Tomatoes, eggplants and chili peppers — some of our favorite foods sound pretty harmless, right?
What many don’t realize is that these common foods are part of a unique group called nightshades.
Historically used as a poison, nightshades have found their way onto plates all over the world. But many people believe that nightshades are harmful to the human body because they contain alkaloids. Alkaloids are toxic substances containing nitrogen that function as a plant’s natural repellant against insects. In the human body, these compounds are poison to the gut, particularly in those with compromised immune systems, causing digestive issues and other symptoms of inflammation.
Research shows that nightshades also increase intestinal permeability and exacerbate symptoms of autoimmune conditions like celiac disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Many people with digestive conditions, like IBS or Crohn’s disease, have found profound relief from their symptoms by eliminating nightshades from their diet.
Thinking about removing nightshades from your diet, if only for a little while? Good news: there are plenty of other nutrient-rich vegetables to substitute for nightshades. Try cooking with herbs like basil and rosemary, leafy greens like rainbow chard or spinach, and purple or sweet potatoes instead! - 10 hours ago