Do you Have a Tomato Intolerance?
Tomatoes are a staple food item in many Brits' diets. This is partly due to their versatility and high nutritional value. Plus, tomatoes are in pretty much everything! But, in some cases, Tomatoes can cause unpleasant symptoms and can be the cause of huge digestive distress. Tomato intolerance is a relatively common condition in the UK, one that we will explore in the blog post.
Tomato intolerance v tomato allergy
A tomato intolerance is dissimilar to a tomato allergy, which is a more severe reaction that can, in some cases, become fatal. Tomato intolerance is a non-allergic reaction that happens when the body is not able to digest the tomato components properly. This can cause various symptoms, including bloating, stomach pain, headaches, diarrhoea, nausea, amongst others.
Tomato intolerance can be caused by a number of factors. The high acid content of tomatoes, which can irritate the digestive system and cause discomfort, is one of the leading causes. Another factor is that tomatoes contain histamines, which can cause an immune response. Tomatoes also contain fructose, a type of sugar that some people may face difficulty digesting.
Tomato intolerance is more common in some people than others. People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), for instance, are more likely to have tomato intolerance, as are those with a history of digestive issues such as acid reflux. What's more, statistically, women are also more likely than men to be affected by tomato intolerance.
One of the difficulties with tomato intolerance is diagnosing it. Because there is no specific test for tomato intolerance, people usually use a process of elimination to determine if tomatoes are causing symptoms. This entails removing tomatoes from the diet for an extended period of time to see if the symptoms improve.
If you have tomato intolerance, the best thing you can do is avoid tomatoes and tomato-based products. This can be difficult because tomatoes are used in so many different foods, from pasta sauces to soups to salads. There are, however, numerous alternative ingredients that can be used to enhance the flavour and nutrition of meals. Roasted peppers, for example, can be used in place of tomatoes in pasta sauces, and cucumber or carrots can be substituted for tomatoes in salads.
To summarise, tomato intolerance is a relatively common condition in the UK that can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms. If you are experiencing tomato intolerance symptoms, it is highly advised that you take a food intolerance test. Not only will this give you the confirmation you need, but it will also give you a broader picture of your overall gut health.