Its football season and we are enjoying our favorite teams while introducing beers, chili, vegetable trays, cheese dips, crackers and more into our afternoon. So, I want to be good. I drink less and eat more of the vegetables and leave the party more bloated than if I didn’t behave? Now I have order envy, I’m still hungry just because Tom Brady and his pretty wife say no to all the items on that GD vegetable plate???? Huh??
In fact, many MDs, chefs, and nutritionists have sworn them off entirely. Is it gluten? Dairy? Sugar? Nope—they’re all quitting nightshades. What the hell are Nightshades???? Is this another trendy word that some superstar used and now I can get a 5 minute 6 pack?? Well maybe, but it is the name for a group of fruits and veggies that includes eggplants, tomatoes, red peppers, and white potatoes. Some people have no problem at all with them—but not everyone. Why? “Nightshades have glycoalkaloids in them—their own natural bug repellant,” explains Allen Campbell, the Brady. Because of that rather nifty protective mechanism, they can cause inflammation in some people, exacerbating digestive and autoimmune problems.
The built-in bug repellant in nightshades is actually a particle called glycoalkaloid, says nutritionist and dietician Laura Walker, MS, RD. It’s great for nightshades, but not so much for the people who like to eat them.
Different nightshades have different levels of glycoalkaloids. Unripe tomatoes have a lot. “Eating them will give you an immediate stomach ache,” Walker notes. But as tomatoes ripen, the amount of glycoalkaloid decreases. That’s because at that point, the plant actually wants bugs to come to it and help cross-pollinate.
In white potatoes, the skin contains the highest levels of glycoalkaloid—so simply peeling them can make a world of difference. (In case you’re wondering, no, sweet potatoes are not nightshades, and while blue and purple potatoes do have glycoalkaloids, it’s super low.) Their thicker skin protects the plant, Walker says, whereas white and red potatoes have thinner skins and need more protection—nature, right?)
The combination of different nightshades in a meal is part of many cultures like mine and we have never thought about the situation discussed herein until now.
Good news, potato and eggplant lovers! According to Walker, nightshades don’t really bother most people—but there are some notable exceptions. “If you have inflammatory bowel syndrome, are gluten intolerant, have rheumatoid arthritis, or any form of leaky gut, I recommend you be very careful with this food group,” she says. The bug-repelling qualities of the fruits and veggies can attack an already weakened cell membrane. However, there are ways to reduce the inflammation if you get caught in a “nightshade situation” says Bob Mordini, Founder of Zro+ products. “Many of our clients use our natural and organic products sublingually which relieves inflammation systemically, this in turn is a benefit for IBS and or overall inflammation in the body”.
Campbell agrees. “They tend to affect people with autoimmune disorders more than the average person,” he echoes. “If you’re showing signs of joint inflammation and pain from arthritis, it may be recommended to do a nightshade elimination diet for 30 days.” Now using a product like Zro+ could actually make life easier for you, because of the anti inflammatory benefits Zro+ product provide. Joints and overall become much more manageable in minutes using the Zro+ and Zio products.
Now if you continue to notice other signs of a possible nightshade issue? If you are experiencing a lot of bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, or headaches, it might be worth cutting them out for a bit to see if you notice a difference. The Zro+ products actually help bring your body back into proper regulation so, go slow and reintroduce nightshades slowing into your diet.
If you’re jumping on the no-nightshade train, prepare for a bit of trial-and-error. “Some people can cut out tomatoes and potatoes, but still tolerate peppers, because they have lower levels of glycoalkaloids,” Walker says. Also, she adds, nightshades have a cumulative effect, meaning there may not be one particular variety that bothers you. Instead, consuming small portions of a few different nightshades is too much for your body to tolerate on any given day.
That’s why the easiest way to find out is just to cut them altogether—at least for a little while. “I often recommend people start an elimination diet where they start by eating no nightshades, but then slowly add them back in one at a time,” Walker says. “That way, you can see which ones your body tolerates.”
Robert Mordini is the co-founder of Zero+ Nutraceuticals, Inc (@Zroplus.com) — they provide the highest bioavailable cannabinoids available to help all to reduce inflammation quickly, therefore providing incredible proven benefits to enhance lifestyle and strategies to get in shape, look good, and feel alive.
Check out his bio here if you’re keen to work with him on your personal issues of pain, anxiety, stress, sleep, skin related issues, brain processing increase, focus and regenerative stem cell work, NATURALLY, when nothing else seems to work.