Are tomatoes too much in your diet?
Can they cause inflammation? Not necessarily. However, there’s the persistent belief that tomatoes can make inflammation symptoms more severe. Here, we’re going to discuss ‘Do tomatoes cause inflammation in the gut?’
There’s no evidence to suggest that a diet that cuts certain food items out, commonly referred to as elimination diets or exclusion diets, can help the osteoarthritis symptoms.
They’ve been found to aid people suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. But what is effective for one person might not be practical for someone else. Therefore, speaking with your doctor before taking anything out is essential.
If you are suffering from any form of inflammation, you must take a look at the following foods:
- A balanced diet is essential to obtain the necessary vitamins and nutrients.
- A more Mediterranean-style diet that includes pulses, fish, olive oil, nuts, as well as plenty of fruits and vegetables
- More omega-3 fatty acids, for instance, from the oily fish species.
Let’s start exploring about tomatoes and gut inflammation.
Do Tomatoes Cause Inflammation in the Gut?
Certain people believe eating food items from the nightshade family including tomatoes can cause inflammation in the gut. However, research has proven that there isn’t any connection between inflammation in the gut and the nightshade family.
But do remember that like excess of anything is bad, tomatoes are no exception. If you eat excessive tomatoes at a time, these can actually have harmful effects on your gut health.
Tomatoes contain a large number of lectins which can trigger digestive issues if protein binds to the stomach wall.
Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins which stick to cell membranes inside the digestive tract and bind into sugar.
Lectin is not digestible and may therefore disrupt metabolism and cause gastric discomfort.
Healthline reports that there has been relatively little research done on the consumption of lectins in humans, and as such there is no evidence which can conclusively declare whether they are beneficial or detrimental to health.
What are the Nightshades?
Nightshades are vegetables and fruits belonging to the family of plants called Solanaceae. With more than 2,500 species of plant, most Solanaceae aren’t edible and are used instead in a variety of forms of medication. But, some nightshades can be eaten, and below is an overview of the most commonly used.
- Tomatoes – including sauces and ketchup.
- Peppers – including spice mixes made of peppers such as cayenne pepper, paprika chili powder, and chilis. Be aware that spice mixes such as Tabasco(r) are made from these spices too.
- Potatoes – Red, white and blue-skinned
- Husk cherries
- Goji berries
Your Gut and the Nightshades
The main question is, how do you feel about the effects of nightshades on the gut? In reality, a healthy endocrine system can take on alkaloids well, so long as they’re not consumed in large doses or irregularly. There is no scientific proof to suggest that you eliminate nightshades from your diet if you’re healthy and able to absorb nightshades with no adverse negative effects.
But, those who are allergic to nightshades, i.e., are unable to digest them and may experience an adverse reaction. Some of the negative responses include gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, heartburn, and joint pain caused by inflammation.
There are many causes of intolerance to nightshade since each individual’s digestive system is distinct. But, research suggests that underlying issues could be the root cause of the intolerance. For instance, nightshades could irritate if you suffer from a pre-existing digestive problem such as Crohn’s disease or an autoimmune condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. In this instance, acidic alkaloids could damage the cells that line your intestinal tract, leading to intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome.
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Is There Any Link between Inflammation and Nightshades?
Certain people believe eating food items from the nightshade family like tomatoes, also called solanaceous veggies, can make arthritis worse. However, research has proven no connection between inflammation and the solanaceous vegetable family.
Some examples of vegetables that are nightshade include:
It is possible to suffer from food allergies linked to the nightshade family. If you’re worried about this matter, I suggest you consult a medical expert.
Fruits and veggies are packed with vital minerals and vitamins that you require for a balanced diet. If you’re considering eliminating them, You should consult a healthcare expert first.
Are Tomatoes the Anti-Inflammatory Key?
It is said that the American diet is among the highest in the lycopene nutrient, with tomatoes being the highest source. But other red-colored fruits like watermelon and papaya are also rich in nutrients. Studies have revealed that lycopene could be described as a carotenoid, a class of plant-derived precursors to Vitamin A. It is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that can help prevent chronic inflammation and degenerative conditions.
It is possible to release the lycopene in tomatoes’ cell walls by crushing or finely cutting tomatoes. The lycopene is then bound to fiber. Lycopene is one fat-soluble nutrient more readily absorbable when mixed with food fats. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, is the best fat to pair with tomatoes. The heat converts the lycopene in tomatoes to a type our bodies can use. The tomatoes should be heated for 15 to 60 minutes to maximize the benefits.
Even though store-bought tomato pastes and soups, sauces, and juices contain a good amount of lycopene within their products, ensure that you purchase only low-sodium varieties. Processed foods in pre-packaged packages laden with sodium are very common. The trend toward clean eating is an ongoing one.
Tomatoes are a Nutrient Powerhouse!
The tomatoes are rich in levels of vitamin C, sodium, and lycopene, an antioxidant that has fantastic anti-inflammatory properties.
Lycopene can be beneficial in reducing the pro-inflammatory compounds linked to different types of cancer. It is possible to absorb more lycopene by cooking tomatoes in olive oil. This is because lycopene, a carotenoid or nutrient, is more easily absorbed when combined with fat.
Anti-Inflammatory Food Items Have Many Benefits
In particular, fruits and vegetables such as TOMATOES, blueberries, apples, and leafy greens are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols–protective compounds found in plants.
Research has also linked nuts with lower inflammation markers and a reduced chance of suffering from cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Coffee is a source of polyphenols, and other anti-inflammatory substances could help reduce inflammation.
What is an Anti-inflammatory Diet?
It activates when your immune system detects foreign substances, like microbes or plant pollen. This can trigger inflammation. Your health is protected through frequent bouts of inflammation aimed at dangerous invaders.
Sometimes, inflammation may persist all day long, even when there’s no threat from a foreign invader. That’s the time when inflammation could become your adversary. Chronic inflammation is a factor in many serious illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and depression.
Concluding the Whole Discussion: Do Tomatoes Cause Inflammation in the Gut?
A number of studies have proven the health benefits of tomatoes. The research has recommended that tomatoes don’t cause inflammation in the gut if taken in the appropriate quantities. You can enjoy tomatoes in all your delicious meals, salads, top-ins etc.
However, the excessive intake of tomatoes is dangerous and must be avoided in any case.
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Scientific Studies and References
- Harvard Medical School
- The British Journal of Nutrition
- Ghavipour M, Sotoudeh G, Ghorbani M. Tomato juice consumption improves blood antioxidative biomarkers in overweight and obese females. Clin Nutr. 2015 Oct;34(5):805-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2014.10.012. Epub 2014 Nov 8. PMID: 25466953.
- Collins EJ, Bowyer C, Tsouza A, Chopra M. Tomatoes: An Extensive Review of the Associated Health Impacts of Tomatoes and Factors That Can Affect Their Cultivation. Biology (Basel). 2022 Feb 4;11(2):239. doi: 10.3390/biology11020239. PMID: 35205105; PMCID: PMC8869745.