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Once Upon A Nightshade

Do you ever notice "reactions" to any ONE particular food? Can you pinpoint which food it is?

Since every BODY is different, I wanted to share with you one particular food that disagrees with my body.

Peppers. They happen to make my digestive system gassy. And peppers happen to be nightshades.

So, Let’s talk about one specific plant-based food category called nightshades.

What are nightshades?

Nightshades are flowering plants, so they should be included in a healthy plant-based diet. However, these fruits and veggies naturally produce a small amount of solanine, a poisonous compound, as part of their defense system to ward off insects prone to snacking on leaves and stems.

The most common nightshade produce includes white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, chili / bell peppers, tomatillos and goji berries. Many of these fruits and veggies have healthy vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, the belief that eating nightshade vegetables worsens arthritis is a myth. In fact, people with arthritis may benefit from the high nutrition content in nightshades.

Why Do Some People Avoid This Plant Based Produce?

Solanine is a glyco-alkaloid. Nightshades contain trace amounts of alkaloids that can be harmful in heavy concentrations; therefore some people, like me, have trouble digesting them. Also, eating nightshade plants can affect the way calcium metabolizes in the body. These alkaloids can lead to calcium deposits in tendons, ligaments, cartilage and joints contributing to inflammation and joint pain. This can cause inflammation and arthritis flair ups. These alkaloids can also be found in foods that aren’t part of the nightshade family, including blueberries, apples, cherries, and artichokes. How can you find out if your body is sensitive to these antioxidant rich foods? I can help you design a personalized elimination diet, or do a temporary cleanse. Perhaps your body can tolerate them. If not, I can help you find some substitutions.

Your Body, Your Life

I focus on sharing with you how the body works so you can heal. And I also support you in sifting through the massive amounts of information that are available these days to help you create the life you deserve. For example, read about the Best Ways to Avoid Chemicals in Your Food in last week’s blog. Or book a free Discovery Session with me and learn how the food you are eating could be a contributing or underlying cause of your symptoms. And how your body could feel better with an individualized plan. Contact me so we can try it! This is a great way to decide whether we might be a good fit. There’s no better time to go from normal to optimal!

I look forward to working with you! In good health, Holli

(photo and Ratatouille Recipe courtesy of A Harmony of Flavors)

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