Nightshade Veggies. An Inside Look

Adding fruits and vegetables to our diet from the nightshade family can not only be a delicious choice but a smart one too. Nightshade vegetables are nutritious, healthful foods that should be part of everyones dietary plan for long term health and longevity.

 What are nightshade vegetables?

These are the edible parts of flowering plants that belong to the Solanaceae family. The genus name comes from the Classical Latin word solanum, referring to nightshades (especially Solanum nigrum), “probably from sol, ‘sun’, + -anum, neuter of -anus.”[6] . Some nightshade plants have been rumored to be formerly used as narcotics or hallucinogens and can even be poisionous. However,many of them have beneficial pharmacological properties.It’s name may have originated from the term solare,meaning”to soothe”. The nightshade family contains over 2,000 varieties of plants,some of which we consume as food. Some like belladonna, are even poisonous. Never the less,they have been staple foods of various societies that can be traced back to the Mesozoic Era.

Some of the consumed nightshade vegetables include:

  • Eggplants

  • Peppers

  • Potatoes

  • Tomatillos

  • Tomatoes

Multiple herbs, as well as spices, are derived from these vegetables, including paprika, crushed red pepper, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Black & white peppers are derived from peppercorns, which aren’t in the nightshade family. Furthermore, many condiments and other common food items contain nightshade vegetables as ingredients like hot sauce, salsa, ketchup, and marinara sauce. Though they are referred to as vegetables, various nightshades are botanically considered fruits like peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants.

Rich sources of nutrients

Several health professionals encourage you to eat nightshades due to their high nutrient density. This means they pack many nutrients with some calories.

  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are excellent sources of vitamins A & C. They contain an antioxidant known as lycopene. These nutrients can decrease markers of inflammation and lower the risk of many chronic diseases.

  • Peppers: Peppers contain incredible amounts of vitamin C, which may offer several health benefits, including helping enhance iron absorption.

  • Chili peppers: These have capsaicin, which provides the peppers their heat. Supplementing with capsaicin powder is found to alleviate heartburn symptoms and can benefit weight loss efforts by decreasing calorie intake.

  • Eggplants: Eggplants are an excellent source of dietary fiber, providing 2.5g of fiber per cup. This essential nutrient helps regulate bowel movements and can low your risk of heart disease.

  • Potatoes: Potatoes with the skins on contain fair amounts of manganese, potassium, and vitamin B6.

However dissimilar, most nightshades, potatoes are a starchy vegetable. One small potato contains about 30 grams of carbs. People with diabetes and others looking to lower their blood sugar may need to limit or avoid eating potatoes altogether.

Do nightshade vegetables cause inflammation?

Some people believe that the solanine contained in nightshade vegetables can cause inflammation, and make inflammation related to arthritis worse. While various people can report of symptoms getting worse when they eat nightshades that contain solanine, there is no science to support it. Solanine has an impact on inflammation and arthritis pain directly. Instead, these symptoms can be caused by or related to a food sensitivity to the nightshade family. A 2010 study suggests, eating purple & yellow potatoes can, actually, decrease inflammation and DNA damage. These species contain higher levels of antioxidants, including carotenoids, which the authors recommend can prevent cell damage. In spite of this, if you believe that you may have a food intolerance or allergy to nightshades, you should avoid them from their diet and make a note of any impacts that this has to their symptoms. If a person wishes to remove nightshades from the diet, they may replace them with other non-nightshade vegetables, such as:

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Yams

  • Cauliflower

  • Mushrooms

Health benefits of nightshades

Potato skins are rich in vitamin C: Certain nightshade vegetables may be the best sources of nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and protein. Eating a varied diet rich in vitamins as well as minerals can have a powerful impact on the health of a person and improve the symptoms of chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Nutritious nightshades include the following:

Eggplant

Eggplant is an ingredient used in several diets, including the Mediterranean diet, and is stocked in most grocery stores. Eggplant is an excellent source of fiber, potassium, B-6, vitamin B-1, and K.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the best source of vitamins & minerals, including zinc, iron, biotin, and potassium. They contain the antioxidant lycopene, which can improve inflammation.

Potatoes

Yellow, purple, and white potatoes all offer the nutritional value that includes fiber, vitamin C & vitamin B-6.

Peppers

Bell peppers are good sources of vitamin A & C, folic acid, and potassium.

What are the common symptoms of nightshade intolerance?

Everybody is different and your symptoms will vary. But you can look out for these symptoms…

  • Joint pain

  • Inflammation

  • Fatigue

  • Migraines

  • Skin flares

  • Digestive distress

  • Flares to any preexisting conditions

Conclusion

Nightshade vegetables contain essential nutrients and offer various health benefits. People are encouraged to eat them as they offer many health benefits. Other people can avoid nightshades if they have any problem with these when they consume them. Also, these are used by a lot of people in all of the world.

About the author: NORMAND SAVOIE

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