The tomato is often given a bad rap because they are rich in fructose. However, is this the case, and is it an issue?
Most tomato-based products and tomatoes contain the same glucose and fructose ratios. This suggests they are well tolerated in a diet that is low in the FODMAP diet. It is essential to remember when you experience a reaction, tomato does not suggest that FODMAPs are the cause. Blame. Bad reactions to tomatoes may indicate an underlying food intolerance.
If you aren’t familiar with irritable digestive syndrome, it’s an illness that can affect your digestive tract. Are cooked tomatoes OK for IBS?
The symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.
There isn’t a universal Low FODMAP eating plan to treat people suffering from irritable intestinal syndrome because everyone will have different triggers.
The most common trigger foods are dairy products such as caffeine, alcohol, and tomatoes.
In this blog, we will discuss whether tomatoes cause IBS and advise you to avoid tomatoes if they are an IBS trigger for you.
Are Cooked Tomatoes OK for IBS?
If you suffer from IBS, tomatoes are a fantastic food to add to your diet for two reasons. They’re:
- Low-FODMAP and are easy to tolerate.
- It is versatile and can be consumed in many different options, i.e., fresh or canned, in an ingredient in a sauce, as soups, etc.
But, as with life, it isn’t as simple as it seems. If you suffer from IBS and are experiencing discomfort in your stomach symptoms following eating tomatoes, you should look at a few possibilities.
What is IBS?
IBS, also known as irritable bowel syndrome, is a widespread condition that affects around 20 percent of the population and is usually experienced by women. It is described to mean “abdominal pain or discomfort that occurs in association with altered bowel habits over at least three months.”
IBS is difficult to diagnose since there isn’t a medical test to determine if you suffer from IBS. This is why it is utilized as a general diagnosis when all other ailments have been eliminated.
After being diagnosed with IBS, treating it can be a challenge. Patients often receive information regarding diets such as the FODMAP-free diet (FODMAPS are fermentable carbohydrates that can trigger discomfort in particular guts) from their doctor and are left to their own devices.
It is not explained to them that a diet low in FODMAP is not recommended throughout their lives. Nor are they provided with any information about the specifics. Tomatoes are an excellent example of a food item low in FODMAP in its fresh or raw form, but they are often mixed with other unidentified ingredients that could cause flare-ups. You may also read about; Can Tomatoes Cause Bowel Problems? 4 Shocking Facts Unveiled
It can be challenging when you don’t have the help of someone else, such as the gut-health dietitian, to assist you in determining what’s happening in your body. We’ll discuss tomatoes and their connection to IBS However, first, we’ll look at tomatoes in their own right.
Do You Have Histamine Intolerance?
Histamines are substances released when exposed to something you are allergic to.
Are you aware of the running nose, itchy throat, and watery eyes you experience in spring?
All of them are caused by histamines. In the case of histamine intolerance, histamine levels are enormous, and the body is not able to reduce them.
Foods may also contain histamines at different levels. If your body has a complex for processing histamines, these foods could cause symptoms like:
- Classic symptoms of allergy (runny nose, itchy throat, watery eyes)
- Stomach pain
- Heart arrhythmias
They are believed to have an abundance of histamines and could cause the above symptoms for those suffering from intolerance. Before making any dietary changes, talk to your doctor in case you suspect you suffer from an intolerance to histamines.
Heartburn is the most frequent symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD); however, it’s not always the case. You can suffer from GERD when you notice the following signs:
- Bad breath
- Stomach pain
Diet plays an essential part in GERD symptoms. Mint, fatty foods alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, acidic food, and spicy foods can all contribute to the unpleasant symptoms mentioned above. Tomatoes and tomato-based products are considered acidic and may cause an acid reflux flare-up in several. You may also read; Do Tomatoes Cause Acid Reflux? True OR False Decide it Now 2022
If any of these symptoms are familiar, Consult your physician and have them test you for GERD.
