Is tomato sauce bad for your stomach?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is tomato sauce bad for your stomach? We will talk about the acidity of tomatoes and how to counteract it. We will also mention the benefits of tomato sauce in our alimentation.

Is tomato sauce bad for your stomach?

Tomato sauce, even if it is homemade, can be bad for your stomach and cause heartburns. The feeling of a burned esophagus is not a myth, it is a reality, if the person already has reflux issues, one does not recommend eating spaghetti in sauce, lasagna, or the Aztec soup.

How acidic is tomato sauce?

Tomato sauce is acidic enough to cause heartburn in some people. If you like the acidity in tomatoes, go for round tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, the latter being both sour and sweet. On the contrary, if you are running away from the acidic flavor, choose heart tomatoes instead.

When cooking, a pinch of sugar will soften the acidity of the tomatoes. But why are tomatoes acidic?

We do not believe that the presence or absence of an associated crop has an influence on the tomato acidic, except for some incompatibility due to competition or influence of the roots. 

Another factor influencing the level of tomato acidity is the temperature. In warmer conditions, the accumulation of sucrose can decrease, while that of acids (citric and malic, in the case of tomatoes) is maintained. 

If this winter-spring has been warmer in the growing area, and varieties that are not adapted to the area have been used, and irrigation has also been increased, this could be the cause. 

How to remove acidity from tomato sauce?

Tomato sauce is widely used in many cooking recipes. But when you prepare it at home, it can be too acidic. Here are our tips for removing acidity from the tomato sauce.

For pizzas, pasta, rice, meat, fish … tomato sauce is undoubtedly one of the most used sauces to accompany dishes in the kitchen. And it’s even better homemade. But did you know that if you crush your tomatoes, your sauce is likely to be sour? Indeed, once broken, the seeds of the tomato release all their acidity. If that happens, don’t panic! 

Use sugar, carrots, or dates to reduce the acidity from the tomato sauce.

You are preparing a tomato sauce for your arrabbiata penne or your margarita pizza, and like any good cook, you taste your work. But there, woe! You wince because your tomato sauce is too sour. Don’t worry, it happens even to the best. To rectify this inconvenience, add sugar to your tomato and too acidic preparations. Indeed, the sugar takes over the acidity and neutralizes it. 

But be careful not to use too much, at the risk of having a tomato sauce with a taste too sweet. Depending on the amount of your sauce, add a piece of sugar, or two to your preparation.

If you are not consuming sugar, there are other, more healthy alternatives. If it is too acidic, add a whole carrot (or two, depending on the amount of sauce) to your tomato sauce preparation. The carrot is sweet, so letting it boil with the preparation will release this sugar which will neutralize the acidity of the tomato. 

Note that a straight, hard, orange-colored carrot will be sweeter than a slightly older carrot. Likewise, the sugar level will be higher if the carrot comes from a bunch that has retained its greenery.

You can also add half a date (or a whole date, depending on the amount of sauce). It is also sweet, it will have the same role as the carrot in your preparation.

Baking soda to remove the acidity from the tomato sauce

Practical in the kitchen, in the garden, for the maintenance of the house, it also has health benefits and it contributes to animal hygiene … baking soda is our best friend!

This handyman powder neutralizes the acidity of foods with an overly acidic pH that your stomach might not take well, and which is not very palatable. Whether it’s tomato sauce, fruit coulis, or jams, you can reduce the acidity with a little baking soda. Just add a pinch or two to the tomatoes while cooking or while reducing the sauce, and voila!

However, not all is bad news!

The benefits of tomato sauce

Recent research has shown that cooked tomato sauce helps enhance probiotic activity in the gut. Many people have wanted to know if the foods that are normally consumed are ‘functional’. 

Food is now being intensively examined for additional physiological benefits, which can reduce the risk of chronic disease and optimize health. Those foods that provide health benefits will be functional foods … And tomato sauce is one of them.

Probiotic foods, such as certain types of yogurt, fall into this category, as they increase the population of good bacteria in our bodies, which contributes to overall good health in many ways. 

Tomatoes are considered a healthy food because, among other things, they contain a pigment called lycopene which is an antioxidant that helps protect human cells from harmful factors. 

The researchers used pear tomatoes for their studies since they have a higher lycopene content. They evaluated the viability of the probiotic strain throughout the digestive process individually and the presence of antioxidants from plant sources, as well as the impact of the probiotic strain on the changes suffered by the antioxidant compounds and the resulting bioaccessibility.

Final tips 

Cooked tomato sauce appears to be more effective than the raw equivalent, since by cooking the sauce you allow the transformation of the lycopene present in the tomato, a process known as cis-trans isomerization, which actually helped preserve the integrity of this antioxidant throughout the digestive process, allowing more of it to be absorbed.

Therefore, serving probiotic-rich meals with fried tomato sauce increases its probiotic effect, as well as causes a progressive isomerization of tomato lycopene, from cis to trans during digestion, which positively results in an increase in the ultimate bioavailability of this carotenoid.

So, if you want to enjoy a good tomato sauce, it is best not to buy it already made, and to cook it yourself. Besides tasting better, it will be better for your health.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let me know!

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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