People crave tomatoes for both physiological and psychological reasons. Eating a diet without much variety can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies, creating cravings for foods like tomatoes that are rich in those nutrients. Sometimes foods can become associated with emotions, causing a craving for certain foods when those emotions are experienced.
Psychological cravings can be curbed by avoiding environmental triggers. This technique can backfire if an individual is completely deprived of the food. Deprivation can create a situation where all the person can focus on is the food craving. Eventually breaking down and eating the food can result in unhealthy binges. Portion control, distraction and substituting other foods for the craving can help lead to a reduction in the craving over time.
Physiological cravings due to a nutritional deficiency may be alleviated by taking a multivitamin or other nutritional supplement. A nutrition consultant can evaluate a person's diet, looking for ways to supplement it and possibly reduce the cravings.
Cravings are governed by the brain and not the stomach. While hunger is usually not specific, cravings must be satisfied with a particular food. They typically begin with a cue, such as a smell or a sound, and result in an almost uncontrollable urge to eat the food.