Tomatoes are healthy – usually

“Look”, she said, extending her left hand, showing me the knuckles where knots had formerly been and the heel of her palm which had been so painful. The hand was now smooth and pain free.

Amelia has dealt with food reactions all her life. In her early 20s she was covered head to toe with hives. Allergen tests found her allergic to a lot of stuff. One of those was legumes (beans and peanuts) so she eats very few beans.

She decided her problem with her hands might be reaction to the nightshade family of plants, particularly peppers, and tomatoes. Why did she think that? Because she was eating a lot of them. Potatoes are also in the nightshade family but she rarely eats potatoes. So she gave up tomatoes and peppers about two months ago and the problem has gone away.

Don’t ask where the term nightshade comes from.  It seems to be a mystery.

Nightshade plants have something in common with beans and grains. They all have different kinds of proteins, frequently lectins, which the plants create to protect themselves and provide for seed growth. Plants know their job is to save themselves and reproduce.

If plants were thinkers, this is what they would seem to be thinking. “If I make insects or animals sick when they eat me, they will stop eating me.” This work really well with all animals except humans who seem to be remarkably willing to be sick.

Lectins don’t digest well in our systems, are very inflammatory and potentially dangerous to humans if they escape the gut (intestines) and arrive in our bloodstream. One such lectin you will recognize is gluten but there are many others.

Does that mean nobody should eat tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, beans, and grain? The answer is pretty simple. If you aren’t sick now then your body seems to be handling food pretty effectively.

But if you are already sick with some regularity, something (not necessarily nightshades) in your diet is probably contributing. Amelia knew she was sick and you probably will too.

Sick can be occasional or chronic. Sick can includes a whole range of skin and digestive symptoms. Sick can be depression, anxiety, memory problems. Sick can be pain or just often feeling tired or bad. Sick could even be overweight despite your best efforts to lose.

Sick often includes autoimmune diseases which are typically a reflection of something dangerous escaping your intestines and eventually causing an ugly immune reaction in your body. In case you don’t know about autoimmune diseases, there are eight blog posts on this website that will provide greater explanation and offer suggestions on how you can uncover the cause of your symptoms. Take a look.

My book, It’s All about the Food, also addresses food reactions and explains how my daughter and I resolved nasty gastric issues for my granddaughter.

The main thing is to do what Amelia did. Figure out what is causing your problem and fix it.