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Why do I hate tomatoes?

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Why do I hate tomatoes? Nightshade Intolerance

Nightshade Intolerance Story

Food for Wellness really is an individual discovery journey. It's about taking the basic framework and then learning to listen to your own body to tweak it to your needs. But how does that actually work in practice?

This blog was originally published on 11 November 2014 on an old website. Part #2 of the story coming soon!

A conversation over lunch on the weekend with extended family made me reflect on just how far I've come in my understanding of how food affects my body. I had automatically picked the tomatoes out of my salad; something I have done most of my life. It is only for the last year that I now have an answer as to why I don't eat them other than 'I hate tomatoes'.

Tomatoes are a part of the nightshade family of plants. Nightshades also include capsicum, chilli, white potatoes, eggplant, paprika, tobacco and others. For some people (either known or un-known to them) nightshades can cause pain and inflammation issues.

Some people might experience joint pain, arthritis, skin issues (eg acne, eczema) or autoimmune conditions. For me, nightshades affect my sinuses. If I have tomato I will get a sinus headache and some tummy bloating.

So that's why I don't eat tomatoes... I don't like tomatoes because they don't like me.


How did I work this out?

As i learned more about the innate intelligence of the human body, i started to think about what foods instinctively i have never liked and tomatoes was top of the list.  I would always refuse to eat them as a child. Given a choice at restaurants I would always pick a creamy sauce instead of tomato-based pasta dishes etc.

Since living out of home and raising a family I did try and introduce some fresh tomatoes into my diet and more tomato based sauce dishes since I thought that they were more 'healthier' than the creamy ones and thought I 'should' be eating them. I still could never manage the squishy seed part of a fresh tomato but I kind-of started to like the de-seeded tomatoes. Especially when made into bruschetta on a piece of crusty bread.

For the last 10 years especially, I would experience sinus pain and sinus headaches. The main time was in the spring season. Therefore I used to believe it was all the spring pollens in the air.

It was just 'normal' for me, so I lived with it. I'd spend money on chemist tablets to ease the symptoms and pain.

But as I now understand, pharmaceuticals are good as only a Band-Aid solution to suppress the symptoms. They do nothing to address the underlying cause, and often cause more issues from their toxic ingredients and side affects which means they can sell you another type of drug. And they make a hell of a lot of money doing it! [that’s my little rant for the day, the topic makes me so mad!!]

So back to my tomato story....

My husband and I transitioned to a Paleo-type template over a few months. First we eliminated gluten, then all grains and the processed/packaged foods decreased. I read all ingredients on everything. I was conscious to avoid as much as possible all numbers, artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, and refined sugar and 'vegetable' oils.

Eating real clean foods, and eliminating the grain has done wonders for both my mental and physical health.

Following the basic framework of Paleo allowed my body to stop being irritated by foods that wasn't the best for it and start to recover and heal.

As my diet got cleaner and cleaner it was like I got rid of all the noise and I could start to listen and hear it easier. If I ate something my body didn't like, I knew very quickly. Yet, pre Paleo I wouldn't have noticed a sign or signal from my body and thought I had no intolerances. I used to believe my aches and pains was just 'normal' for me and sickness was just bad luck.

So as I started listening to my body and really understanding the big relationship between food and health, I started to get suspicious about tomatoes. (And apples, but that's another blog for the future!)

The best way to work out how a food affects your body is to eliminate it for a period of time (e.g. 30 days) then try reintroducing it.

Hence I discovered that tomatoes were the main cause of my sinus issues. Fresh tomatoes seem to be the worst. A small amount of cooked tomato paste in a dish seems to be ok. I now avoid where practical other nightshades too. If I have any white potato I peel them; as the main irritant to people sensitive to nightshades is mostly found in the skin.
Why? Because I just don't like sinus pain and headaches!!

But wasn't it the weather change and pollens that caused my sinus?
Well when do tomato start coming into season and the price falls in the shops in NSW? In Spring. For us, as the weather started to warm and the days lengthened, we naturally had more salad and I would make bruschetta. Yes seasonal, but not for the weather but for the types and quantities of foods that we eat at different times of the year. Interesting!

One of the steps in our phased checklists of the Food for Wellness Reset course is to eliminate something for a minimum of 2-4 weeks if you have a slight feeling that you may be intolerant to it.  E.g. dairy, nightshades, eggs, nuts etc. Then try introducing it again and evaluate how you feel.
I hope this blog gives you more understanding of this step.

Contact us if you would like to join the next Food for Wellness Reset Group or book a one-on-one coaching session to help you refine and tweak your own version of Paleo/Primal/LCHF so you can achieve wins and more forward with ease.

Best of luck in your own individual healing journey. Go at your own pace, tune in, experiment and take responsibility for your health. The reward of self-care is unbelievably empowering.

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