Can You Eat Green Tomatoes Raw?

Tomatoes are one of the most used fruits in our kitchen. Yes, tomatoes are fruits, however, they are considered vegetables by many of us. The history of tomatoes can be traced back to around 700 A.D.

There are many varieties of tomatoes nowadays, and these are coming in different shapes, sizes, and colors.

The most common tomatoes that everyone knows, are the red tomatoes.

But what about the green tomato fruits? Are they edible? Can you eat green tomatoes raw? Are they safe?

eating green tomatoes raw

The answer is yes, you can eat your green tomatoes raw. There are so many recipes for raw green tomatoes. I am sure you can find one suitable for you.

However, before starting to munch on your green tomatoes, you should read this article to learn more about them.

Types of Green Tomatoes

There are two types of green tomatoes: the green, unripe tomatoes and the actual green tomatoes.

First, all of the tomatoes are green, and as they ripen, they become softer and their color will change to red, yellow, or other colors, depending on the variety.

However, some varieties, such as the striped ‘Green Zebra’, ‘Limetto’ or ‘Green Grape’, will stay green even after the fruit is matured. These are only changing the shade of their green color and become soft and juicy.

Are Green Tomatoes Toxic?

Like any other plant, tomatoes contain toxins as a type of defense mechanism.

The toxic alkaloids, named solanine, atropine, and tomatine, in large amounts can cause few problems such as discomfort in the digestive system.

Most alkaloids are in the stem and leaves of the tomato plant. However, in green, immature tomato fruits these toxins are also high.

But you can relax, the toxins cannot be lethal for humans unless you eat about 625 gr green tomatoes at once.

Green, immature tomatoes contain around 9-32 mg/100 gr of toxin. In the case of the highest concentration of toxins, you will have to eat 625 grams of raw unripe green tomatoes to get intoxicated. However, immature tomato fruits can taste bitter, so it is unlikely that you can eat that much.

When tomatoes are starting to mature, the concentration of alkaloids are decreasing.

A semi-ripe tomato can contain around 2 mg of toxin per 100 gr. So, to make it dangerous and toxic, you would have to eat around 10 kg of raw semi-ripe tomatoes.

semi ripe tomato

In the case of fully ripe tomatoes, you would have to eat around 29 kg of raw tomatoes to get poisoned, because these can contain only 0.7 mg/100gr of alkaloids.

What Nutrients Are in Green Tomatoes?

Now that I introduced you to the toxicity of green tomatoes, why don’t we talk about a few of the nutrients that green tomatoes can contain?

Green tomatoes are as healthy as red or yellow tomatoes. These contain nutrients such as fibers, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B9 and K1, and carbohydrates, such as glucose and fructose.

95% of the weight of a tomato is water, and 100 gr of raw green tomatoes offer around 81 calories.

Green tomatoes contain less than 5 gr of sugars/100gr and they also contain chlorogenic acid, naringenin, and beta carotene.

Health Benefits of Green Tomatoes

As I said above, green tomatoes contain many beneficial nutrients; therefore, these are healthy if you consume them regularly in a balanced diet.

These nutrients can help you to neutralize free radicals, they can support and strengthen your immune system, can prevent heart problems, promote skin health, and can speed up healing.

The vitamin C, B6, and A in the green tomatoes will help you to support your immunity and combat the viruses quicker.

The bioflavonoids that green tomatoes contain, help you to combat bacteria and inflammation; therefore, your body can heal quicker.

Green tomatoes also contain potassium that combined with the containing vitamin C and A, helps in the maintenance of the skin’s elasticity.

Also, because green tomatoes contain lots of fiber, and because some of them are water-soluble, the cholesterol levels are reduced; therefore, heart diseases are less likely to develop.

pickled green tomatoes

How to Use Green Tomatoes?

If you grow your own tomatoes, at a point, for sure you will have to deal with green tomatoes as well.

I have some good news for you: green tomatoes can be used in many ways.

As I mentioned in this article, green tomatoes are safe and can be eaten raw. You can put them into a salad, a sandwich, or pickle them. There are lots of recipes available that include green tomatoes.

Or if you prefer them cooked, even better, because in this form are tastier and even more recipes are available.

However, if you prefer ripe tomatoes, you can put your green tomatoes on the window sill or in a box, and wait for them to ripe. It is that easy.

Wrap Up

If you have been wondering what to do with your green tomatoes and if you can eat them raw, there is the answer: yes, green tomatoes can be eaten raw.

Green tomatoes are tasty and safe to be consumed raw if you eat them with a limit.

Green tomatoes can be toxic if you eat too much of them. Too much meaning of 625 gr of raw unripe green tomatoes, 10 kg of raw semi-ripe green tomatoes, and 29 kg of ripe green tomatoes.

It is very unlikely that you can eat this much of any tomatoes at once, but if you could, then don’t do it.

However, eating raw green tomatoes, or any tomatoes, can be very healthy. These contain lots of vitamins, fibers, and other healthy nutrients that combat viruses, bacteria, help you to prevent heart disease and high cholesterol.

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