How to remove lectins from Tomatoes or Potatoes

Tomato and Potato are the main part of my diet every day. I really can’t think of breakfast without salads and potato fries. In the last few days, the term lectin is bothering me a lot. I have read over a dozen articles about the harmful effect of lectins and for that, it is contained in tomato and potato.

So the very first question that came into my mind was—what is Lectin? Is it really harmful? If so then how to get rid of it? Finally how to remove lectins from tomato and potato? After a little research, I decided to write this article explaining the questions and the reasonable answers that I found.

What is lectin? Lectins are a type of protein, especially carbohydrate-binding protein. It is a kind of proteins that bind with sugar to formulate the structure. In plants, it is an important mechanism for defense building. Lectins are essential for developing immunity against disease and pests for most plants.

how to remove lectins from tomato and potato

Is lectin really harmful to our health and body? – No, not really. Lectins are very common in most vegetables and legumes. We eat all these without being concerned about lectins and mind it I never get sick of it.

Lectins are harmful only if you are allergic to any such food. If you find yourself in trouble, then it is always recommended to reach your doctor ASAP and consult for your symptoms. Don’t worry there is no need for Panic. It’s not that dangerous for all, except those who are severely intolerant to lectins or any food containing lectins.

If you are not allergic then You should only care for the harmful effects of over-consumption. Lectins are harmful only if you consume too much of it, and for that, you may have to eat tons of vegetables and legumes at once—for sure which is not possible for anyone of us. So don’t worry about lectins and have as many greens and red in your diet as possible but always be careful.

Do tomato and potato really contain lectin? Yes, it is 100% true. Both tomato and potato contain lectins. The amount of lectins in these vegetables is significantly very low. So having these in your diet will not harm you in any way. The only precaution to be taken if you are allergic to high lectin content, or if your digestion is not good.

How to remove lectin? – If you are really concerned with lectins then you should try to remove it as much as possible. Having a problem with lectins doesn’t mean that you can’t have tomatoes or potatoes in your diet. In fact, you just have to be careful and treat vegetables before consuming them. Trying to get rid of lectins – you can do a few things for complete remedial.

Know How to remove Lectins

  • Boiling the vegetables and legumes at high temperature
  • Instant cooling in freezing
  • Peeling of the skin
  • Pressure cooking
  • Removing seeds if necessary
  • Fermentation is also helpful in removing lectins.

You probably need a few pieces of equipment for this job. Don’t worry its not anything techy just some kitchen appliances. You will need a Pressure Cooker, a vegetable peeler, some plates and so on. Check out the given links for their latest prices.

How to remove lectins from Tomato?

Tomatoes are really soft to treat and fast to cook. Actually, there is no need to do anything to remove lectins from tomatoes. It will not harm you even if you consume it without cooking.

The amount of lectins in tomato is very low and to get harmed by this much, you have to eat a lot of tomatoes in a single meal. So believe me you will not fall ill if you consume fresh tomato in a salad.

Still, want to remove lectins from tomatoes, then follow these steps carefully.

  • Wash the tomatoes carefully before cooking.
  • Boil the tomatoes at high temperature for at least 10 minutes
  • Boiling tomatoes will break down the lectins.
  • Instant cool the tomatoes in icy cool water.
  • Peel off the tomato skin carefully.
  • To remove the skin mark cut over it before boiling the tomato.
  • Finally, scoop out the seeds.
  • Removing the seeds will remove the last possible chance of lectin in tomato.
  • This is all you need to do to remove lectins from tomato.

How to remove lectins from a potato?

Similar to tomato, Potato also contains lectins and this time the amount is a little high. Still, you need not worry as we usually consumed cooked potatoes, raw potato is not very preferable.

Cooking potato will remove lectins easily and for sure it does not contain seeds for extra lectin. Just boil the potato carefully at high temperature for a few minutes. Try to boil till it gets soft and the skin starts coming out easily on its own.

Other than general cooking, you can even cook it in a pressure cooker for better results. Also, you can wash it carefully before cooking to reduce starch and even lectins from potato.

Special tip: – Add a pinch of salt in water and leave the raw potatoes in it for a few minutes before cooking. This will reduce a large amount of starch and breaks down the lectins. Always remember these steps: –

  • Wash potatoes thoroughly before cooking.
  • Boil carefully. Use of a pressure cooker is preferable.
  • Peel off the skin.
  • Consume as much as your diet permits.
  • Overconsumption is always harmful.

Other vegetables that contain lectins

There are several vegetables and legumes that contain a high amount of lectins in it. If you are affected with bad immunity and digestion then you should always be careful with your diet. Some of the food items that contain a high amount of lectins are:-

  • Legumes are the main source of lectins. Basically, lenticels, beans, peas, and peanuts contain a high amount of lectins.
  • Grains
  • Corns
  • Especially the animal meat that is fed on corns.
  • High fatty milk contents.
  • Vegetables and some seasonal fruits. Especially nightshade vegetables like eggplant, tomato, and potato contains lectins.

