Nightshade Foods

Photo by Feb12

Photo by Feb12

Because my last blog included the mention of nightshade vegetables, I thought I’d research that a bit more so I could figure out why these might be bad for people with autoimmune issues. Nightshade foods include fruits and vegetables that contain alkaloids. Individuals, who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, arthritis, or other autoimmune issues can possibly see improvements in their condition if they eliminate these foods from their diet.

Nightshade vegetables include bell peppers, Italian peppers, chile peppers, eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes. The fruits that are considered nightshade include gooseberry, goji berry, pepino, and tamarillo. I have to say I was relieved to see I don’t eat anything on the list of fruits. The vegetable list is another story. As I mentioned in my last blog, I love fresh tomatoes. I also love tomato sauce. These are not easy things for me to give up.

Alkaloids can impact nerve-muscle function and digestive function in animals and humans, and may also be able to compromise joint function. The good news is that the amount of alkaloids is very low in nightshade foods, health issues may only occur in people who are particularly sensitive to them. If you have a sensitivity to these foods, you may want to try and eliminate them from your diet altogether. Sensitivity may be reduced by cooking these fruits and vegetables.

According to an article on One “problem potentially related to the potato alkaloids involves damage to the joints caused by inflammation and altered mineral status. Whether alkaloids can contribute to joint damage of this kind is not clear from current levels of research. Some researchers have speculated that nightshade alkaloids can contribute to excessive loss of calcium from bone and excessive depositing of calcium in soft tissue. For this reason, these researchers have recommended elimination of nightshade foods from the meal plans of all individuals with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other joint problems like gout.”

If I were an organized person, I’d keep a food diary that would help me distinguish if I have more flares after I eat these types of foods. Have you ever seen that video of the woman saying “Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That”? That’s kind of how I feel about a food diary. I may get to the point where I take the time to do it, but right now I’ve got my hands full just trying to stay gluten free and pain free.

My suggestion to those with autoimmune issues would be to limit these nightshade foods to a few times per week and see if you notice a difference in your symptoms. It’s worth a shot. Let me know if you see any changes.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ♥Renee
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 19:37:34

    I dont want to give up my tomatoes either but in gonna try, at this point any idea is better than none


  2. fefe23
    Feb 11, 2014 @ 23:26:55

    I just read about nightshades and im like potatoes and tomatoes are my favorite. It would be a real challenge to give it up. Im going to consult my doctor


  3. Trackback: Leaky Gut–One More Thing to Worry About | Autoimmune Mama

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