Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
12 Jun

Nightshades

780308335 e8c0427301As you (our gracious company of Apples) know, we unequivocally love our vegetables. Powerhouses of nutrients and antioxidant action, they’re the backbone of a good Primal Blueprint diet. But the issue of nightshades has come up a few times recently. Nightshades, those vegetables that find their roots in the Solanaceae family of plants, include a host of reputable veggies and spices: eggplant, potatoes (yes, we know, not so reputable), peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, pimentos, paprika, cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce, et al. (Black pepper isn’t included in this list.)

Nightshade, you might exclaim? Isn’t nightshade those plants (many with alluring little berries) our camp counselors told us never, ever, to so much as put our grubby hands on? Quite possibly. The kinds of nightshade plants growing wild in the woods can be highly toxic. Some can cause death if ingested. Some actually have psychotropic properties. Inherent in this power is pharmaceutical potential. Very minute amounts of some nightshade components are prescribed to successfully treat a few kinds of allergic reactions or chemical poisoning as well as nausea related to certain conditions.

These potent little components are alkaloids, chemical substances that have one or more circular structures containing nitrogen. Essentially, they act as natural pesticides. (Evolution wasn’t just our gig after all. A plant’s gotta protect itself!) Four kinds of alkaloids in the Solanaceae family include the steroid alkaloids (the alkaloid found in most nightshade foods), tropane, pyrrolizidine and indole alkaloids. Steroid alkaloids have been shown to block certain nerve activity that can, at high levels, cause muscle shaking, paralysis and respiratory difficulty. They have also been associated with inflammation, particularly in the joints. Finally, some nightshade foods like eggplant and tomato contain trace amounts of nicotine.

But what does this mean for the tomato salad I always serve at our 4th of July barbeque? Should I give up eggplant parmigiana? No peppers or Tabasco? I thought hot food was good for me!

Before you raid your kitchen and gardens, let’s stop and take a closer look here. First off, nightshade foods contain a very small fraction of the alkaloid levels found in other “toxic” nightshade plants. If nightshades presented a major health threat to humans, we would’ve stopped eating them a long time ago or died off from the inability to learn from our neighbor’s experience. Even when nightshade foods are common ingredients in certain ethnic diets (peppers in parts of Latin America or tomatoes in Italy, to give some basic examples), the population as a whole in those parts doesn’t seem to suffer ill effects.

So, what gives? Are they bad, or are they O.K.? Our simple answer: eat them (and enjoy them) in moderation if you don’t feel any ill effects. While research hasn’t yet turned up any definitive evidence that the alkaloid-containing foods in question harm the human system, it’s generally accepted that some people are much more sensitive to them than others. Nightshades, in those with this sensitivity, have been associated with symptoms like stomach discomfort, digestive difficulties, joint pain, and muscle tremors. These reports have been enough to influence medical care professionals and some organizations to advise those with certain conditions like GERD, gout, or arthritis to avoid nightshades. If you don’t have these conditions but are concerned, it’s a good idea to take a full 2-4 weeks off from nightshade foods and see if you feel any differently. Some of us have mild enough reactions that we may not feel the difference until we set our own “control” scenario for comparison.

Finally, if sensitivity doesn’t seem to be a problem but you’d like to take some reasonable precautions, know that cooking nightshade foods (steaming, boiling, baking) can reduce the alkaloid levels to nearly half. And yet another reason to avoid potatoes: sprouted potatoes (and their associated green parts) have higher levels of alkaloids than other foods.

And, finally, we’d like to put in a plug for a widely varied diet. As much as we love our tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers, we wouldn’t recommend making them the sole or primary vegetables in your diet. Variety offers the best in nutrient-rich and low-risk nourishment.

What are your thoughts on nightshades? Do you choose to embrace or avoid them? What influences your decision?

willsfca Flickr Photo (CC)

Further Reading:

Smart Fuel: Eggplant

Flame Thrower: 10 Ways to Reduce Inflammation

Health Benefits of Peppers (10 Peppers You Need to Try)

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. It seems, from gobs and gobs of research, that the human body benefits from small amounts of substances that are poisonous in large doses. Caffeine, ethanol, aspirin, et al. are plant and microbe poisons that have clear health benefits in moderation. There’s even evidence that animals and primitive humans figured out how to use mild poisons to their benefit.

