Why You Should Limit Nightshades

You may or may not have heard the buzz floating around about nightshades and their effect on autoimmune diseases. I’m not suggesting you should remove them from your diet completely. Everyone is different. Just be mindful of the quantity you are consuming especially if you’re having digestive or inflammation issues. Why? Well, keep reading…

Fresh ripe vegetables

What foods are in the nightshade category?
  • White potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • All peppers (including derivatives of peppers such as paprika, cayenne powder, etc)
  • Eggplant
  • Goji berries
How do I know if nightshades bother me?

If you experience any of the following symptoms then you might consider limiting nightshades from your meals.

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Stomach bloating and discomfort
  • Joint Pain
  • Migraines
  • Insomnia or excessive sleepiness (contradictory, I know.)
  • Heartburn
Here are some reasons to keep nightshades to a minimum in your diet.

They contain lectin and saponins. Although lectin is great for protecting the plant itself, it’s not the best thing for our digestion as humans. These are basically toxins and are very poorly digested by our bodies. Our bodies are basically like, “wait.. who are you?” as the lectin and saponins hitch a ride with other molecules. Hence, causing the confusion. In doing so, these molecules end up sticking to the lining of your small intestine. This damages the gut lining causing toxins and waste to swim on out to your blood stream. It sounds scary, but it’s a real thing called leaky gut.

Nightshades also contain alkaloids which protects the plant by causing humans inflammation and stress. We just aren’t smart enough to be like, “oh, okay, plant. I’m sorry. I’ll back off”. We just keep eating them. They contain minute levels of alkaloids, but ya never know how sensitive you are!

Capsaicin is also found in peppers like chili. This is what gives the chili their heat, but this is also what sends you running to the bathroom after eating a spicy meal.

Should I stop eating nightshades?

Yes and no. Obviously if you have been eating them and not experiencing any major effects then it’s not threatening. However, be mindful how how much of them you are eating. Everything in moderation. Also, experiment. Maybe you aren’t feeling that well and want to see if it will help your stomach issues or joint pain.

If you really don’t want to eliminate them from your diet, but I made you nervous about eating them by posting this, simply cook them. 🙂 It reduces the alkaloid levels so you don’t have to freak out when you eat my recipes with tomatoes or peppers.

cutting board mangia shorter

Here are some Mangia Paleo recipes without nightshades:


What do you think?

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