Are Nightshades Your Kryptonite
What Are Nightshade Foods? Are They Your Kryptonite?
If you have been struggling with chronic pain, chronic fatigue or a chronic health condition then it’s worth considering nightshade fruits and vegetables that may be impacting your health.
It may be the kryptonite that is causing severe fatigue yet you just can't figure out the why.
So what are nightshades?
Nightshades are known as solanaceae, which is family of flowering vegetables and fruits that most people consume on a daily basis. The most common nightshades include peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and potatoes. Nightshades contain saponins, or glycoalkaloids, which can contribute to muscle pain, morning stiffness, leaky gut, acid reflux, irritable bowel, gastrointestinal issues, arthritis, and many other inflammatory problems.
Solanine, another type of glycoalkaloid, can irritate the gastrointestinal system and interfere with acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, responsible for sending communication between the nerves and muscles.
The most notable alkaloids in the nightshade family are:
Solanine – found in tomatoes, potatoes, and goji berries
Capsaicin – found in peppers
Tropane – also found in herbal plants such as datura, however, it is more common in prescription drugs
Nicotine – found in the tobacco plant
The most consumed nightshades include:
Bush Tomatoes (native to Australia)
Cape Gooseberries (or ground cherries, different from regular cherries)
Chili Pepper Flakes
Chinese Five-Spice Powder
Curry spice powder
Garam Masala spice
Garden Huckleberries (different from regular huckleberries)
Ketchup (and BBQ Sauce)
Most spice blends
Peppers (including bell peppers, sweet peppers, chili peppers, jalapenos)
Potatoes (sweet potatoes are okay)
Red Pepper Flakes
Sweet Peppers (black pepper is okay)
How Do I Know If I Nightshades Affect Me?
The best way to find out if nightshades are contributing to your health issues is to temporarily remove the above foods along with dairy, sugar, alcohol, gluten, legumes, and processed foods and reintroduce slowly one by one. Make sure to document reactions as you reintroduce to determine which are the troublesome foods for you.
Nightshades may not be bothersome to all. However, if you suffer from chronic pain and fatigue or chronic disease, nightshades may not be for you.