    Josh wrote on June 12th, 2008
  2. I love tomatoes and I eat them in my salads quite often. I also put salsa on my omlettes. I’ve been a little concerned since I first read Scott Kustes’s post on them although I can’t say I’ve noticed any ill effects. I’ve been without out them for the last couple of days because of the salmonella scare–might be a good time to try an exclusion test.

    Dave C. - DaveGetsFit wrote on June 12th, 2008
  3. I could eat bell peppers & tomatoes all day long, they’re so delicious. I tried to cut out nightshades for awhile, but found myself really missing them in my salads. I started eating them again, but watching the amounts a little more closely.

    I didn’t notice any big change when I stopped, but I still have a long way to go before I would say I’m fit or quite healthy. There’s so many things I’m trying to balance out that I doubt I could tell whether joint pain is from nightshades or a host of other things that cause it. I figured I would get my body into better shape and once I have a consistent handle on that I can try to tweak things further.

    For now though, I’m still eating the nightshades because I love them and it’s still better than my former diet. Also, I’ve been eating them my whole life and never noticed any ill effect, and I can seriously inhale some raw bell peppers.

    Heather wrote on June 12th, 2008
  4. what about sweet potatoes and yams? I eat these way more than regular potatoes. they may not be nightshades,but as something fairly high-carb, what is your take on them?

    hedda wrote on June 12th, 2008
    • Sweet potatoes and yams are not nightshade plants. Eat up!

      Linda wrote on December 4th, 2012
  5. Hedda,

    If you going to eat carbs other than fruits and colorful veggies, you probably couldn’t pick beter than yams and sweet potatoes. Grok probably ate a fair amount of these types of tubers when he could find them

    Mark Sisson wrote on June 12th, 2008
  6. Aside from paprika, what other spices are nightshades? I wonder in particular about curry powder? Does anyone have a good kimchi recipe that gets around the need for hot peppers and/or paprika? I would just like something with a little more kick than regular sauerkraut. Maybe I’ll get lucky and still have my minor elbow tendinitis etc. after eliminating nightshades. On second thought, maybe my minor complaints will disappear and I can learn to like blander food! Great post…as usual!

    Thanks!

    Rodney wrote on June 12th, 2008
    • Cayenne and chili peppers are other spices that are in the same family and often included in spice mixes like “curry powder.” Except for black pepper (grinder/shaker), anythign named pepper is a no-no. Try cumin instead for the peppery bite. If you have a spice store in your area, go talk to them!

      Recipes for curry powder and other spice mixes are easy to find on the internet, just adjust to what you can safely eat. For instance, we can’t have BBQ sauce but you can still grill with a tasty spice rub.

      PS Try adding some fennel and/or ginger to the cabbage in your sauerkraut and experiment with different radishes in your kimchi.

      Isabel wrote on March 6th, 2012
    • My understanding is that sichuan peppers and long peppers are nto nightshades and are ok to eat for the sensitive.

      Deborah wrote on March 10th, 2013
  7. YAY! These are my favorite treat, I’m glad to hear the apple approves!I almost never eat any other kind of ‘carb’, so I’m glad this is safe:) Although, why do we call grains carbs? I mean, even veggies have carbs. They’re everywhere!I wouldn’t say I avoid carbs, just grains.

    hedda wrote on June 12th, 2008
  8. thanks Mark for that

    another characteristic of this group are there lectin content

    “think of a lectin as a protein containing a key that fits a certain type of lock. This lock is a specific type of carbohydrate. All life forms, plant and animal, insect and fungus have cell membranes that contain carbohydrates that sit within and project from the membrane. If a lectin with the right key comes in contact with one of these ‘locks’ on the gut wall or artery or gland or organ it ‘opens the lock’, that is disrupts the membrane and damages the cell and may initiate a cascade of immune and autoimmune events leading to cell death. (see http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html)

    the primary concern over lectins is their ability – particularly in sensitive people to attack the gut lining and allow whole proteins to cross into the blood – initiating an auto immune response – some believe that this is at the root of MS and other autoimmune disease. you should get tested for leaky gut if you are concerned.
    i read a study analysing the tomato and found that they are only in the juice around the seed – so i eat tomatoes without the juice – just a nice in my opinion.

