Like all of us, I really don’t want to be told that I can’t eat something. Especially when its a food I eat regularly and consider it healthy. But lately, I have noticed that after I eat cooked capsicum. my knuckles start to throb. This sometimes also happens with eggplant.
So I went digging into the reasons why this could be happening and discovered that I am reaction to vegetables that are nightshade.
Nightshade vegetables are members of the Solanaceae family of flowering plants. When I first heard about these types of veggies I thought it was because they grow at night, but its thought that the term 'nightshade' is most likely due to some of these plants preferring to grow in shady areas, and some flower at night.
Not everyone has a problem with nightshades, but if you have digestive issues like leaky gut, auto-immune conditions or IBS there may be signs of intolerance to look out for.
If you suspect sensitivity to Nightshades, these are some common symptoms:
- joint pain
- itching or reddening of the skin
- Gut irritability
What should you do to find out if they affect you?
It would be best to totally eliminate nightshades for a month and see if things improve.
Substitute these vegetables instead when testing:
It’s also important to note that not all nightshades affect everyone. For example, I don’t get a reaction with potatoes or tomatoes, but definitely do with capsicum and somethings eggplant (especially when cooked in tomato).
In general, the research is sketchy on whether these foods should be completely avoided to improve joint pain but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence linking nightshades to worsening arthritis symptoms. It would be worthwhile to see if they can be reduced if you find that your symptoms improve during the testing stage.
Yours in health,
(BHSc Nutritional Medicine)
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