The tomato (Solanum Lycopersicum) is a fruit of South American origin from the nightshade family now grown throughout most of the world. Despite botanically being a fruit, it is usually prepared and eaten as a vegetable.
A tomato is made up of approximately 95% water, 4% carbohydrates and less than 1% of fat and protein. Tomatoes are considered low in calories and a moderate source of vitamin C.
Tomatoes give an umami flavour to cooking and are consumed in many ways including raw in salads or cooked dishes, sauces, salads and even drinks. Tomatoes and tomato products can be found in a large number of processed foods.
Tomato allergies are extremely rare despite the increase in tomatoes and tomato-based products throughout the world. A person with a tomato allergy is also likely to experience allergic reactions with other items from the nightshade family, including potatoes, tobacco, and aubergine. Those with a tomato allergy will sometimes also have a cross-reaction to latex and latex products (latex-fruit syndrome).
Symptoms of tomato allergy include:
Rash or hives
Nausea or vomiting
Narrowing of the throat
Swelling of the face or lips
Anaphylaxis (very rarely)
Tomato sensitivity or intolerance is where a person presents various digestive symptoms after the consumption of tomato products. A less severe condition than an allergy, this condition can still be uncomfortable and embarrassing for the individual.
Symptoms of tomato sensitivity or intolerance can include:
Tomatoes are a major source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to various health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also considered a good source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K and represent a key contributor to the modern diet.
Replacing key nutrients when eliminating tomatoes
It is important to use alternative items in your diet when undertaking either a short- or long-term elimination diet to maintain nutrient balance.
Below are good examples of nutritional alternatives when eliminating tomatoes:
Sweet potato, carrots, kale, spinach, collards, Swiss chard, pak choi, butternut squash, pumpkin, cos lettuce, romaine lettuce, mango, dried apricots, prunes, peaches, melon, red peppers, tuna fish, mackerel, butter.
Orange, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, leafy greens.
Dried apricots, salmon, mackerel, tuna, monkfish, white beans, lentils, kidney beans, avocado, butternut squash, spinach, mushrooms, bananas, potatoes.
Kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, swiss chard, parsley, romaine, green leaf lettuce, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage.
Folate (Vitamin B9)
Lemons, bananas, melons, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, beans, peas, lentils.
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