    i avoid potatoes and peanuts (a legume – a family with most lectins) but i do eat aubergine and courgette on and off.

    wheat and other grain fibre is high in lectins to.

    markus

    markus wrote on June 13th, 2008
  9. avoid potatoes and peanuts (a legume – a family with most lectins)

    I have a question not directly on topic but related to your comment. When I was looking for some almond butter the other day, I noticed a product I hadn’t seen before: butter made from sunflower seeds. Anyone tried it or have any info on it?

    Thanks!

    Dave C. - DaveGetsFit wrote on June 13th, 2008
  10. Oh my goodness…Dave C., You MUST try sunflower seed butter. It is DELICIOUS. You’ll never go back to almonds.well, you might, but I rarely do because almond butter is SO expensive!

    hedda wrote on June 13th, 2008
  11. Thanks, Hedda. That’s the appealing part of it to me. The sunbutter is available at the Navy commissary for a lot less than I pay when I take a trip to Sun Harvest (our Wild Oats/Whole Foods type store) to get the almond butter. I’m just curious how they stack up against each other nutritionally.

    Dave C. - DaveGetsFit wrote on June 13th, 2008
  12. Be careful with the sunflower butter, that stuff is like the lovechild of crack & sugar. I don’t even put it on anything, just eat it right out of the jar in alarming amounts if I’m not paying attention.

    Heather wrote on June 13th, 2008
    • I already phased the Sunbutter out of my diet, one of the main ingredients is refined sugar. almond butter tastes just as good=)

      Girlfriend wrote on September 7th, 2012
      • Not all Sunflower seed butter has sugar in it. Try MaraNatha All Natural Sunflower Seed Butter. I like the one with the “hint of sea salt”. Ingredients: Roasted sunflower kernel seeds, sea salt. It does separate, so you have to stir it up and keep it in the refrigerator, but it is oh so yummy.

        Shel-lee wrote on December 9th, 2012
  13. Rodney,
    Paprika is the only spice that I know of that is a nightshade. Curry powder is a mixture of spices intended to approximate the flavor of Indian food. As such, it typically contains some paprika. You’ll have to check your own jar of it to see if it has paprika. Prepared mustards, sausages, and lots of other foods have paprika too. Look for “spices” in the ingredients list, though that doesn’t automatically denote paprika, just that there is a mixture of stuff that they aren’t disclosing.

    Cheers
    Scott Kustes
    Modern Forager

    Scott Kustes - Modern Forager wrote on June 13th, 2008
    • 1) Curry powder usually contains cayenne, not paprika.

      2) Paprika isn’t the only nightshade spice out there. Cayenne is one as well. So is the new chipotle powder.

      Aquaria wrote on September 25th, 2013
  14. BTW paprika came in at 162.6, just under acai fruit pulp.

    Mark (not Sisson) wrote on June 14th, 2008
  15. Hi – I mostly avoid nightshade plants. For me, eggplant and potatoes are the worst, but I do fine with tomatoes and peppers. 15 years ago I was getting cortisone injections behind my knees avery 3 months, but have had zero since cutting out potatoes.

    Ellen wrote on June 14th, 2008
  16. Just a follow-up. I bought some of the sunflower butter. Heather, your warning is heeded! This stuff taste great and I could easily see myself just taking a spoon to the jar rather than spreading a little bit on my Fuji. I’m going to have to be careful while still in weight loss mode! :-)

    Dave C. - DaveGetsFit wrote on June 16th, 2008
  17. Nuts are great, but many Americans do have a weight problem. That is why I am so interested in fruit (i.e., acai, pomegranate, etc.). I know fruit also has calorie issues, but no direct fat content. Freeze dried acai powder is a real possibilty, as it contains no added sugar, etc. I still think it is better to eat the fruit/puilp/juice, but calories ned to be considered in some cases./

    Note that I graphed all the USDA values on my site (see Anti-oxidant Info.).

