Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Nightshade Vegetables

I was just sitting in the summer kitchen, minding my own business, listening to the wind singing in the tree tops, and surfing the Internet.  I wasn't looking for anything in particular when the Nightshade Vegetables caught my attention.  I don't recall having heard that classification of vegetables before so I was curious to find out what it meant.

That nightshade vegetables grow in the shade of night is the obvious explanation offered at www.livestrong.com where I searched for this subject.  I found out that the nightshade vegetables contain alkaloids which may be responsible for some health problems including muscle pain and morning stiffness.  I thought that working too hard too long in the garden and old age were causing those aches and pains.  Live Strong goes on to list poor healing, acid reflux, insomnia, gallbladder problems, arthritis as well as other inflammatory problems are caused by alkaloids.

It is further explained that the alkaloids are produced by the plants to protect themselves against harmful insects; however, these substances can act like chemicals and leave strong physiological effects in humans.  This reaction may occur in individuals who are particularly sensitive to the alkaloid substances.

On the list for nightshade vegetables are potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers to name a few.  The nightshade vegetables, some herbs, and some trees containing alkaloid belong to the SOLANACEAE family according to the www.whfoods.org (The World's healthiest Food).  On this page I also found that pimentos also belong to the Salanaceae family. Thus pimento cheese and stuffed olives with pimento should be classified as containing nightshade components.

On the other hand, doctors at the Best Health Magazine (on line) claims that the nightshade vegetables have gotten a bad reputation and that it is doubtful that these vegetables contribute to osteoporosis, migraines, and arthritis pain.  Dr. Piotrowski maintains that "tomatoes and peppers are amazing sources of antioxidants that lower the risk for cancer and heart disease; potatoes are high in vitamin C; and eggplant is a good source of vitamin K."  In other words, the health benefit of the so called nightshade vegetables far outweigh the
health risk contributed to these vegetables.

I urge you to carry on, do your own research, and form your own conclusion.

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1 comment:

  1. I have a hard time believing that eating any vegetables can be bad, and most of us don't eat enough of them. But I have heard of the nightshade issue, I just don't pay any attention to it :)