What is the Nightshade Allergy or Intolerance?
An intolerance to nightshade or allergy isn’t common, but it should be considered if you cannot find solutions elsewhere. It’s crucial to recognize the difference between an intolerance and an allergy if you suspect this might be the case.
A reaction to an allergy can be described as an autoimmune reaction to a specific substance or food (usually the protein) and is often life-threatening. The intolerance symptoms typically occur in the GI tract; it is possible to experience gas and bloat, heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. The reason for this is that the body has difficulty digesting food.
Nightshades are a group of flowering plants which contain many species. Some have edible (like tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, and cayenne), but others aren’t.
Ask your physician if you suspect tomatoes aren’t the sole nightshade causing your symptoms.
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Tomatoes and IBS
The health benefits of tomatoes are immense. They contain a wealth of good minerals and vitamins. They are an excellent source of antioxidants (lycopene) and other phytochemicals. For some, it is apparent that they could trigger IBS symptoms.
Also, small quantities of tomatoes could be taken by the majority of people suffering from IBS. However, large amounts could cause diarrhea and bloat. It also varies in how tomatoes are consumed raw, cooked, or in the form of ketchup, which is processed.
Do You Read the Ingredient List?
The many uses of tomatoes could be advantageous for those suffering from IBS. For instance, processed food items such as pizza sauce, marinara, ketchup, and soup are usually prepared using high-FODMAP ingredients to give the flavor.
These extra food items include onions, garlic, along with sugar. They would typically not be an issue but are commonly trigger food items for IBS. If you’re buying ready-to-eat versions of things such as pizza sauce and marinara, check the ingredients label for items on the high-FODMAP list.
How Do Cooked Tomatoes Contribute to IBS Symptoms?
Despite of being a nutritious treasure, There are some specific reasons tomatoes contribute to IBS. Following are some of the reasons in this regard.
High Histamine Food
Tomatoes are high in histamine-rich food items. Foods high in histamine may trigger allergic reactions in those allergic to these foods. The symptoms can range from sneezing of your tongue, swelling of your tongue, and shortness of breath to digestive issues such as food sensitivities, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloating.
Tomatoes can create high levels of histamine levels within the body. If your body isn’t able to process histamine, it could cause an allergic reaction that, for certain people, could be related to gut issues, such as IBS symptoms.
High Acid Food
The presence of tomatoes can trigger some stomach irritation, as they can trigger acid reflux problems. Tomatoes contain high levels of malic and citric acid; in some vulnerable individuals, they could cause acid reflux. Acid reflux can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating and, in certain instances, cause diarrhea due to intestinal irritation. You may also be intersted to know; Are Cooked Tomatoes Less Acidic? Surprising Facts! Best Guide 2022
FODMAP is fermentable di-, oligo-mono-saccharides, polyols, and mono-saccharides. They are difficult to digest carbohydrates and may contribute to IBS symptoms.
The tomatoes themselves are low fodmap food items. We utilize many different recipes for tomatoes regularly that boost the FODMAP value of tomatoes. One of the tomatoes is tomato ketchup.
It is interesting to note that the different countries have their ways of making ketchup in different ways. Monash University researched and tested ketchup from Australia and USA and found that Australian ketchup is low in FODMAP; however, the ketchup from the US did not have Low FODMAP.
The majority of ketchup in the US is made with sugars high in fructose, or sucrose, which is a high FODMAP. We also are aware that high FODMAP food items can cause IBS, which is another reason to avoid tomatoes is that they can cause IBS.
The tomato also falls into nightshades. The nightshades are recently in the spotlight due to some concerns regarding their connection to the development of autoimmune diseases. The majority is based on the substances present in nightshades, such as alkaloids.
The tomato’s alkaloid is Solanine which is believed that these alkaloids act as a natural insect repellent.
