell muscles, my legs were sorted out for a couple of days, as if rapid blood-flow had flushed away whatever’s wrong. As always, Always, thank you so much for your support. Let’s have a tomato :)

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      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very interesting and useful hub, Martie! I love the taste of fresh-picked tomatoes, but I've never had a craving for them. I hope you find out what's causing the problem in your legs.

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      poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      You sure got the dish on those tomatoes! Isn't it ironic what you say about taking all dietary information with a grain of salt? It's true. Once upon a time, we were told to drink our milk everyday. Now, it's full of fat and only to be had sparingly. When diet sodas first came out they were the only kind to drink as they were better having fewer calories. Now we know they cause cancer. Now that I'm addicted to them! I had no idea green tomatoes were bad for I grew up eating them fried. It was one of my favorite dishes. Maybe the frying makes them OK but then fried is bad. Arg! Maybe if I get scared enough of what to eat I will lose some pounds. God bless you Martie. This was most educational and I will come back to the potassium content list again and again I'm sure.

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      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      So much fascinating information about the tomato, Martie, and so little time to digest it. (Pun intended.) I like my tomato in only two ways - spread over a pizza. Or as a slice accompanying a hamburger in a roll with onion and relish.

      To alleviate leg swelling, when seated at the computer elevate your legs a little higher than your hips. Could help.

      Will leave you now with this significant piece of information: Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

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      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      haha...Martie I usually go tomatophagia during summer time when my yard reaps tons of tomatoes and I tend to put this vegetable in everything. By the end of summer time...my whole family is RED in color...LOL

      rated up up and way up

      and useful and funny :)

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      Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Oh boy do I ever love this one Martie. Was practically bottle fed on that red fruit so they say. Love the unique way you started this tomato fest and the info is awesome- most of it new stuff here. Maybe cause the leaves and stems are toxic that's why the first settlers in America thought the tomato its self was poisonous. But they found out different as time went on and eventually gave them the name- Love Apples! PS- hope the swelling stays away and wouldn't be surprised at all if the tomatoes are helping.:)