Tomatoes and potatoes are delicious vegetables that are great on/ with sandwiches, salads, stews and in many different sauces. But did you know that these delicious tomatoes that we eat can contain unhealthy lectins?
Beans, grains, tomatoes and potatoes are staples of a plant-based diet, but these plant foods are high in lectins, plant proteins that some say can be harmful to your health. Should you cut these foods from your diet?
SO… the very first thing that entered our minds was—what is a Lectin, and is it really dangerous? Is it really important to get rid of them? If so, how can we do it? Finally, how can we remove lectins from tomatoes and potatoes without damaging them? After a little research, we decided to write this article describing the concerns that some people have.
Have a read of this article so you can make an informed decision on whether or not to remove lectins from your diet:
Table of Contents
What is a lectin?
Lectins are a type of protein found in many plants, including beans, grains, tomatoes and potatoes. They’re also present in dairy products and meats. Lectins are believed to cause inflammation, which can lead to health problems such as obesity, heart disease and cancer. It is also a critical component of plant defence. Lectins are necessary for most plants to develop immunity against disease and pests.
How to remove lectins in general
- Boiling vegetables and legumes at a high temperature
- Instantly cool them by placing them in an icy water bath
- Peel off the skin
- Pressure cook your vegetables and legumes
- Removing as many seeds as you can
- Lectins are also removed during the fermentation process.
For this job, you’ll need a few pieces of equipment. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated. You’ll need a Pressure Cooker, a vegetable peeler, and some plates, among other things. Check out the following links to see what they’re currently selling for.
How to remove lectins from tomatoes
- Place the tomatoes in a pot with enough water to cover them by several inches. Boiling tomatoes and simmering for 20 minutes will give them time to get soft.
- Drain and chill tomatoes after cooking. This removes about 70% of the lectin. (You don’t want to cook the tomatoes for too long, or they’ll become mushy.)
- Remove the skins from your cooked tomatoes. The skin is where most of the lectin is, so removing it will significantly lower your lectin intake when eating these tomatoes later on.
- Finally, scoop out the seeds. The seeds contain a lot of lectins, so remove as many as possible.
How to remove lectins from potatoes
- Peel your raw potato and remove any eyes or green spots on the flesh. Cut it into cubes that are about one-inch square, then rinse them in cold water.
- Soak your cut up pieces of potatoes in ice-cold water for 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the recipe (the colder temperature reduces enzyme activity).
- Drain thoroughly after soaking before cooking further. Also, dry with paper towels if needed to ensure they’re not too wet when cooking later on.
- Next, place these chopped up pieces inside your pressure cooker along with two cups of DISTILLED water (distilled important because other types can contain lectins).
- Secure the lid, turn up the heat to high and bring it to pressure. Cook for five minutes at high pressure.
- Once the five minutes is up, remove from heat and let the pressure release naturally (this will take about 15-20 minutes).
Other vegetables that contain lectins
Some other vegetables that contain lectins are:
- Peppers, both green and red
- Raw corn
Are lectins actually bad for you?
It depends on who you ask. Some experts say lectins are bad for you, while others believe it is a myth that has not been scientifically proven.
Experts claim that many plant foods high in lectin help protect against insects and other threats, but they can also be harmful to humans if ingested in large quantities of raw or unprocessed food. Lectins may cause gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, diarrhoea and nausea when consumed by people with weak immune systems (elderly people) or those with autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
However, some nutritionists argue that the amount of lectins found in foods is insufficient to produce these effects. They believe that cooking and/or processing remove lectins from foods, making them safe for human consumption.
Do you need to remove lectins?
Most experts agree that unprocessed or raw plant foods can contain high amounts of lectins which pose a risk to your health if consumed in large quantities over time. For this reason, some people choose not to eat red kidney beans as they are rich in lectin protein.
