Are cooked or raw tomatoes better?

May 16, 2024 | 05:00 pm PT
Many believe that eating raw tomatoes helps improve skin beauty, while cooking them is safer and prevents poisoning. So, should they be eaten cooked or raw? (Giang, 22, Ha Nam)


Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A, C, and B6, affordable, and readily available. They can be eaten raw or cooked, depending on preference. However, the lycopene present in tomatoes, which enhances immunity, is better absorbed when they are cooked rather than eaten raw. Additionally, cooking them thoroughly helps prevent food poisoning.

Tomatoes can be eaten raw or cooked depending on preference. Illustration photo by Pexels

Tomatoes can be eaten raw or cooked depending on preference. Illustration photo by Pexels

Additionally, raw tomatoes carry a high risk of chemical contamination, which can lead to poisoning due to residual chemicals. Many people experience acid reflux or stomach pain after eating raw tomatoes due to their strong acidity. Tomato seeds do not provide any nutritional value, and eating them raw can cause indigestion and bloating, especially if the tomatoes are green.

In the case of home-grown or organic tomatoes, you can safely eat them raw alone or in salads, or make juices. However, young children and people with digestive issues should limit their consumption of raw tomatoes to avoid potential discomfort.

To ensure safety, you should buy tomatoes from reputable sources, wash them thoroughly, and cook them before eating. The skin of tomatoes contains many powerful antioxidants, so you can definitely eat the skin instead of discarding it after being properly cleaned. However, if you have poor digestion, it’s advised to remove the seeds.

Dr. Nguyen Duy Thinh

Hanoi University of Science and Technology’s Institute of Food Technology and Biotechnology

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