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nightshade vegetables list
Some of the most popular Nightshades are potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, and chili peppers. But because various spices and spice mixes are made from chili peppers, nightshades can be found in a whole host of processed foods!
Here’s a more complete list of nightshades that you might be eating (though some of them may be rare in the US):
- Bush Tomatoes (native to Australia)
- Cape Gooseberries (or ground cherries, different from regular cherries)
- Cayenne pepper
- Chili Pepper Flakes
- Chili powder
- Chinese Five-Spice Powder
- Curry Powder
- Curry spice powder
- Garam Masala spice – because it contains peppers
- Garden Huckleberries (different from regular huckleberries)
- Goji berries
- Hot Sauce
- Ketchup (and BBQ Sauce) – because they contain tomatoes
- Most spice blends – because they contain peppers
- Paprika spice
- Peppers (including bell peppers, sweet peppers, chili peppers, jalapeños)
- Potatoes (does not include sweet potatoes or yams)
- Red Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Steak Seasoning
What are Nightshades ?
Nightshades are foods that contain lectins and small amounts of alkaloids, which act as natural pesticides. Nightshade foods belong to the Solanaceae family of plants (in the Solanum genus).
Most people can eat them with no problem, but some become sensitive to the alkaloids. Although cases are rare, eating nightshades could even lead to autoimmunity. If you’re one of the few, it certainly doesn’t feel rare. (Check out this handy list of autoimmune conditions.)
Nightshades are mostly fruits and vegetables, but also include spices and tobacco. You may hear “nightshade vegetables” and “nightshade fruits” as separate groups, but they are essentially the same thing: foods with higher-than-typical levels of alkaloids.
Check out this list of the most common nightshades:
- Tomatoes and tomato products (ketchup, hot sauces, soups)
- Potatoes (white potatoes, red potatoes, but not sweet potatoes or yams)
- Peppers (bell peppers, banana peppers, but not black pepper)
- Goji berries
- Groundcherries (not regular cherries)
- Red spices (cayenne pepper, paprika, red pepper)
Notably, you may have a potato sensitivity but not a nightshade sensitivity. Potatoes contain multiple potentially harmful proteins and chemical compounds: solanine, lectin, chaconine, patatin, and a bunch of carbs.
The belladonna plant, also known as deadly nightshade, is a member of the nightshade family of flowering plants, but it is poisonous. No one should eat deadly nightshade.
Is Avocado a nightshade?
Are avocados Nightshades? Avocados are also OK (in fact, Avocados are high in essential, preferred amino acids, and healthy fats). Nightshade family vegetables all have at least some fiber and carbohydrates, but most of the vegetables stand out for at least one type of nutrient.
Are onions nightshades?
No, onions are not nightshades. They are often mistaken for nightshades. However, onions are high in FODMAPs, so you may want to avoid them on an IBS diet.
Zucchini and mushrooms are two other foods that are not nightshades, even though they are commonly thought to be.
Beware of hidden nightshade ingredients. Tomato and peppers are found in many foods and spices that you might not expect. Pay close attention to ingredient lists.
Are sweet potatoes a nightshade?
Nightshades are a botanical family of foods and spices that contain chemical compounds called alkaloids, explains registered dietitian Ryanne Lachman. Common edible nightshades include: Tomatoes. Potatoes (but not sweet potatoes ).
Is Ginger a nightshade?
Nightshade spices usually give food a hot kick. You can still get this sensation through non-nightshade spices like ginger, garlic, horseradish and wasabi. Usually you’ll need more of these spices than you would of the red peppers. Many sauces and spice blends contain nightshade spices.
Why are nightshades called nightshades?
Nightshade vegetables are called nightshades, possibly because many grow in the shade and bloom in the nighttime. However, the reason is not known for sure. Truthfully, the origin of the name “nightshades” is shrouded in mystery.
Health benefits of nightshades
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:
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 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 are one of the most abundantly grown foods used in the Western world. They’re also part of the perennial nightshade family that can be mildly poisonous when eaten before they’re ripe, while the skin is still green.
Potatoes are great sources of vitamin C, which helps aid immunity. They also contain enough potassium, vitamin B-6, and fiber to make a healthier staple than you may realize. Moreover, they contain carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid, all forms of phytonutrients known to promote health benefits, according to the USDA.
There are also many different types of varieties, which have different health benefits. Potatoes are rich in vitamins A, B, C, and E, along with iron and zinc. They provide an easy way to get necessary, critical amounts of nutrients for people living in developing worlds.
Potatoes aren’t as healthy when they’re prepared with high amounts of fats, salts, and oils, like french fries. Because nothing beats a homestyle staple, try this take on roast potatoes.
Bell peppers are great sources of vitamin A and C, potassium, and folic acid.
So, Blueberries contain solanine alkaloid like nightshade plants, though they aren’t technically a nightshade plant. they are often touted as a superfood because many believe they contain cancer-preventing ingredients. They’re high in antioxidants, which are known to reduce inflammation. With that in mind, blueberries are thought to prevent inflammatory diseases such as metabolic syndromeTrusted Source, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular disease.
According to researchers at the Gerontological Society of America, evidence from recent studies show that blueberries contain flavonoids, specifically one called anthocyanin, that’s directly associated with cognitive benefits.
A cup of blueberries provides a quarter of your daily vitamin C needs, as well as supplying some dietary fiber. The fiber, when combined with probiotics in yogurt, can keep your gastrointestinal tract in good working order.
For a healthy morning burst of blueberry bliss, try this blueberry and spinach smoothie.
Are Nightshades Bad For Your Health?
While some alkaloids have positive effects on human health, others can affect them negatively. For example, the chemicals found in tobacco, a nightshade plant, can cause cancer.
For context, one eggplant has about 11 milligrams of solanine.
Studies show that potatoes can contain anywhere from 25-275 micrograms of alkaloids. The amount depends on the type of potato and where it was grown.
Are Nightshades Bad For Your Health?
When should nightshade vegetables be avoided?
I mentioned it before, but nightshade vegetables are not necessarily bad. However, if you have an autoimmune disease or chronic inflammation, you may have heard that you should avoid nightshades.
Research has shown that eliminating nightshade vegetables can help resolve inflammation, particularly in the joints. Because they can be triggers for some people with chronic illness, nightshade vegetables are eliminated during the first phase of the autoimmune protocol diet.
While anyone can have an allergy or intolerance to nightshade fruits and vegetables, there is a certain subset of people that have a greater propensity to not tolerating nightshades well.