Should You Avoid Night Shades? A look at the research

While this name may sound offensive and may contain the contents of a sorcerer’s pot, nightshade is one of the most common fruits and vegetables, and may already be present in your kitchen. So, what are night shades, and are they good for you?

What are Night Shades?

Among the 2,500 species of flowering plants known as nightshades. Solanaceae Plant family.

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The most commonly used night shades include:

  • Bell pepper
  • All chili peppers (e.g., jalapeño, habanero, poblano) and spices derived from chili peppers (such as paprika, chili powder, or red pepper)
  • eggplant
  • goji berry
  • Potatoes (but not sweet potatoes)
  • Tomatoes and tomatoes

Benefits of Eating Night Shades

Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, says edible nightshades are one of the most nutritious foods around and have been used as part of a healthy diet for centuries..

“Hundreds of studies have found benefits from eating these foods. In particular, tomatoes have documented many research benefits, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory benefits and risks of diseases such as prostate cancer and heart disease.” Reduced, “says Palmer. “They are also linked to skin and bone protection.”

Meanwhile, capsaicin in chili peppers promotes hair growth and can reduce your risk of heart and cancer. And potatoes are full of carbohydrates that regulate mood and muscle building proteins.

Are Night Shades Toxic to Humans?

Members of Solanaceae The plant family contains alkaloids, including solanine, a natural pesticide. Solanines in Belladonna, known as the “Deadly Night Shade”, can cause delirium, deception and even death. However, the nightshades we usually use do not have a high level of damage.

“There’s not a lot of scientific evidence that people need to avoid nightshade because of the alkaloid content,” Palmer said.

That being said, potato sprouts and potato parts that have turned green from sunlight are high in solanine and should be avoided. Symptoms of solanine poisoning include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever or hypothermia, headache, and slow pulse or shortness of breath.

Do nightshade vegetables cause inflammation?

Search the Internet for the word nightshade, and you’ll stumble across many articles warning of inflammation and arthritis pain. But no research has shown that nightshades affect couples.

“There are a lot of urban stories and misinformation about the Night Shades on the Internet and social media,” Palmer said. “Some people think that they should avoid nightshade to reduce the swelling for the benefit of arthritis. However, studies have shown that many nightshade vegetables reduce the level of inflammation in the body.

It is worth noting that the Arthritis Foundation has listed nightshade vegetables, ie bell peppers, as “the best vegetables for arthritis”. Red and yellow bell peppers contain carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin, which can reduce your risk of developing inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, tomatoes and peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C, which protects bones and cartilage, with a bell pepper containing more than 150% of the Food and Nutrition Board’s daily recommended amount. Eggplant, meanwhile, is rich in anti-inflammatory anthocyanins as well as essential trace element manganese, which is important for bone formation.

“Scientific evidence [regarding nightshades and inflammation] Not very strong at the moment, “says Micah Yu, MD, a triple board-certified rheumatologist who also practices integrative medicine.” Maybe in 10, 20 years, we will have more evidence. “

U notes that there is no test to determine if anyone is sensitive to nightshades. If you suspect that nightshade is a problem for you, they recommend keeping a food diary and checking to see if certain foods match your inflammatory symptoms or other adverse reactions. You can try to avoid food to see if the symptoms improve, then re-offer the food to see if the symptoms return. If they do return, it is advisable to abstain from food, and consult a registered dietitian.

Nightshade and inflammatory bowel disease

At least two studies have suggested that potatoes may increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease. Both were performed using rats, not humans.

In a 2002 study, researchers isolated the solanine and glycoliclide chaconine in potatoes to test intestinal permeability and function. They concluded that the levels of solanine and chaconine commonly found in potatoes could adversely affect the intestines of a mammal and increase IBD.

In a 2010 study, rats were fed deep-fried potato skins. Researchers have found that deep frying of potato skins increases the glycoliclide content and that the use of glycolclide significantly increases intestinal inflammation in mice infected with human IBD (interleukin 10 gene deficiency and dextran sodium sulfate). Imitate two models).

But data is limited, says Vanita Rehman, MD, clinic director at Bernard Medical Center. “We know that animal studies do not always translate meaningful results into humans, so it is really difficult to draw any conclusions about human health, as far as inflammatory bowel disease is concerned.”

Before completely eliminating nightshades, Rehman recommends talking to a healthcare provider and finding out if anything else could contribute to IBD symptoms. Keep in mind that some nightshades – potatoes and eggplants – are high in fiber, which is associated with a lower risk of developing IBD and a better quality of life in patients with ulcerative colitis.

The bottom line is [nightshades] There are really nutritious vegetables that have a lot of important nutrients for us, ”says Rehman. “They have many health benefits. Therefore, most people should use them in ways that they enjoy.”

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A row of nightshade vegetables - including eggplant, tomatoes - on a wooden table

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