    Mark (not Sisson) wrote on June 16th, 2008
  18. Mark, what does “direct fat content” have to do with it if it’s about calories? I’m not sure I understand why fruit is better than nuts from your comment. Care to expand?

    Cheers
    Scott Kustes
    Modern Forager

    Scott Kustes - Modern Forager wrote on June 17th, 2008
  19. When you eat fat it stays fat (I know some fats are better than others), and fat is hard to burn. If you eat fruit, you have the chance to burn the sugar content before it becomes fat. Of course if you do not, then it does not matter.

    Mark (not Sisson) wrote on June 17th, 2008
    • Sweets are what make you fat. Any competent first-year medical student knows that the liver converts glucose to fat. Not fat to fat.

      Heck, any farmer could have told you that the way to fatten up a pig isn’t to feed it fat (which pigs love, BTW), but to feed the porker grain. That’s a low-fat food, in case you weren’t paying attention.

      Aquaria wrote on September 25th, 2013
    • Do you know of any research that supports the “fat stays fat” statement? If this were true, everything we know about nutrition and digestion would need to be re-evaluated.

      I’ve studied this site and find the scientific data referenced here, data that completely contradicts your fat statement, to be sound, as far as I can tell.

      IMO, “fat stays fat” just makes no sense based on my understanding of basic physiology. If “fat stays fat,” wouldn’t we eliminate it directly since it’s not being digested/broken down? It sounds like you’re saying that fat is teleported somehow straight from our stomachs to our hips or thighs or spare tire. Or are you saying it is indigestible like fiber? In this case, it would just come out the other end, still fat, and would have no net impact on our nutrition or calories or anything else.

      Respectfully Confused,

      Amy wrote on July 19th, 2014
  20. So then it’s not calories, but macronutrients that matter? This sounds like the same flawed logic that begat the low-fat paradigm in the first place. The body can burn fat as well as glucose, hence how people maintain energy on a low-carb diet. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding where you’re going with this.

    Scott Kustes
    Modern Forager

    Scott Kustes - Modern Forager wrote on June 17th, 2008
  21. I took a look at your website, and assumed your reply would be something along that line ;).

    I am open to alternative nutritional theories.

    I think my only point is that the sugars (and hopefully a good mix of sugars, not sucrose) are immediately available to burn. Where the low-fat diet fails is that many people do not burn them off (I think).

    If you ingest fat, and your body is not tuned to burn fat, it much more directly goes to your exsting fat deposits.

    Do you see a problem with eating fruit (an honest question)?

    Mark (not Sisson) wrote on June 17th, 2008
  22. Mark,
    No, I don’t think there is anything wrong with fruit, per se. If you read my site, you’ll notice that I recommend real, natural foods. Fruits are part of that. However, we have to acknowledge that today’s fruits are nothing like the fruits we evolved with. Today’s fruits are bred to be sweet, meaning more sugar. They have less vitamins and more sugar today…basically less good stuff and more bad stuff. That means fruits are great replacements for grains, but poor replacements for vegetables.

    The fact that sugars are immediately available to burn isn’t necessarily a good thing. The failing of the low-fat diet is that it plays games with hormones, insulin in particular. Blood sugar spikes and dips result in constant hunger.

    The key factor is that the body SHOULD be tuned to burn fat. Which means you have to turn down the sugar and teach it to burn fat. I’m not sure that there’s any facts behind the statement that fat is deposited more directly into fat deposits. If anything, sugar (even natural sugars) raises the fat storage hormone insulin and cause a propensity to store fat.

    Also, a diet based on whole, natural foods, a Paleo-style diet if you will, is hardly an “alternative nutritional theory.” It’s the diet your body evolved with.

    Cheers
    Scott Kustes
    Modern Forager

    Scott Kustes - Modern Forager wrote on June 17th, 2008
  23. I too, have celiac disease. I am intolerant of so many things, including nightshades and cruciferous veggies. Sweet potatoes and yams are not nightshades, even though they too, do not agree with me. I can’t remember where the yam comes from, but sweet potatoes are a member of the morning glory family.

