MYTHS AND TRUTHS OF Nightshades
Natural Solutions|June 2021
Public perception about nightshades is often negative but there are many benefits to these fruits and vegetables. The majority of the negative effects only occur to a small population of people. The benefits of this group of vegetables outweigh the negative effect only a small group have.
Stephanie Seitz MT (ASCP), ND, MPH

Nightshades are a group of plants technically called Solanaceae and it includes eggplant, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and many more. Other foods including nightshades are curry, hot sauces and pasta sauces. The term “nightshade” was coined because the majority of these plants grow in shady areas and some flower at night.

POTENTIAL NEGATIVE PROPERTIES OF NIGHTSHADES

Nightshades have been linked to inflammatory issues that result from their alkaloid content, specifically solanine. Solanine is a bitter-tasting substance that acts as a natural insect repellent for the plant and are concentrated in the leaves and stems rather than the fruit or vegetable. However, there is no conclusive peer-reviewed medical research that shows a connection between inflammatory conditions and alkaloids.

Nightshades are also linked to medical issues like migraines, arthritis pain and contributing to osteoporosis. The root causes for inflammation and other health issues can be difficult to target. People with food allergies or are prone to have food sensitivities are the most common people to have issues stemming from nightshades.

BENEFITS OF NIGHTSHADES

This group of fruits and vegetables provide quality benefits to a person’s health. The benefits of nightshades include:

TOMATOES: Tomatoes are a major source of the antioxidant lycopene. This antioxidant has been linked to helping reduce heart disease and cancer. Tomatoes also contain a high amount of vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K.

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