Although the effects of eating plant food with high levels of lectins may vary from person to person due to their unique genetic makeup, those who suffer from autoimmune diseases should remove these types of foods entirely until they consult with an expert (e.g., nutritionist). This holds true especially if symptoms like bloating and diarrhoea persist.
What are the benefits of lectins?
Some experts believe that lectins offer health benefits when consumed in moderation. For example, they are said to improve gut health by increasing nutrient absorption and stimulating cell growth. Lectins have also been shown to reduce inflammation, which is beneficial for people with autoimmune diseases.
Additionally, research suggests that lectins could play a role in preventing cancer. More studies are needed to confirm these findings, but if they are true, it would mean that eating some foods high in lectin may actually be beneficial for your health.
Other Related Questions
What to do If you are intolerant to Lectins?
If you’re sensitive to lectins, start by consulting your doctor on a regular basis. Make an effort to determine out what’s causing the symptoms first. It’s critical to know that not all lectin-containing foods are harmful. So try to figure out what’s affecting you so you can avoid it. Make some changes in your daily routine if possible. If at all feasible, take some time every day for meditation and yoga, as it is useful in such situations.
Are Bananas high in lectins?
A lectin has been identified in one of the major proteins in ripe bananas (Musa acuminata L.) and plantains (Musa spp.). The banana lectin is a potent murine T-cell mitogen.
What foods have no lectins?
- Meat from animals that have been allowed to forage on open pasture.
- Leafy green nightshade vegetables.
- Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, and celery
- Extra virgin olive oil and olives.
Is coffee high in lectins?
There is evidence that suggests coffee contains lectins.
Are eggs high in lectins?
Eggs contain lectins, and there is evidence that suggests lectins may cause harm to the immune system.
What are Lectin receptors?
Lectin receptors bind with certain sugars, which helps identify different types of cells in our body. They can also remove harmful bacteria from your bloodstream when you have an infection or disease.
Are onions high in lectin?
Onions do contain a high amount of lectins.
Does rice have lectin?
White rice does not contain phytates or lectins (lentils are a type of legume that is high in fibre). Because it lacks fibre, white rice is usually well tolerated by individuals who suffer from gut issues such as IBS. Those with digestive problems are frequently sensitive to the amount of fibre they consume.
Is oatmeal high in lectins?
Oats and oatmeal are in the lectin food group, and they’re generally considered to have more lectins than other foods. Cooking reduces some lectins, therefore preparing your oats into oatmeal can decrease their quantity.
Can lectins cause joint pain?
Ligustrums and other plants high in lectins may cause the wall of the digestive tract to deteriorate, allowing some of the material that would otherwise remain within the stomach to seep into the body. The stuff can then stimulate the immune system’s autoimmune response against one’s own joints, resulting in rheumatoid arthritis.
Can lectins kill you?
Lectins are a group of molecules that have been proven to be severely harmful. They’re found in seeds, tubers, some fruits, and beans.
Can lectins cause acne?
There is some suggestion that lectins could be a potential cause of acne, but more research is needed. Acne due to high levels of lectins, phytic acid, and saponin, which can contribute to leaky gut syndrome can be a main contributor.
Can lectins cause constipation?
Dietary fibre is a type of carbohydrate that occurs naturally in some foods. Legumes, whole grains, and fruit and vegetable peels all contain dietary fibre. If a person’s diet provides insufficient dietary fibre, constipation may occur as a result of high amounts of lectins.
Can lectins cause headaches?
Lectins may cause an excess of histamine by interfering with the action of enzymes. Histamine is a migraine trigger and plays a role in causing them.
Can lectins contribute to anxiety?
There are several studies that suggest a link between the gut microbiome, intestinal permeability, inflammation, and mood disorders such as depression or anxiety. The idea of leaky gut syndrome is still being researched today but there’s no doubt about the importance of diet for maintaining mental health.
Can lectins cause itching?
The symptoms of lectin sensitivity include eczema, joint discomfort, and general inflammation. Legumes and grains in their unprocessed state can cause flatulence, nausea, diarrhoea, and vomiting.