    Deb Dolloff wrote on June 19th, 2008
  24. Mark – thank you for covering this topic. I am so glad to see your site and others covering the possible problems with nightshades. I am highly intolerant to nightshades. I used to eat them on a regular basis but I do not eat any of them now. My symptoms ranged from arthritis, inflammation around my eyes and eye lids, acne and digestive issues. When I was in my mid-20s I had been diagnosed with osteo-arthritis. Within a month of not eating nightshades, the pain in my joints went away. I highly recommend if any one suspects that they are having problems with nightshades to try and get them out of your diet. It is well worth the effort.

    kathryn wrote on June 19th, 2008
  25. Spices that are nightshades include:

    Cayenne
    Chili
    Paprika
    Pepper sauce
    Pimento

    Remember that anything with “pepper” or “chili” in the name, other than pepper ground from peppercorns is a nightshade. All of the commercial curries will have one form or another of pepper in them. And many of the things that you eat such as mayonnaise that just say “spices” include paprika or other nightshades.

    Pdw wrote on September 12th, 2008
  26. i too am intolerant to nightshades and get a wide range of symptoms (migraines, jaw pain, dry skin, upset stomach, bloating and irritability) if i eat anything from this family.

    also a note to those avoiding nightshades:
    be careful about OTC pain meds. ibuprofen/motrin/naprosen are all nightshade derivatives.

    soy sauce made in the US is made with genetically modified soy beans (GMO) and is cut with a nightshade (petunia). stick with organic soy sauce as it is not GMO.

    reluctant veggie wrote on April 13th, 2009
  27. did you include all processed foods that state modified food starch is a possible potato starch problem, and all shredded cheese? it’s covered in potato starch. it is the most difficult diet i have ever encountered, and cooking does not elleviate my pain. everything that everyone serves at potlucks add ingredients that have nightshades!!! i always feel best whenever i eat just fruit….but i cannot live on fruit alone. i have been living with the pain, but today it’s just too much. it would be great if there was an herb that helps us eliminate the alkaloids sooner.

    dee mattice wrote on July 6th, 2009
  28. well this website and all the comments are sure enlightening…recently found out about having celiac’s (along with hypothyroid, psoriasis, etc) and after doing some ck’g as i was still having some issues this now tells me why. had a baked potatoe for lunch and guess where i spent the rest of the day. talking about trying to figure out now what i can eat is getting to be a major bummer.

    lumbeepride wrote on July 24th, 2009
  29. You should probably know if you have trouble with nightshades. Inflammation of the joints is a good indicator. I can’t stand the smell of tomatoes, and have never liked peppers, eggplants, etc. Your body knows if you listen to it.

    Edie Summers wrote on April 14th, 2010
    • I have always disliked peppers, tomatoes, walnuts, eggplant etc. and people always teased me about it saying that I was just a picky eater and needed to try them. They make my mouth feel all tingly so I always avoid them. Finally two years ago a holistic nutritionist said that I was allergic to nightshades – what a relief for me to hear! I’ve always disliked milk and am not one to take the dinner roll at the end of a buffet, and I was told that when you are “allergic” to night shades that you also typically have an intolerance for milk and wheat. I agree – listen to your body – it knows what it’s talking about!

      Kathy wrote on June 2nd, 2011
    • I thought I was the only one who can’t stand the smell of tomatoes.

      They make me gag, just smelling them.

      Aquaria wrote on September 25th, 2013
  30. In spite of Mark’s encouragement of eating nightshades, I think I will phase them out for a few weeks. Since I started eating primal, I’ve eaten copious amounts of raw tomatoes and sweet peppers and since I gave up my beloved tomato ketchup, I am now eating a great deal of hot sauce (no sugar). I have eaten cooked tomatoes and peppers all my life without a problem but since I started eating them raw, I have developed knee pain when squatting which was never there before.

