are tomatoes a nightshade vegetable?

are tomatoes a nightshade vegetable?

are tomatoes a nightshade vegetable?

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are tomatoes a nightshade vegetable?
are tomatoes a nightshade vegetable?

are tomatoes vegetable?

Take the nightshade vegetables or Solanaceae, a plant family that includes eggplant, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes. (The term “nightshade” may have been coined because some of these plants prefer to grow in shady areas, and some flower at night.) An online search of “nightshade vegetables” yields results linking them to a host of health ailments from arthritis to migraines. Naturo­paths sometimes recommend that people with arthritis avoid nightshades. And Patricia J. Wales, a naturopathic doctor in Calgary, says naturopaths may suggest that people with osteoarthritis eliminate nightshades. These vegetables are also excluded from certain eating plans. Dr. Joshi’s Holistic Detox — endorsed by Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Moss — claims nightshades are related to poison ivy and potentially poisonous. “But poison ivy isn’t even in the same plant family,” explains Barry Micallef, a plant biochemistry expert at the University of Guelph.

 

 

Why the bad reputation? Some people may think nightshade vegetables are harmful because they’re confusing them with “deadly nightshade” or Atrope belladonna, an inedible weed that’s also part of the Solanaceae family, explains Micallef. Historically, the deadly nightshade has been associated with witchcraft. When ingested in large amounts, it may cause convulsions or even death. But that has nothing to do with these vegetables.

What are nightshade vegetables?

 

are tomatoes a nightshade vegetable?
are tomatoes a nightshade vegetable?

Nightshade vegetables are part of the plant family Solanaceae. Some species are toxic, including the belladonna plant, which is also called deadly nightshade. Other species are commonly cultivated and eaten by humans.

Common nightshade vegetables that we eat include:

  • white potatoes
  • tomatoes
  • eggplant
  • bell peppers
  • cayenne pepper
  • paprika

Nightshades contain an alkaloid called solanine, which is toxic in high concentrations.

Solanine is found in trace amounts in potatoes and is normally safe, though the leafy stalks of the potato plant and green potatoes are toxic, and solanine poisoning has been reported from eating green potatoes.

 

Some popular diets suggest avoiding eggplants, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. We debunk common myths about nightshade vegetables.

Take the nightshade vegetables or Solanaceae, a plant family that includes eggplant, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes. (The term “nightshade” may have been coined because some of these plants prefer to grow in shady areas, and some flower at night.) An online search of “nightshade vegetables” yields results linking them to a host of health ailments from arthritis to migraines. Naturo­paths sometimes recommend that people with arthritis avoid nightshades. And Patricia J. Wales, a naturopathic doctor in Calgary, says naturopaths may suggest that people with osteoarthritis eliminate nightshades. These vegetables are also excluded from certain eating plans. Dr. Joshi’s Holistic Detox — endorsed by Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Moss — claims nightshades are related to poison ivy and potentially poisonous. “But poison ivy isn’t even in the same plant family,” explains Barry Micallef, a plant biochemistry expert at the University of Guelph.

 

 

Health benefits of nightshade

Certain nightshade vegetables can be excellent sources of nutrients, including vitamins, protein, and fiber.

Eating a varied diet rich in vitamins and minerals can have a powerful effect on a person’s health and improve the symptoms of chronic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Nutritious nightshades include the following:

Eggplant

It is an ingredient used in many diets, including the Mediterranean diet and is stocked in most grocery stores.

It is a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin B-1, B-6, and K.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including biotin, potassium, iron, and zinc. They also contain the antioxidant lycopene, which may improve inflammation.

Potatoes

Purple, white, and yellow potatoes all offer nutritional value that includes fiber, vitamin C and vitamin B-6.

Peppers

Bell peppers are great sources of vitamin A and C, potassium, and folic acid.

 

Do nightshade vegetables make arthritis worse?

Fruits and vegetables from the nightshade family are staple foods for many people. Nightshades are nutritious, healthful foods and the idea that they cause inflammation is not supported by evidence.

Nightshade foods contain solanine, a chemical which some people believe may aggravate arthritis pain or inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation say that this is not true. However, if a person feels that certain foods trigger their arthritis symptoms, including nightshades, they should avoid these foods.

In this article, we discuss the effects that nightshade vegetables might have on inflammation and arthritis symptoms, the health benefits of nightshades, and which other foods may have anti-inflammatory effects.

 

are tomatoes a nightshade vegetable?
are tomatoes a nightshade vegetable?

 

ARE NIGHTSHADES INFLAMMATORY? SHOULD YOU AVOID THEM?

Not necessarily. Nightshade vegetables do have a lot of nutrient density on their own and can be a healthy part of a balanced diet for many. By no means would I ever suggest that the human race as a whole needs to go nightshade-free.

However, nightshades are known to be inflammatory for many and can flare up joint issues, digestive symptoms, and other inflammatory diseases. Those with the following conditions are certain groups of people that may have nightshade issues…

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Any joint issues
  • Digestive issues or “IBS”
  • Autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s, graves, etc.)

