You may not have heard the term “nightshade vegetables,” but chances are, you eat at least some of them. Potatoes and tomatoes are some of the nightshade vegetables. And many people point to them as a cause for health issues involving the digestive system and autoimmune diseases. Nightshades get their name because they prefer shade to sunshine and often flower at night. About 50 species of nightshade plants can be found in North America and widely consumed. That’s because they contain a variety of vitamins and minerals and are safe to eat under ordinary circumstances. But for those with nightshade sensitivity, nightshades can cause serious problems. Keep reading to learn why eliminating nightshades can help you feel great.
Popular Nightshade Vegetables
According to grassfedsalsa.com, popular nightshades include:
- White, gold, and yellow potatoes
- Bell Peppers
- Chili Peppers
- Goji Berries
Why they can be Harmful
Nightshade vegetables contain trace amounts of a natural insect repellant called glycoalkaloid. Glycoalkaloids are a family of chemical compounds derived from alkaloids found within each plant. These alkaloids can be harmful to humans if consumed in heavy concentrations. Also, they can have a certain drug-like effect on people. The most known alkaloids are caffeine, nicotine, and morphine. They can damage your cell membranes and take your body a long time to process, more than a day in some cases. So, if you are eating nightshades daily, you could end up accumulating a lot of this natural toxin.
A direct link between nightshade consumption and health issues has not been proven. But we know our immune system can’t target the alkaloid found in nightshades. Therefore, it cannot prevent it from causing various health issues. As a result, they can contribute to inflammation, digestive problems, confusion, dry mouth, and visual disturbances. Additionally, they can aggravate autoimmune diseases such as osteoarthritis, Graves disease, lupus, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, and others. According to Healthline, many people with autoimmune diseases eliminate nightshades from their diets, believing they contribute to their health problems.
How to test for Nightshade Sensitivity
Nightshade vegetables and spices do not affect everyone. But if you consume nightshades and suffer from any gastrointestinal dysfunction or an autoimmune disease, it’s a good idea to test for sensitivity. During the test, keep a daily journal. Write down how you feel being mindful changes to your condition. First, remove all nightshade vegetables from your diet. Do this for a minimum of 30 days. Then re-introduce them, one at a time. For instance, start with the tomato. First, eat it raw every day for two or three days. They eat it cooked for a few days. Then move on to the next nightshade. Once you’ve gone through all of them, look back through your journal to determine how sensitive you are to nightshades.
Nightshade Replacement Options
|Nightshade Vegetable||Non-Nightshade Replacement Option|
|Tomatoes||Strawberries, Pumpkin, or Squash|
|Chili or Cayenne Pepper||Black or White Pepper with Cumin or Turmeric|
|Bell Peppers||Celery or Cucumber|
While the scientific community is still trying to understand the relationship between nightshade vegetables and health issues. But there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support it. Naturally. . . You supports the natural approach to healthy living. We believe food can be used as medicine to heal the body. Plus, it can be done without the side effects of synthetic treatments like prescription medications. If you eat nightshade vegetables and suffer from a digestive or an autoimmune disease, we encourage you to try our elimination diet recommendation. You might find that eliminating nightshades can help you feel great. And even more important, how certain foods can actually make you feel better.
For more information on diet, and the six keys to optimal health, check out our website. While you are there, you can also find our complete line of full-spectrum CBD products. And you can chat with us on more ways to feel great. . . naturally.