    It’s bizzare as I cannot imagine what is causing it. At first I thought it was due to lack of dairy which I stopped eating over a month ago but as I’m getting plenty of calcium from my almond milk and yogurt I dismissed that idea. The culprit at the moment seems to be those tasty nightshades!

    I will eat them sparingly but only cooked as opposed to raw and see what happens.

    Alma wrote on May 21st, 2010
  31. Because I have some issues digesting larger quantities of fat, I eat fat in moderation and have to look for some extra carbs to support a fairly intensive CF strength bias program I am currently trying out. I have tried to turn to the sweet potato approximately three times as a substitute for fruit and higher frutose containing foods, and everytime have experienced a light amount of indigestion. Would this be a product of the “nightshade” issue or perhaps some other sensitivity? Any thoughts are appreciated.

    Tom Russell wrote on July 7th, 2010
  32. No, sweet potato is not a nightshade. It is not related to the potato at all. It is part of the morning glory family.

    That doesn’t mean it’s not bothering your digestion, just that it is not a nightshade.

    pdw wrote on July 7th, 2010
    • morning glories are in the nightshade family.

      Carol wrote on September 15th, 2013
      • No.

        Morning glories are in the Convolvulacae family.

        All nghtshade is in the Solanacae family.

        They are, however, both in the order Solanales.

        Just like we’re in the same order with lemurs (primate), but we’re not remotely in the same family under that order.

        Aquaria wrote on September 25th, 2013
  33. Actually, a sweet potato is a nightshade. It’s just not a Solanacceae. Nightshade is a plant “order.” Sweet potatoes are different from potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers in that the sweet potato belongs to a different “family” of nightshades. Regular potatoes belong to the Solanaceae family. Sweet potatoes and yams belong to the “Convolvulaceae” family.

    Ro wrote on September 5th, 2010
    • Ro, where did you get this info? Everything I have read indicates that nightshades are the solanacea family, not an order.

      Pdw wrote on September 5th, 2010
      • They completely redid animal taxonomy a few years back based on genetics rather than expressed traits. Maybe they did the same with plants. I get frustrated remembering all the studying I did for *nothing.* oh well. Progress, I guess.

        Amy wrote on July 19th, 2014
    • Sweet potato is absolutely not a nightshade. Morning Glory family is unrelated to Nightshade family.

      If they do not agree with you, it’s worth discussing with an allergist.

      Isabel wrote on March 6th, 2012
      • This is going the other direction of ill-informed.

        All life on earth is related; there’s only a matter of how far back you have to go to find the common ancestor.

        So morning glories and nightshade are a lot more closely related than they are to, say, a human being. Just like we’re a lot more closely related to a baboon than we are to a sweet potato.

        Aquaria wrote on September 25th, 2013
    • NO. Stop saying this ignorant nonsense.

      That’s like saying all roses are flowers, so all flowers are roses.

      They are NOT the same.

      Sweet potatoes are in the Convolvulacae family.

      All nightshade is in the Solanacae family.

      They’re in the same order, Solaneles, but Solaneles is NOT entirely nightshade.

      It only takes two whole seconds to look it up, dear. Why didn’t you, before opening your mouth to say things that aren’t so?

      Aquaria wrote on September 25th, 2013
  34. Another, good reason to drop nightshades. They contain calcitirol.

    Calcitriol signals the intestines to absorb calcium from our diet. While we absolutely need calcitriol to maintain proper bone density, too much calcitriol, from any source, leads to hypercalcemia, also known as high blood calcium.

    http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/1897-nightshades.html

    Sungrazer wrote on September 13th, 2010
    • It is pretty hard to get too much calcium in your diet. That is why so many women take calcium supplements, especially with any family history of osteoporosis.

      Isabel wrote on March 6th, 2012
  35. I believe some people’s immune system is low – stress related –the liver is overworked and they can’t elimina, and I was having aches all over. However, not wanting to discard nightshades from my diet, I started using a lot of kidney-clearing spices, apple cider, liver herbs and haven’t had a problem since. Try the masala indian spices, celery seed (this is nasty) schizandra and astralagus. Apple cider is owesome in eliminating joint deposits.
    Nightshades have tremendous health benefits – antioxidants, carotenoids, anticancer flavonoids that prevent cell death, etc. I take a break sometimes, a few days, then I totally gorge on them withought any bad effects.

