What are nightshade foods?

  • Tomatoes.
  • Tomatillos.
  • Eggplant.
  • Potatoes.
  • Goji Berries.
  • Tobacco.
  • Peppers (bell peppers, chili peppers, paprika, tamales, tomatillos, pimentos, cayenne, etc)

Nightshade Allergy and Sensitivities 

A true nightshade allergy, like any food or environmental allergy, should be taken seriously. However, it may not be easy to pinpoint. While many allergens are easy to single out – think tree nuts or dairy – nightshade vegetables are not readily associated with one another. If you or a loved one is exhibiting signs of a food allergy, nightshade vegetables should be considered in any elimination diet and food allergy testing plans.

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Do you have nightshade sensitivity? 

As with any food sensitivity, the only way to find out is to remove nightshades from your diet for a couple of weeks or so to see if you feel better.  There are ZERO scientific articles about nightshade sensitivity, chronic pain, or arthritis in the literature, however, the internet is full of anecdotal reports of people who have found that nightshades aggravate arthritis, fibromyalgia, or other chronic pain syndromes. Everyone is different, so as always, you’ll need to discover for yourself whether these foods may pose problems for your individual chemistry. However, given what we know about nightshade chemicals, common sense tells us that these foods are well worth exploring as potential culprits in pain syndromes, gastrointestinal syndromes, and neurologic/psychiatric symptoms.

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If you are wondering if you might have a nightshade sensitivity, talk with your doctor. Ask if it would be beneficial for you to do something like the suggestion below to cut out nightshades for a three month trial period. I found this on greenmedinfo.com and it sounded very doable to me. Since I am on the Whole30 program, I am cutting out thses foods for myself. I’ve cut out all tomatoes, bell peppers, paprika and cayenne pepper. I’m using the substitutions of sweet potato, cauliflower, carrots and ground white pepper. It’s been 6 days at the time I’m writing this and I am feeling better.

Take a Three month challenge

If you want to know if nightshades negatively affect you, take the three month challenge. Avoid all nightshades for three months. (It’s called a challenge for a reason).Be careful to note the  nightshade list, and become a label reader as some homeopathics, prescriptions, over the counter medications as well as numerous processed foods contain nightshades. Prescriptions and over the counter medicines may require a discussion with your pharmacist or a phone call to the manufacturer of your over the counter medicines to determine ingredients.

After three months, begin to reintroduce one nightshade at a time. Take note of any aches, pains, stiffness, and loss of energy, headaches, respiratory problems or any other symptoms. You may find as many others have, that the quality of your daily health will dramatically improve after eliminating nightshades from your diet.

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