Could your salad be making you sick?

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The nightshade family of plants (scientific name: Solanaceae family) consists of a number of common agricultural crops including tomatoes and potatoes.

Nightshade plants are high enough in toxins to cause inflammation in the body, especially in anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease. You might be surprised at how many foods belong to the nightshade family and how many you may consume on a daily basis.

The following are all examples of nightshades:

• Potatoes
• Tomatoes
• Tomatillos
• Eggplants
• Pimentos
• Pepinos
• Tamarillos
• Goji berries
• Peppers
• Red pepper seasonings (curry, cayenne, chili powder, paprika, etc.)
• Ground cherries
• Tobacco

If you’ve been advised to avoid nightshades, you have to watch labels, too, because “natural flavors” or “spices” may indicate hidden nightshades. “Starch” on labels in many cases also means potatoes.

Peppercorns and sweet potatoes are NOT nightshades.

If you suffer from arthritis, digestive issues, gout, or nerve-muscle pain, try cutting out nightshades and take note of how you feel after thirty days. Then go whole hog and stuff yourself with nightshades. You’ll know pretty soon if you have a sensitivity to these troublemakers of the food world!

Have you tried our Dinner Answers program yet? It offers weekly menus for many different eating styles!

0 Responses

  1. I strongly suspect I have a problem with nightshades. When I look back, I realize I’ve always had a problem with my face and neck flushing after I ate anything with tomato sauce (especially like spaghetti), but because I loved it so much, I just ate it anyway and figured, ‘big deal, so my face turns a little red’, and happily ate away! But now since being on a paleo diet and seeing such an incredible (really almost miraculous) improvement in my overall body aches and pains, it was more obvious after eating a paleo spaghetti and meatballs, when the next morning I had a slight return of some pain in my feet! So not only does my face turn red, but now I’m wondering if it also causes some body pain/inflammation…ugh!! That would be such bad news because I LOVE tomatoes and peppers and chilies, etc. So since I’ve been avoiding them for some time now, I’m going to do as you suggest and thaw a frozen chili verde from the freezer and see how I feel after eating it!

  2. I also have a problem with nightshades activating arthritis in my spine. Is this directly related to leaky gut, or would I still be sensitive to these foods anyway?

      1. I really don’t know much about leaky gut, other than I have all these food sensitivities. I was wondering if the chemicals in the nightshades get through regardless of whether the intestines have increased permeability.

  3. Man I sure have been loving sun-dried tomatoes lately. Otherwise I’ve been eating perfectly but I felt the prickly toes and didn’t associate the two.

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