lectins are proteins that bind to carbohydrates or sugars. They reside on the surface of cells and can act as a natural form of defense in many species, including humans. But many people are also very sensitive to lectins and can’t tolerate foods with them, including tomatoes.
The main lectin in tomato is called a glycoalkaloid. It’s contained in the highest concentrations in the stems, so removing the stems before cooking will help remove some of the lectins from your meal.
The leaves also contain some lectin, even after boiling, since boiling does not destroy the glycoalkaloid. The seeds also have lectins but they’re destroyed during cooking.
How to remove lectins from tomatoes
step 1 : boil tomatoes for 20 minutes or so.
step 2: drain the water off, and refrigerate tomatoes after cooking. This will remove about 70% of the lectin. (you don’t want to cook the tomatoes for a long time, or they’ll turn mushy.)
step 3: remove the skins from your cooked tomatoes. Most of the lectin is found in the skin, so removing it will significantly reduce your lectin intake when you are snacking on these tomatoes later on.
How do you kill lectins in tomatoes?
here is another method, however, I couldn’t find much information on how effective this is.
step 1: remove the seeds and the stem
step 2: remove the skin using a potato peeler or a knife/mandoline. Again, removing the skin will reduce lectin content in your tomatoes.
step 3: cut your tomato into little pieces and soak it in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes. You could also boil it for 10 minutes to reduce lectin content further, but you would also be cooking out more of your natural vitamins and antioxidants. After boiling, drain the water off and let them cool before eating them or putting them on salads.
Can lectins be destroyed by cooking?
But here’s the catch: boiling tomatoes, or any other food that has lectins, will not destroy the lectin if you don’t also remove the skin before eating them.
This is because lectins reside in the skin of your tomato, and they are therefore not destroyed by cooking or boiling. It is also why soaking your tomato in something acidic like lemon juice or vinegar cannot remove lectins – it just makes the skin bitter.
According to this article, “Lectins are typically heat-stable and resistant to proteases (enzymes that digest proteins). The sequence of amino acids that forms a protein’s folded form provides the scaffolding for a lectin’s carbohydrate binding site. ”
Therefore, you must also remove the skin of the tomato before you attempt to destroy lectins in your food. If you eat a tomato with skin on it, it could potentially have lectins that remain intact even if you cooked it thoroughly.
How do you neutralize lectins?
Lectin antagonists are substances that block the action of lectins. They create a protective barrier that blocks lectins from binding to you.
For example, when you’re cooking with tomatoes (or any food that has lectins, like potatoes), you could add some raw potato scraps into your stew. Since the raw potato is acting as a protective barrier to block the lectin in your tomato, they will not bind to each other. You won’t have much of an issue with digesting potatoes since humans don’t have the same affinity for binding as tomatoes do.
You can also use coconut oil or olive oil as a protective barrier around tomatoes or potatoes if you’re concerned about lectin content in your diet.
Amelia is a plant and nature lover! Ever since she was little, she loved spending time in her family’s garden and learning about how to care for each plant individually. As an adult, she has dedicated herself to sharing what she has learned and continuing to expand her knowledge on the plant kingdom.