Many compounds within nightshade vegetables have been shown to cause inflammation in some cases. For example, potato glycoalkaloids have been shown to impact intestinal permeability and “IBS” issues (source 1), thus, causing digestive distress as well as other related issues. Solanine (which is a glycoalkaloid) and is found in eggplant and potatoes can actually have toxic effects if eaten in excessive amounts.

 

 

 

Also, saponins which are found in nightshades have been shown to impair digestion and limit nutrient uptake.

 

 

Finally, capsaicin which an alkaloid found in peppers is often known to have anti-inflammatory properties, but it has also been shown to have the opposite effect.

 

 

Thus, not every food will have the same effect on every person, but there is reason to consider nightshade intolerance if certain symptoms and concerns are already an issue.

 

WHAT ARE THE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF NIGHTSHADE INTOLERANCE?

Everyone is different and your symptoms will vary. But typically, you can look out for these symptoms…

  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation
  • Fatigue
  • Migraines
  • Skin flares
  • Digestive distress
  • Flares to any preexisting conditions

Have one of these conditions but don’t feel like you have nightshade issues? I was in the same boat. I didn’t particularly feel a difference when I ate tomatoes, so why would I avoid them? Not having an obvious reaction to an inflammatory food is common, and doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not inflammatory for you.

 

MANY NIGHTSHADE INGREDIENTS HIDE IN OTHERWISE HEALTHFUL FOODS. HERE’S HOW TO SPOT THEM…

 

 

I’ve grown very accustomed to finding where the heck all of those sneaky nightshades are hiding after having entirely too many

Potato starch hides in…

Nightshade spices hide in…

  • Most Mexican food
  • Sausage and hot dogs (these almost always have paprika)
  • Breakfast sausages
  • Anything spicy… I just automatically assume there’s some nightshade in there

Tomatoes hide in…

  • Vegetable broth
  • Seasonings (Italian blends and others will often have tomato)

 

HOW DO YOU SUBSTITUTE NIGHTSHADES IN RECIPES?

 

 

Does being nightshade-free mean that you have to live without the flavors forever? Absolutely not! There are so many ways to fake it. Here are some of my favorite substitutes for nightshade heavy dishes…

 

 

are tomatoes a nightshade vegetable?
are tomatoes a nightshade vegetable?

HOW TO MAKE SUBSTITUTIONS FOR TOMATOES…

  • Substitutes for the marinara sauce. Make yourself homemade Nomato sauce!
  • Substitute for chili. I’ve got you covered there with this instant pot nomato chili!
  • Substitute for enchiladas. This zucchini chicken enchilada casserole comes with a nightshade-free enchilada sauce, which is not something you see every day at your local Mexican restaurant!
  • Nightshade free lasagna Lasagna. This one pot lasagna skillet is grain-free, dairy-free, and nightshade-free! Hallelujah!

 

 

HOW TO MAKE SUBSTITUTIONS FOR EGGPLANT…

  • Zucchini. Zucchini is a similar texture for eggplant and can be a good swap! These zucchini fries are similar-ish to eggplant parmesan! Try these Zucchini fries.

 

 

 

HOW TO MAKE SUBSTITUTIONS FOR RED SPICES…

 

  • Cumin
    • Cumin is a seed spice (so, not AIP) that’s nightshade-free and has a great kick to it. One thing to note is that it’s green! I’ve made chili with cumin before and watched it turn green and was super confused… it’s the cumin!
  • Black pepper
    • Black pepper is also a seed spice (not AIP) but it’s not nightshade and is always a great swap to add spice.
  • Turmeric
    • I’m constantly using turmeric to swap for red spices. It adds color, a bit of spice, and tons of flavor! This turmeric chicken curry recipe is one of my favorites and features a nightshade-free curry.

 

Random Posts

 

CAN NIGHTSHADES INTOLERANCE BE HEALED?

It’s 100% possible. It all depends on how your body heals, and your own bio-individuality. For someone like me, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to reintroduce nightshades. I just have such a gnarly reaction to red spices, peppers, and potatoes. However, tomato is the one nightshade that I can be slightly flexible in moderation.

Many people do reintroduce nightshades, but it really just depends. It may not be in the cards for everyone, but there certainly is hope!

 

 

Am I allergic to nightshade vegetables?
A person may be allergic to one or more nightshade vegetables if they experience the following symptoms shortly after eating them:

  • hives or a skin rash
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • coughing
  • tightness of the throat
  • pale skin
  • anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening reaction and a medical emergency.

If a person experiences a severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis after eating any food, they should seek emergency medical attention and use an EpiPen, if one is available.

 

Outlook

Nightshade vegetables are excellent sources of nutrition, and no research to date has linked them specifically to increased inflammation or other symptoms of arthritis.

However, there are some people with sensitivities or food allergies that involve the nightshade family. Eliminating these foods may help those with a sensitivity find relief from their symptoms.

A person should speak with a dietitian if they are concerned about the effects of a particular food on their health.

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