There is no need to explain that tomato and potato are two of the favorite foods for many people. Trust me, no exception for me as well. I can’t spend a day without having salads and delicious potato fries. When it comes to salad, your subconscious mind will imagine some yummy tomato slices in it. There are many delicious tomato recipes as well.
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That said, I am also concerned about the existence of lectins in these two popular food ingredients. After reading dozens of articles about the harmful effect of lectin who have an allergy to it, I was so concerned about my health.
Then I researched a lot to find out the answer to the following questions. What is lectin? Do potatoes and tomatoes contain lectin? What are the harmful effects of lectin? And of course, how to remove lectins from tomatoes and potatoes?
Are you in the same mental state as me? If you are also concerned about lectins in your favorite vegetables, this article is for you. After thorough research and study, I found that lectins can be easily removed from tomatoes and potatoes.
Trust me, I put everything you need to know about it in this article. You can consider it as a complete guide for removing lectins from your favorite vegetables. You will also know a lot of facts about lectins here. Continue reading to explore everything.
What Is Lectin?
Lectin is a type of protein that is responsible for binding carbohydrates. Typically it binds with the sugar to build up its structure. If you talk about plants, it is one of the important elements of their defense system. To develop a strong immune system in the plants to fight against diseases and pests, you can’t deny the importance of lectins.
Now, the million-dollar question you may ask is, is it really harmful to human health? The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Let me explain it to you. Generally, you will get lectins in most of the vegetables and legumes. Most people eat these without knowing showing any concern about lectin. But, the problem arises if you have any allergy to such food.
Many people can’t tolerate lectin as they have an allergy to it. Besides, if you consume an excessive amount of lectins, it may also harm you. So, first of all, you need to know whether you are allergic to lectin. If not, then having it in optimum quantity will not be harmful to your body at all.
Do Tomatoes And Potatoes Contain Lectin?
The answer is yes. You will get lectins both in potato and tomato, but in a very low quantity. So, without any doubt, you can keep these vegetables in your daily diet. Because there are many nutritious elements in tomato as well as potato.
However, if you are someone who has an allergy to lectin content, or you have difficulties in the digestion system, you should be careful when taking these vegetables.
Other Vegetables That Contain Lectins?
Lectins are available in several vegetables including legumes. The number of lectins in some vegetables is quite high. If your immune system is not strong or you have digestive problems, then you must be choosy about what you eat. Following vegetables contain a good lectin content in them.
- Legumes (Beans, peas, peanuts, or even lenticels)
- Some other vegetables (e.g. eggplant, squash, cucumber, etc.)
You will also find lectins in some animal meat. Especially in those animals who fed on corns. Lectin is also available on high fatty milk contents.
5 Ways to Remove Lectins from Your Favorite foods
To be honest, it’s not an easy task to remove lectin-heavy foods from your diet. Because it is available in many common food ingredients. So, it will be a better thing to know how to remove it from your favorite foods. Below I am sharing 5 effective ways to get the job done.
Way 1- Soaking:
It is proven that if you soak some particular food ingredients, the lectin content will reduce significantly from them. The fun fact is our grandparents already did this several times in their entire lifetime. But maybe they don’t know the actual benefit of that practice. The truth is when you soak beans or grains before cooking or boiling them, their lectin content will reduce to a great extent.
Way 2- Using a Pressure Cooker:
Another effective way is to use a pressure cooker. When you do pressure cooking lectins in some vegetables will reduce dramatically. But, be careful it will not remove lectins entirely. If you are dealing with beans, tomatoes, or potatoes, this is a very effective method as there will be fewer lectins when you pressure cook them. However, when it comes to cooking wheat, rye, barley, or oats, even a pressure cooker can’t remove the lectin content from them. So, be careful while dealing with these ingredients.
Way 3- Peel and Deseed:
Another great way to remove lectins from many vegetables is to peel and deseed them. Honestly, it is a very effective way to when it comes to reducing lectins from certain vegetables. For instance, cucumbers, eggplant, or even squash should be peeled and deseed before cooking if you want to reduce lectin content in them. Peeling skin from vegetables is super easy these days, especially when you have a serrated peeler. Whether you want to peel the skin of hard vegetables or soft fruits, this pretty-sharp tool will get the job done smoothly.
Way 4- Fermenting:
Fermenting is another good way for removing lectins from foods. If you ferment a fruit or even vegetable, their defensive and damaging substances will be converted due to the involvement of good bacteria.
That’s why fermented foods are quite popular among many people from around the world. Typically, vegetables become a probiotic-rich food when fermented, but fermentation can’t kill all of the lectins from the foods. However, the number of lectins in food reduces notably after going through the fermentation process.
How to Remove Lectins from Tomatoes?
The number of lectins in tomatoes is quite low. So, it will not have much harmful effect on your health. However, if you are allergic to lections or have poor digestive habits, you may want to know about how to remove lectins from tomatoes. But, how do you kill lectins in tomatoes? Following these simple steps will remove lectins from tomatoes.
- Take the necessary quantity of tomatoes and then wash them well.
- Take them into a pan and take sufficient water into the pan to submerge the tomatoes.
- Now, boil the tomatoes to a high temperature. Continue boiling for about 10m minutes to decompose the tomatoes properly.
- After that, you need to cool them by using cold water.
- After washing them with cold water, you need to peel and remove the skin from the tomatoes.
- Finally, remove the tomato seeds which will remove the lectins.
Can Lectins in Tomatoes be destroyed by Cooking?
If you want to remove lectins from tomatoes to a great extent, the only cooking option is not sufficient. To get the best result, you have to remove the skins of the tomatoes as well. Because you will get most of the lectins stored in the skin of the tomato. So, if you don’t peel the skin, only cooking or boiling the tomatoes will not destroy the lectins completely.
Another notable thing here is lectins will not be destroyed if you soak the tomatoes in vinegar or lemon juice. Instead, it will make the skin quite bitter. One characteristic of lectin is it is typically heat-stable. So, only boiling or cooking will not destroy lectins in tomatoes.
It is important to destroy them thoroughly if you have an allergy to lectins. In that case, you should remove the skins of tomatoes before cooking them.
How to Remove Lectins from a Potato?
When it comes to removing lectins from potatoes, you need to follow these simple steps.
- Take some potatoes and peel their skin properly. Remove any green spot or eyes from their flesh. Then, you need to cut the potatoes in cube shape. Try to keep the size of the cube around one inch square. After that, you will need to apply cold water to them to rinse them.
- Soak the potato pieces in cold water for at least 20 minutes. It will reduce enzyme activity on them.
- Now, drain the potato pieces thoroughly and dry them up. For drying purposes, you can use paper towels if necessary.
- Take a pressure cooker and put the cubed potato pieces into it. Add distilled water to the cooker. You should use distilled water only. Because another type of water may contain lectins.
- After securing the lid cook the chopped potatoes at high pressure for at least 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes of continuous pressure cooking, you should turn the heat off. It will take 15-20 minutes approximately to release the pressure naturally.
Lectins can be found in many unprocessed and raw plant foods. Lectins can be harmful to your health if you are allergic to them or suffering from digestive issues. Vegetables like beans, peas, peanuts, potatoes, and tomatoes contain a good amount of lectins. For many people, it is necessary to know how to remove lectins from tomatoes. I hope now you know how to do that correctly and conveniently.