What Are Nightshades?

The nightshades are members of family of plants called Solanaceae. For example, tomatoes, potatoes (not sweet potatoes or yams), eggplant and peppers—this means all peppers including chili peppers, Habanero, cayenne pepper and paprika (not peppercorns). Other nightshades include goji berries, ashwagandha, Cape gooseberries (not normal gooseberries), ground cherries and garden huckleberries.

Who May be Especially Sensitive to Nightshades?

  • People who suffer from inflammation and joint pain
  • People sensitive to weather changes
  • People with muscle pain and tightness and morning stiffness
  • People with poor healing, arthritis, insomnia and gall bladder problems
  • People with heart burn or GERD

Why Are Some People Sensitive to Nightshades?

  • Because overconsumption of calcitriol from nightshade foods can circumvent the kidney’s control and over time lead to calcium deposits in the soft tissues such as the tendons, ligaments, cartilage, cardiovascular tissues, kidneys and skin.
  • Because of Solanine, a potent poison found in species of the nightshade family (especially potatoes and eggplant). Solanine is poisonous because it inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine, resulting in increased level and duration of action of this neurotransmitter. What does this mean? It causes prolonged muscle contractions. This is why people who are sensitive to nightshades or eat a lot of them often feel stiff when they wake up in the morning or sit for extended periods. Solanine affects the gene expression of human intestinal cell linings, inhibits proteolytic enzyme activity, and destroys human liver cells.
  • Nightshades contain nicotine, which is why they can be addictive. A large body of research shows that nicotine consumption inhibits proper healing.

Are Nightshades Causing Your Medical Problems?

  • Try removing all nightshades from your diet for at least six weeks. Many people notice an improvement in their pain; sometimes it goes away completely.
  • If you avoid nightshades for six weeks, yet your pain has not decreased, do a “nightshade party day”: salsa and eggs for breakfast, tomato and eggplant for lunch, potatoes for dinner. Eat as much as you can in one day and then watch for symptoms over the next two days. Often there is a delayed onset reaction.

Bottom Line Recommendation:

  • Even if you are one of those lucky people who don’t seem to have trouble with nightshades, it’s a good idea not to overdo.
  • Avoid having nightshades with every meal. Vary your diet. Sweet potatoes, yams and parsnips are good substitutes for potatoes. You can steam cauliflower and mash it with butter and cream. As a substitute for chili pepper, use wasabi, horseradish, mustard powder, ginger, or freshly ground peppercorns. There’s no good substitute for tomatoes, so learn to use them sparingly.
  • Cooking reduces the solanine levels in potatoes somewhat, and may even help reduce other toxins. So if you are eating nightshade foods, cook them in butter or poultry fat—this is a synergistic combination because these fats provide vitamin K2. And you’ll end up eating less of the nightshade foods because when you cook in good fats, you are more quickly satisfied and end up eating less.
  • For those who are sensitive to nightshades, the best strategy is to avoid them completely for a long time, until you can completely heal.

My Thoughts:

I know, for my clients, it is especially hard for them to give up tomato sauce. Here is a link to a recipe for “tomato-less” tomato sauce. Also, there is a company that sells tomato-less tomato sauce. Their product is called Nomato.



Source and Full Article: Weston A. Price Foundation



  1. Pingback: ARE NIGHTSHADES BAD FOR YOU? | A Ventography!

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