Therefore, those who consume the substances in massive amounts of tomatoes may react and suffer from gut-related symptoms. Some people feel better when they stay away from nightshades, and the symptoms they experience are improved, but not all the time. Do Tomatoes Cause Gas and Bloating? Let’s Reveal the Truth! 2022
The main reason is that through various mechanisms, tomatoes can trigger IBS symptoms such as bloating and diarrhea, and occasionally, they can cause IBS.
Although I do not want all people to stop eating tomatoes, as I believe tomatoes offer several health benefits that they bring to the table. However, if you suffer from IBS and haven’t been in a position to pinpoint the trigger food, then you should try the trial of removing tomatoes and observe whether their symptoms improve. Most often, this trial run should last for at minimum 3-4 weeks before you see a change in the symptoms. Here is a suggested IBS Diet Plan.
A chronic illness such as thyroid, gut issues, weight issues, or autoimmune problems isn’t an easy task.
IBS and Tomatoes: Are They Triggering My Symptoms?
How can you determine whether tomatoes are what’s creating your symptoms? One of the best ways to begin is to keep a digestive health journal. The journal can be used to monitor:
- What you eat
- What do you feel like after eating just 3 hours later and 1-2 days later
- Water intake
- Stress level
All of these elements play an essential role in digestion. When you write down your thoughts, you’ll begin to notice patterns and be able to determine what triggers you.
Methods to Enjoy Tomatoes with IBS
Following are some ways you can enjoy tomatoes with IBS.
Pay Attention to Serving Sizes
Have you ever heard of the term FODMAP stacking?
In essence, every person has a threshold for the FODMAP group they can be able to tolerate. This threshold differs from one person to another and from food to food, but the best way to figure out your point is to try every food during reintroduction. Here is a general portion guideline for various tomato-based products. (Remember, it’s crucial to assess your tolerance.)
- 5 cherry tomatoes
- 1 Roma tomato
- 1 cup can tomatoes (plain)
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste (table)
- 2 pieces of sundried (fructose concentration increases as you dry)
The Degree of Ripeness
Monash University is located in Melbourne, Australia, and is the most renowned institution that studies how the low-FODMAP diet could be used to treat IBS. According to their study, tomatoes are considered low in FODMAP. However, they only examined ripe tomatoes during their research.
This implies that there is no research on tomatoes’ FODMAP levels of the green tomatoes. However, other fruits have been found to show different levels of FODMAPs depending on the ripeness of their tomatoes. Therefore it is suggested to choose the ripe ones.
Beware of Hidden High-FODMAP Food Items
The most frequent ones to look for are onions and garlic, like pizza sauce, marinara, and ready-made soups. Also, look for high fructose corn syrup in food items like ketchup and marinara. Combine with non-FODMAP and low-calorie food items: This is due to FODMAP stacking, something we discussed regarding serving size. It is essential to know what you’re eating and the amount.
Create Your Soups & Sauces in Your Kitchen at Home
Preparing these yourself is the best way to ensure you’re eating tomato soups and sauces that won’t cause a flare-up. You can also buy similar items designed by accredited low-FODMAP businesses such as Fody Foods.
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Scientific Studies and References
- Chey WD, Kurlander J, Eswaran S. Irritable bowel syndrome: a clinical review. JAMA. 2015 Mar 3;313(9):949-58. doi: 10.1001/jama.2015.0954. PMID: 25734736.
- Yoon SL, Grundmann O, Koepp L, Farrell L. Management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in adults: conventional and complementary/alternative approaches. Altern Med Rev. 2011 Jun;16(2):134-51. PMID: 21649455.
- Sánchez-Pérez S, Comas-Basté O, Rabell-González J, Veciana-Nogués MT, Latorre-Moratalla ML, Vidal-Carou MC. Biogenic Amines in Plant-Origin Foods: Are They Frequently Underestimated in Low-Histamine Diets? Foods. 2018 Dec 14;7(12):205. doi: 10.3390/foods7120205. PMID: 30558197; PMCID: PMC6306728.