Nightshades and paleo diet alkaloids inflammation sensitivity-min

Nightshades and Paleo

Perhaps you avoid nightshades yourself, or have noticed a lot of people do?  Is there any reason for avoiding them?

Nightshades are in the Solanaceae family, which comprises 2,800 types of plant.  The common nightshades include potatoes (which aren't consumed on a Paleo regime, so I won’t be talking about them), tomatoes, all types of peppers/ capsicum, eggplant, tomatillos, tamarios, paprika and cayenne.   Sweet potatoes are related, but belong to the Convolvulaceae family, so aren't classed as a nightshade.  Similarly black pepper is not classed as a nightshade as it belongs to the Piperaceae family.

Nightshades contain alkaloids, which the plant produces as a defence mechanism.  Some alkaloids have been shown to interact with nerve activity and inflammation, which may impact conditions such as arthritis and gout, as well as gut irritation.  Many people have no sensitivities to Nightshades, but those that do may find avoidance very beneficial.  Cooking decreases the alkaloid content by up to 50%, so for those with border line sensitivity, this can be a good option.

If you think you may have a sensitivity, eliminating nightshades for 30 days before reintroducing should give a clear indication as to the effect these plant have on you.  If you find you do have a sensitivity, you might chose to avoid them on a more permanent basis.

Do you eat Nightshades?  Do you have a sensitivity to them?

Nightshades and paleo diet alkaloids inflammation sensitivity-min

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6 replies
  1. Gaby
    Gaby says:

    Nightshades are a big issue for me, they aggravate my gastritis and knee pain. I don’t eat potatoes anymore, eggplant and capsicum very rarely and tomatoes about once a week. I’ve found tomatoes are the least evil of them for me.

    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Well thank goodness you found out it was the nightshades causing the issues – it;s just not worth it if they cause you pain like that. I suspect tomatoes aren’t great for me – but that’s probably more down to the salicylate content.

  2. Paula
    Paula says:

    Nightshades have been in my sights lately. I have been (mostly) paleo for a month and have increased my consumption of tomato and it’s wreaking havoc with my joints. I had been considering taking cayenne pepper to help with my digestion, but am not sure if it will aggravate my joint pain. I guess I’ll start with limiting the nightshades.

  3. Tracy
    Tracy says:

    Night shades aren’t good for me, nor is citric fruits or pineapple and salicylate sensitive. So am in a low Salicylates diet. Great to see some interesting recipes. Thank you


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Rest Day Feb 12 | MaD CrossFit says:

    […] info HERE. To clarify, it is the alkaloids in these that you want to avoid. Lectin is from seeds […]

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