Nightshades continue to be a topic of debate among health providers. There is no conclusive research that draws the link between nightshade consumption and increased inflammation. In fact, there is strong evidence that shows the anti-inflammatory properties of these plant foods.
Many Americans are already challenged with eating enough vegetables. For the majority of those without sensitivity, the benefits of eating colorful nightshade vegetables outweigh the potential risks. Eating a rainbow of colorful plant foods, including colorful nightshades, is the best way to ensure your body is getting the spectrum of nutrients it needs for optimal health.
- Nightshades are in the Solanacease family, which has more than 2,000 different plant species.
- Tomatoes, potatoes, tomatillos, eggplant and peppers are common edible nightshades.
- Many herbs and spices are derived from nightshades, including cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, chili powder and paprika.
- Several condiments contain nightshade vegetables including hot sauce, ketchup, marinara sauce, salsa and baba ganoush (eggplant dip).
- Nightshade plants contain different types of alkaloid compounds, food factors that cause physiological changes in the body.
- The origin of the name “nightshade” is not clear, but some suggest the name describes how these plants prefer to grow and flower in the night and shade.
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