    Elena wrote on September 30th, 2010
  36. I’ve had joint problems and flare ups of joint pain my whole life. I don’t think you can assign this to being stress-related since it started at such a young age. I found a direct relation between my joint pain flareups and ingestion of nightshades, particularly white potatoes. I’m more inclined to eliminate some foods than to add huge quantities of other foods, especially apple cider which is super high in sugar.

    Jake wrote on January 29th, 2011
    • Childhood can be extremely stressful.

      Maybe yours wasn’t, but mine definitely was!

      Aquaria wrote on September 25th, 2013
  37. Sounds interesting. Any advice on taste?

    jawaa wrote on February 16th, 2011
  38. You mean to say that my usual revulsion to ketchup is my body’s attempt to force my hand (and fork)? Fancy that . . .

    My sister recently found out that the anaphylactic reactions she’d been having were due to tomatoes.

    For years (note: I’m only 21!) I’ve been dealing with joint inflammation (tested for arthritis: negative), full body muscle tension (causing scoliosis!), trouble sleeping, stomach cramps and other digestive issues (was medicated for a short time a while back, didn’t help), headaches, breathing troubles (traditional asthma never fit) and possibly a couple more afflictions that I can’t remember right now. Plus the stress of feeling awful every day for years, of having no one be able to figure it out, and of people eventually thinking it’s all in my head.

    Going paleo has definitely helped for the most part, but I still feel awful sometimes, like last night when I couldn’t sleep because my joints were on fire. Well, let me tell you: I had some creamy vegetable soup yesterday that my aunt made for me (the creaminess was from leftover creamed potatoes) in addition to the salsa and potatoes I had while visiting family over the weekend.

    Between my sister’s reactions, and the fire in my bones last night, today marks day 1 of a 4-week no-nightshades trial. I’ll post back for anyone interested in my results!

    ElleHad wrote on August 16th, 2011
    • Hey, all of you who are considering taking a break from nightshades (which I highly recommend doing!) – you’ll probably need to do it for at least 6 weeks to get all of it out of your system.

      Most of my family is sensitive to nightshade. I didn’t think I was until I finally gave up ALL nightshade and experienced a new level of health and well-being! So, even if you don’t think you are sensitive to nightshade, you might want to give it a try of going 100% off of them for 6 weeks and see the difference.

      You can also take some zeolite or bentonite clay to help pull it out of your system.

      Interesting to learn that ibuprofen and some other pain meds have nightshade derivatives in them. My son went into shock and almost died from his first time taking ibuprofen.

      Eleanore wrote on February 16th, 2013
  39. I grew up eating nightshades, and adore them… And then in my 30’s I started getting crippled up with arthritis and fibromyalgia. Now in my mid 40’s, I’ve discovered the link between nightshades and arthritis, and FINALLY I have HOPE for the future!!! I’ve gone several months with no nightshades now, and feel 10 years younger. I decided to test it out a couple of times and eat some nightshades… And I’m really sorry I did it! Like an alcoholic with his booze, I adore my nightshades and now that I have suffered the “hang-over” of binging on them, I am CURED… hopefully forever! The pain I suffer from eating them is SO not worth it – If you have arthritis, I challenge you to go for 3 months with NO nightshades and see what it feels like to get your old “before arthritis” body back!!!

    Kelly wrote on August 30th, 2011
  40. When I learned that some of my favorite foods were possibly causing inflammation, I cut them out to see what would happen. Much to my amazement in about 2 weeks, my hip pain got about 95% better, my shoulder, elbow, wrist and thumb pain is almost gone, and after 3 weeks, I was able to open a sealed jar without any assistance. I used to eat fresh salsa just about every day. I cut out nightshades and grains. I’m still learning what my body can and cannot tolerate without payback, but I’m encouraged! Miss my salsa though, but this results is worth it.

    Kate wrote on January 22nd, 2012

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