4 Surprising Facts About Nightshade Vegetables

Would you be shocked if someone asked you to stop eating vegetables? Some experts say eliminating nightshade vegetables from your diet may be the secret to optimal health.

You’re probably confused right now, if you don’t know what nightshade vegetables are. Nightshades are part of the Solanaceae plant family, which has over 2,000 species. This plant family extends beyond vegetables. It even includes toxic herbs, such as belladonna.

While there’s a huge list of edible nightshade vegetables, the most popular ones include potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.

The link between these veggies may not be obvious, but they all contain alkaloids, which are nitrogen-containing substances. In fact, the alkaloid content in nightshade vegetables is one of the main reasons they’re so controversial.

eggplant grows in a garden.

Facts About Nightshades

Many experts would tell you to either stop eating nightshade vegetables or continue eating them, but I won’t do that. Instead, I’ll share some important facts about nightshades with you and let you decide for yourself. After all, we are different, and often what harms another person may not harm you.

1. There’s No Evidence Nightshades Trigger Inflammation

Some people believe that nightshades trigger inflammation because they contain solanine, and there are reports of people who experience fewer arthritis symptoms after quitting nightshades.

Unfortunately, there’s no evidence to confirm that solanine has any effect on arthritis or inflammation. In fact, one study concluded that consuming yellow and purple potatoes helps reduce inflammation.

2. Nightshades Offer Plenty of Nutrients

Despite being vilified, nightshade vegetables offer numerous nutrients. They contain vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. For instance, eggplants are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, B vitamins, and vitamin K.

If you choose to eliminate nightshades from your diet, make sure you get these nutrients from sweet potatoes, nuts and seeds, leafy greens and citrus fruits.

3. Nightshades May Worsen Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD is a group of autoimmune conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, characterized by inflammation in the digestive tract. People with IBD have weak intestinal linings, which allow bacteria and toxins in the gut to enter the bloodstream.

According to animal studies, the alkaloids in nightshades can further weaken the intestinal linings and increase intestinal inflammation. However, researchers agree that human studies should be conducted to verify whether nightshades decidedly worsen IBD.

4. Some People May Be Allergic to Nightshades

Some people may have allergic reactions to active ingredients in nightshades, such as alkaloids, lectins, calcitriol and saponins. However, most nightshades have very small quantities of these compounds, which means you may not suffer an allergic reaction unless you consume lots of nightshades.

You may be allergic to nightshades if you experience shortness of breath, hives, wheezing, coughing, pale skin ornd tightness of the throat immediately after you eat them.

Don’t just rely on the information in this article if you suspect nightshades are sabotaging your health. Instead, stop eating them for two weeks, and then record any changes you may notice in your body during that period.

Reintroduce them after two weeks and then record any changes you may notice after the reintroduction. If your records show nightshades are harming your health, stop eating them. If you don’t notice any negative effects, continue eating them.

Related at Care2

Photos via Getty Images

94 comments

hELEN hEARFIELD
hELEN hEARFIELD11 days ago

tyfs

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Graham P
Graham P25 days ago

Interesting article thanks.

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S M
S M27 days ago

Useful and interesting article.

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Kathy K
Kathy K27 days ago

Interesting. Thanks.

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Christine Stewart

thanks

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Michael F
Michael F27 days ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

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David C
David C27 days ago

thanks

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David C
David C27 days ago

thanks

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Thomas S
Thomas S27 days ago

interesting

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Danuta W
Danuta Watola27 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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