Some vegetables and fruits, called nightshades, can cause pain, depression and other uncomfortable symptoms. Some research shows that those with autoimmune diseases would benefit from eliminating nightshades from their diet.
Nightshades are part of the Solanaceae family of flowering plants. The majority of these plants have a bitter taste and are poisonous when ingested. Not many are edible. Some edible nightshades are potatoes, with the exception of sweet potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers and eggplants. The spices paprika and cayenne pepper are also from the nightshade family. All nightshades contain small amounts of nicotine. The health effect on this small amount of nicotine is unknown, but some researchers wonder if this is why some people feel addicted to them.
What’s wrong with nightshades?
They contain a chemical compound called glycoalkaloids, work by defending itself from fungi disease and predators, making itself poisonous. It’s nature’s pesticide to intruders which in turn helps protect the plant.
Glycoalkaloids are not only poisonous to other insects but they are also poisonous to people. Potatoes are the most toxic ( the poor, humble, delicious potato ) in the edible nightshade family. There are many reports of people getting food poisoning from eating raw, green or sprouting potatoes. High doses of glycoalkaloid can cause serious symptoms like low blood pressure, confusion, neurological problems and even death.
Glycoalkaloids are anti-inflammatory.
They kill bacteria and viruses and have anti-cancer properties. The problem with them is they kill both the bad cells and the healthy cells. Some scientists have wondered whether glycoalkaloids could be a potential cause for the leaky gut, which is believed by some to be a potential cause of multiple sclerosis.
Edible nightshades have small traces of alkaloids. Most people can eat these without problems. For those with a compromised digestive system, or those with autoimmune diseases like MS, can be sensitive to nightshades and not even know it.
What are symptoms of a nightshade sensitivity?
The symptoms of a glycoalkaloid sensitivity can be bloating, depression, flatulence, gallbladder problems, abdominal pain, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, morning stiffness, muscle pain, and nausea. The best way to test yourself for a sensitivity would be to try an elimination diet for 30 days. Reintroduce them one at a time and wait a few days before reintroducing the next nightshade to see if you have any sensitivities.
After eliminating the nightshades for one month and reintroducing them then you will discover your body has no sensitivities to them, go right ahead and continue to enjoy eating them! Let me know how it works for you.
Do you eat nightshades?
Ellie is a 45-year-old woman living in South Carolina. She works as a cashier, but is always dreaming of more — she’s just not always sure of what “more” is. Her favorite hobbies are reading and reading book reviews. Within the first few minutes of meeting her, you’ll realize her nephews, niece, books and cats are her favorite things.
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