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Could Nightshades be the Culprit of Your Pain and Swelling?

  “Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food” ~Hippocrates   Hi Wellness Enthusiast:

Have you ever noticed that your joints suddenly feel achy or swollen? Many of my clients experience this occurrence and have discovered that the culprit is the consumption of nightshade vegetables. Yes, veggies! We all know that vegetables in general are nutrient-dense and offer anti-inflammatory properties for the body. Even so, for many of us (including me), eating veggies from this nightshade family – consisting of potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers – can have a highly inflammatory affect on various joints in the body. Though scientific evidence is limited in this arena; many people with autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis report more severe swelling and joint pain after consuming nightshades. There are approximately 2000 species of nightshades; most of which are inedible and toxic to humans as they contain alkaloids-such as the glycoalkaloid solanine that defend the plants from pests and mold. The most known of the toxic nightshades is belladonna or “deadly nightshade” – traditionally known for its use as a poison in the play Macbeth. The edible versions have less toxins so are not problematic to many humans. However, when the gut is compromised and individuals suffer from autoimmune disease, sensitivity may exist. Nightshade sensitivities are often hard to detect unlike dairy and tree nuts. Some of the symptoms are heartburn, acid reflux, gastrointestinal issues and joint pain. If you have tried to heal your pain to no avail, consider nightshades as the culprit. I recommend experimenting by removing the following foods for 14 days:

-White Potatoes           -Okra -Tomatoes                     -Tomatillo -Eggplant                       -Paprika -Bell Peppers                 -Goji Berries -Capsicum                      -Sorrels -Cayenne Peppers

Try using black or white pepper, wasabi, horseradish, ginger, sweet potatoes and mashed cauliflower as replacements for some of these possible catalysts. This list may include some of your favorites, but it’s worth a try to see the affect your diet may be having on your body. If and when you reintroduce nightshades; eat generously for two days and notice if the symptoms recur.

Even though nightshades are not universally problematic, they are sneaky as they manifest in unexpected places such as in a part of your hand, foot, back or elsewhere in your body. Even though these vegetables may have healing anti-inflammatory properties for most, it is important to realize if your gut and immune system are out of balance, it is possible that you will be adversely affected by nightshades. Reach out with questions or for support with an elimination diet. Cheers to strong health and using food as thy medicine!

With love and gratitude,


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