This is a post that I have been planning on writing for some time. Around February of this year, I started experimenting with a nightshade plan. Vegetables are part of a healthy diet, however "nightshade vegetables" contain alkaloids which can impact nerve-muscle and digestive functions. In addition, they can also compromise joint function. Nightshade vegetables are in the Solanaceae family of plants. Among the most common, there are some 2800 nightshades, are tomato, potato, eggplant, and peppers of all kinds, except black pepper. Tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, cayenne, Tabasco sauce and tobacco are also classified as nightshade foods.
I do not adhere to a strict nightshade plan, having cut some out altogether while cutting back on others from the list. I have to say that I did notice a difference soon after starting my altered nightshade experiment.
What I am avoiding is: eggplant, and peppers, tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, cayenne, blueberries (not a nightshade, but contain solanine) and tobacco (not hard for me since I don't smoke, dip or chew). I find it hard to give up tomatoes entirely and while I eat a lot of sweet potatoes (ok - not on the list), I just can't eat an occasional steak without a baked potato.
While potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant are frequently blamed for causing arthritic flares, according to Ronenn Roubenoff, MD, a nutritionist at the Tufts University School of Medicine, studies have shown this occurs in only 1-2% of patients.
I have to say that I am feeling better after 5 months of this plan. I plan on continuing on my altered plan, maybe going further with it in the future. Five months ago I could not eat a sandwich without potato chips, now, I don't even think about wanting potato chips any more. Is it right or would it work for you? Hard to say, but there is only one way to find out.