Are nightshade vegetables good for arthritis?

Are nightshade vegetables good for arthritis?

Nightshade vegetables include tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and potatoes. They belong to a family of plants called Solanaceae. These plants die every year and grow again with a new season. Some of these nightshade vegetables when consumed in excess could contribute to bad health conditions. Therefore some of these nightshade vegetables need to be avoided as they contain alkaloids, which can be harmful upon consumption.

Everyone is differently built and every human body reacts differently to nightshade vegetables. For most people, consuming them will not be an issue but for a fraction of people, the alkaloids present in nightshades can cause many complications and therefore have to be avoided at any cost.

These vegetables can be substituted for other kinds of leafy green vegetables. Even the nightshades you get on supermarket shelves contain alkaloids in small quantities. Having these alkaloids in large quantities can cause severe health issues. But avoiding nightshade vegetables completely is also not recommended as they contain a variety of nutrients.

Nightshade vegetables and arthritis

Are nightshade vegetables good for arthritis?Nightshade veggies(Image by Andres Carreno/Unsplash)
Nightshade veggies(Image by Andres Carreno/Unsplash)

Nightshade vegetables are considered healthy for most and toxic for many due to the presence of alkaloids. The three types of alkaloids that are found in these vegetables are Solanine, Capsaicin, and Nicotine. If consumed in moderation, they cause no harm to the body.

Some people are allergic to the deadly plants in the nightshade family. Some of these vegetables, which belong to the same family are also quite safe. The toxins present in the deadly plants are not strong enough to show immediate reaction but can be of major concern in the long run.

Now coming to the problem we are dealing with in this article, the problem of arthritis. Some people say that nightshade vegetables make it worse. But no there is no scientific research to support these claims.

Can nightshade vegetables worsen arthritis and cause inflammation?

Can nightshades cause inflammation?(Image by Dennis Klein/Unsplash)Can nightshades cause inflammation?(Image by Dennis Klein/Unsplash)
Can nightshades cause inflammation?(Image by Dennis Klein/Unsplash)

There is no scientific evidence that has shown that a nightshade diet can lead to inflammation or cause arthritis. These vegetables contain many nutrients and compounds which can add up to better health conditions. These compounds are mostly lycopene and beta-carotene. A few of these compounds are also said to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Many people blame tomatoes in general for worsening arthritis but there is again no scientific claim. Tomatoes are rich in vitamins C, A, and K and can lessen inflammation even in the case of arthritis.

Food list of nightshades

There are over 2000 species of nightshade plants and vegetables. Some of them are inedible and toxic while the rest are healthy and nutritious. Some of them are:

  • Tomatoes
  • ­White potatoes
  • ­Eggplant
  • ­Okra
  • ­Peppers
  • ­Gooseberries
  • ­Ground cherries
  • ­Pepino melons
  • Tobacco

Most of these are not dangerous for most people. However their proper consumption is required and if one is allergic to these kinds of nightshades, then it is better to avoid them to save a lifetime of pain and discomfort, by selecting the proper food.

Nightshade and Arthritis

Can nightshade cause arthritis? Image by CDC/Unsplash)Can nightshade cause arthritis? Image by CDC/Unsplash)
Can nightshade cause arthritis? Image by CDC/Unsplash)

If we keep science aside, then we can say that nightshade foods contain solanine, which can cause arthritis and even make it worse by causing inflammation. Solaline is present in very small amounts in potatoes and other nightshade veggies.

Therefore people suffering from arthritis must avoid these vegetables completely. Some of these problems do not have any scientific evidence to back them up and many are said to be psychological. If a person is allergic to them, they may develop a medical condition called anaphylaxis, which can be considered very severe.

Final Thoughts

An organic tomato plant(Image by Chad Stembridge/Unsplash)An organic tomato plant(Image by Chad Stembridge/Unsplash)
An organic tomato plant(Image by Chad Stembridge/Unsplash)

The debate about nightshades and arthritis is a very ancient one. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and potatoes are consumed daily by every human being mostly and they do not see any major symptoms of arthritis or anything similar. If you see that you are allergic to these vegetables, then stop eating them for a week or two.

Switch to a complete Mediterranean diet and add leafy greens to your meals. A whole-food diet is the key to avoiding any kind of complications. One can have omega-3 fats like canola oil, walnuts, and fish oil supplements to make arthritis better.

However, the debate continues about nightshade vegetables and whether they are good for people suffering from arthritis.

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