Tomatoes are a nightshade and contain lectins which have shown in preliminary studies to provoke an immuno response similar to gluten.
I see many sites saying "just try it and if you don't notice any digestive problems keep eating it". Well people kept eating gluten and grains until specifically told not to so I'm not sure this line of reasoning is correct.
Are tomatoes, given their lectin content, something we should be eating?
asked byshwick (103)
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on December 04, 2014
at 12:14 PM
Most people can handle nightshades. n=1 and all that.
Like anything else, do an elimination diet, and then reintroduce and see what happens. Take it slowly, say over a week or two and you'll know. If you react to them, try it again in six months or a year. Typical complaints against nightshades are issues with arthritis, so if during your reintroduction phase you don't have joint pain, rock on.
I've zero issues with tomatoes, but sometimes red bellpeppers set me off. I'm fine with hot peppers, but not red bellpeppers. Green ones I don't react to either. I also have trouble fully digesting eggplant, kinda sits there like a rock. But zero issues with tomato, and no issues with potatoes either.
Just keep in mind that modern nightshades like tomatoes are very different than the wild version, which likely are more similar to deadly nightshade. Many of these species have been domesticated. This is the line of thought that Cordain is presenting.
The key to the paleo diet is elimination of foods that are even mildly harmful. Remember, wheat is not an outright poison, it is harmful only over a lifetime. I ate lots of it for three decades without any direct visible damage (though it did cause obesity, I just didn't know it was the cause).
It was only once I started reacting to it clearly that I took it out. Had I known how harmful it was I would have done so earlier. Even then, my symptoms came at night in the form of acid reflux that would prevent sleep, and wouldn't go away even with PPIs. When Squachy mentioned that wheat was a likely cause, and then dairy as well, that was the clear proof. Modern doctors, the useless mofos, could do NOTHING but prescribe stronger antacids which had obvious harmful effects.
It's possible that some nightshades will not show any noticeable effect, but over a life time causes a small amount of negligible damage that causes chronic health issues when you're older. At least by doing an elimination diet and slowly reintroducing them, you increase the likelyhood of catching potentially harmful foods for you.
IMHO, the biggest factor in our health is our gut flora. As it changes with diet and gets harmed due to antibiotic use, both prescribed, and the chronic amounts present in CAFO meats, as well as triclosan from toothpaste or antibacterial soap, we find ourselves reacting to more and more foods.
on December 02, 2014
at 08:15 PM
I don't know about tomatoes/potatoes, but paleos ate these nightshades
I like what Cordain did with documenting historic diet, but his obsession with nightshades is zany.