What is the harmful effect of Lectins?

The main effect of lectins is the suppression of nutrition absorption. It is really a big problem. It is claimed in several reports that lectins can reduce the absorption rate of some nutrition from our diet. Ultimately it may cause nutrition deficiency.

Another popular concern for lectins is with our health. It may create a problem in dealing with a heart attack.

It is sometimes treated as a cause of ill health and reduced immunity. The reason for such concern has occurred due to several unconfirmed reports for lectins, very popular these days online.

If you ask me for concern, then I would only recommend taking care of your health and your diet and no need to worry for lectins at all. No lectins can harm you if you care for it. Just maintain a healthy lifestyle with a quality diet plan.

General precautions such as washing and cooking the food properly is always a good habit. It not only reduces lectins but also keeps you away from several diseases.

Some really serious problems that are associated with lectins are  – diabetics, depression, indigestion, constipation, cancer, and heart diseases. Nothing is confirmed regarding this report, so don’t worry at all.

What are the benefits of lectins?

The best and most important benefit of lectins in our diet is improved immunity.  It is proposed and believed by many dieticians that lectins are actually good for our health. The only concern is with the amount of food we consume.

On contrary to its harmful effects lectins can improve the quality of the heart. It actually improves the chances to fight against heart attacks.

Sometimes it is said that lectins are related to autoimmune diseases, but believe me, so far now it has never been proven any of its harmful effects. So there is no need to throw everything out of your plates before confirming the authenticity of the reports.

What to do If you are intolerant to Lectins?— If you are intolerant to lectins then first make a habit to consult your doctor regularly. Before anything try to figure out what actually causing the reactions. It is important to know that not all food containing lectins can harm you. So try to learn what’s affecting you and avoid those foods. Make some changes in your daily lifestyle. If possible take some time daily for proper meditation and yoga, It is effective with such problems.

In fact, a little amount of lectin in our diet is good for digestion. Actually, it helps in building better digestion and a healthier lifestyle.

Do you really think Lectins are harmful to us? Do you have anything special to share then please let me know in the comment section below? Please tell me what you think about removing lectins for tomatoes and potatoes, is it really helpful?


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not only a hobby, its a way of living life with nature. Due to my Family background as Commercial Farmers for more than 3 generations: I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here just to share my 25 years of experience in gardening. Believe me Its always Refreshing.

5 thoughts on “How to remove lectins from Tomatoes or Potatoes

  1. As a person who has a severe intolerance to the lectins found in certain meats, vegetables, and fruits, including tomatoes, I take issue with your statement that lectins are not harmful.
    As a result of my intolerance, I made a lifestyle change several years, and follow The Blood Type Diet. As a person with Type B+ blood type, eating tomatoes , and certain other lectins containing foods has, and can be detrimental to my health.

    1. Hi Martha. It’s really great to find someone really genuine.
      Thanks for point out the details. Actually you are right. It is an important fact that lectins are responsible for severe allergic reactions- and it is official with all medical guidelines. Still, I have written that it is not harmful. Let me clear it first What I have said is for general understanding. It is for those who reacts without knowing their health status. Actually, these days many people get tensed with even a simple word like problematic “anything” associated with anything especially food. Without knowing the actual details they get panic attacks for uncertainty. I think it’s not good. Everyone should be aware of the fact before reacting. Like you have, you are well aware that such food is harmful to you and you are careful about that. It is great and I really appreciate your help.

  2. Hey! Do you happen to know if after said legumes, potatoes, etc. are boiled, should they be drained and then added to say a soup, instead of being added to a soup that is cooking? Would the water it was boiled in hold the released lectins? Also, random theory. If lectins are to fight off pests and disease, does that mean GMOs could carry more lectins since they are designed to off put any pests? Curious to know if you had any thoughts on that. Thanks!

    1. Hi Ellen, thanks for reaching out.
      First of all, I must say you have a point. Boiling is an effective way of getting rid of lectins and yes, it will always be there in the substrate. So technically you can say- it is better to leave that. But there are two important points to remember- 1.) Lectin is now inactive after boiling and 2.) Boiling also removes some natural enzymes & minerals essential for your health. So I think, I don’t mind using it all together as I’m not that much allergic to such food. But It should be noticed for sure.
      Next is about GMOs – Yes, for sure It may contain more lectins, at least theoretically it can be proved, but there is no such recorded evidence for that so its just a thought.

  3. Dear, as Belgian, we are french fries lovers. I ate 8 weeks lectinefree and we are about trying to add them again, differently prepared.
    French fries are cooked at high temperatures in oil. Does that remove the lectines too?
    Or would it be better to precook the potatoes in a pressure pan, than peel them , cut them in fries and then bake them in oil.??

    Thank you for the tips.

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