Tomato Allergy

Tomato (Solanum Lycopersicum) is a fruit originating in South America, from the nightshade family. It’s now grown throughout most of the world. Although it is botanically a fruit, it’s usually eaten and prepared as a vegetable.

Tomatoes are approximately 95% water, 4% carbohydrates and less than 1% fat and protein. They are low in calories and considered a good source of vitamin C. Tomatoes give an umami flavor to cooking and are consumed in a variety of raw or cooked dishes, sauces, salads, and even drinks. Tomatoes and tomato products are used in a large number of processed foods.

Although there has been a massive increase in tomatoes and tomato-based products throughout the world, tomato allergies are very rare. People with a tomato allergy are also likely to experience allergic reactions to other nightshade foods, such as potatoes, tobacco, and eggplant. Those with a tomato allergy may also have a cross-reaction to latex and latex products, known as latex-fruit syndrome.

Here are a few symptoms of tomato allergy:

  Abdominal cramps
  Anaphylaxis (very rarely)
  Diarrhea
  Narrowing of the throat
  Nausea or vomiting
  Rash or hives
  Swelling of the face or lips

Tomato sensitivity

Tomato sensitivity (or intolerance) is where someone experiences digestive symptoms following the consumption of tomato products. This condition can be uncomfortable and embarrassing for the individual, despite being a less severe condition than an allergy.

Symptoms of tomato sensitivity or intolerance can include:

  Bloating
  Diarrhea
  Gas
  Nausea
  Tiredness

Nutrition

Tomatoes are a major source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, among other health benefits. They represent a key contributor to the modern diet and are also considered a good source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin-K.

Replacing key nutrients when eliminating tomatoes

It’s important to use alternatives in your diet when undertaking a short- or long-term elimination diet to maintain nutrient balance.

Below are good examples of nutritional replacements to use when eliminating tomatoes:

Beta carotene

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.

Vitamin C

Orange, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, leafy greens.

Potassium

Dried apricots, salmon, mackerel, tuna, monkfish, white beans, lentils, kidney beans, avocado, butternut squash, spinach, mushrooms, bananas, potatoes.

Vitamin K1

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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