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Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers: are solanaceae suitable for you?

I really love eggplants, or rather, I adore them and, choosing recipes for my application, I often had to exclude certain dishes so that there are not too many eggplants. Recently, I often hear that nightshade vegetables, which include eggplants, are recommended to avoid. I decided to figure out why and who should listen to these recommendations.

What is nightshade

The most common members of the nightshade family include potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers (chili, jalapenos and sweet Bulgarian, as well as paprika and cayenne pepper). There are many other plants of the nightshade family, more than two thousand, and many of them are toxic to humans, the most famous being belladonna vulgaris, which is also called sleepy grass. She received her “historical recognition” as a poison.

Who needs to avoid nightshade

Solanaceous vegetables should beware of people who have problems with the intestines and the immune system, and also suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, increased intestinal permeability syndrome, autoimmune diseases, joint and muscle pains and other related conditions.

The fact is that nightshade vegetables contain alkaloids – chemical compounds that are natural pesticides and fungicides. These substances are concentrated mainly in leaves and stems, much smaller in the edible parts of plants, which, as a rule, are harmless.

If you have a healthy immune system and do not experience bowel problems, these compounds are harmless to you and will not cause any negative consequences; Moreover, these vegetables are good for you. However, in people who are sensitive to nightshade, these compounds can cause irritation in the intestines and provoke an increased inflammatory reaction.

One 20-year study of the relationship between nightshade and arthritis showed that 74–90% of people who suffer from pain and inflammation may be sensitive to nightshade.

Another study found that the alkaloids contained in the potato peel were irritating to mice with inflammatory bowel disease – an autoimmune disease that strikes both the intestines and the immune system. These mice showed significant deterioration in the intestinal mucosa. Alkaloids tend to concentrate in the peel, and scientists have found that the higher the content of alkaloids, the stronger the exacerbation.

Here are some more facts about the specific effects of nightshade on the body.

The alkaloids in nightshade inhibit the enzyme cholinesterase, which helps regulate muscle flexibility. This can then lead to muscle cramps, pain, aching, inflammation and muscle stiffness.
Solanine, a type of alkaloid found in potatoes and tomatoes, can accumulate in the body and is released into the blood during stress, thereby stimulating inflammation in sensitive people.
Solanaceae contain calcitriol, an excess of which increases the level of calcium in the blood, thereby contributing to the deposition of calcium in the soft tissues and provoking inflammation. This is due to excessive consumption of potatoes.
Solanaceae are rich in saponins and lectins, which are contraindicated in case of intestinal irritation in sensitive people and can adversely affect their digestive system.
In some people, peppers and tomatoes can irritate the stomach and esophagus, causing heartburn.
If you suspect that eating nightshade aggravates your arthritis or autoimmune diseases, try to avoid them for two to four weeks, and then reintroduce them one after another every 3 days and carefully monitor the body’s reaction, especially to the possible occurrence of pain .

How to replace the nightshade?

If you are not sensitive to nightshade, these are very useful products for you that contain many important nutrients, compounds and valuable antioxidants. But if you find that these vegetables provoke or aggravate your painful condition, then it is better to replace them.

tomatoes – red cabbage, red grapes, beets, plums, mushrooms;
tomato sauce or pepper sauce – seasoning, marinade, sauerkraut, mustard, horseradish, ginger, ground pepper.
potatoes – sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, carrots, yams, cauliflower.
pepper – radish, daikon, green onion, red onion, celery.
I often cook nightshade, and this is not primarily about potatoes, but about eggplant, tomatoes, bell pepper. However, potatoes are ideal for some of my favorite soups, fishing stew, for example, broccoli puree soup or lentil soup. But many substitutes for nightshade are frequent guests in my kitchen. For example, ginger, sweet potato (sweet potato), cauliflower, parsnip.

In my recipe app Live up! You will find even more dishes with nightshade and their counterparts.

By the way, in order to reduce the amount of alkaloids consumed with nightshade, which most often cause problems.

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