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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:

  1. Solanine – found in tomatoes, potatoes, and goji berries

  2. Capsaicin – found in peppers

  3. Tropane – also found in herbal plants such as datura, however, it is more common in prescription drugs

  4. Nicotine – found in the tobacco plant

The most consumed nightshades include:

  • Banana Peppers

  • Bush Tomatoes (native to Australia)

  • Cape Gooseberries (or ground cherries, different from regular cherries)

  • Capsicums

  • Cayenne pepper

  • Chili Pepper Flakes

  • Chili powder

  • Chinese Five-Spice Powder

  • Cocona

  • Curry Powder

  • Curry spice powder

  • Datil

  • Eggplants/aubergines

  • Garam Masala spice

  • Garden Huckleberries (different from regular huckleberries)

  • Goji berries/Wolfberry

  • Habanero

  • Hot Sauce

  • Ketchup (and BBQ Sauce)

  • Kutjera

  • Most spice blends

  • Naranjillas

  • Paprika spice

  • Pepinos

  • Peppers (including bell peppers, sweet peppers, chili peppers, jalapenos)

  • Pimentos

  • Potatoes (sweet potatoes are okay)

  • Red Pepper

  • Red Pepper Flakes

  • Sweet Peppers (black pepper is okay)

  • Steak Seasoning

  • Tamarillos

  • Tomatillos

  • Tomatoes

  • Wax Peppers

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.

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