Will Arthritis Worsen with Nightshade Vegetables?

Will Arthritis Worsen with Nightshade Vegetables?

The nightshade family contains fruits and vegetables that are considered staple foods for many people. However, these foods contain solanine, which is a chemical that is known to aggravate arthritis pain or inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation doesn't entirely support this claim but if a person feel that such foods trigger their arthritis symptoms, then these foods should be avoided.

What are nightshade vegetables?

These vegetables are part of the plant family called Solanaceae. There are species that are considered toxic wherein they are called deadly nightshade. The other species are simply cultivated and eaten by humans.

Here are a few examples of nightshades that we normally consume:

  • Eggplant
  • Paprika
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • White Potatoes

The solanine content of nightshades can be toxic when consumed in high concentrations. There are trace amounts of solanine found in potatoes, but they are normally safe. However, the leafy stalks of green potatoes and the potato plant are toxic, and there have been reports of solanine poisoning in eating green potatoes.

Do nightshade vegetables cause inflammation?

Some people believe that the solanine found in nightshade vegetables can cause inflammation or make inflammation-related arthritis worse.

While some people reported that their symptoms have worsened upon eating these vegetables, there has been no research so far that supported the direct effect on inflammation or arthritis pain. Instead, these symptoms are somehow related to food sensitivity to the nightshade family.

According to a 2010 study, eating yellow or purple potatoes can help reduce inflammation and DNA damage. These species have high antioxidant levels, including carotenoids, which are known for preventing cell damage.

Despite this, if a person has food allergy or food intolerance to nightshades, they can exclude these foods from their diet and make a note on whatever effects it has on their symptoms. If a person simply wants to remove nightshades from their diet, they can replace them with non-nightshade vegetables, including:

  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Yams
  • Sweet Potatoes

Are you allergic to nightshade vegetables?

You can say that you're allergic to one or more nightshade vegetables if you're experiencing the following symptoms shortly after eating them:

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Hives or Skin Rash
  • Pale Skin
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Tightness of the Throat

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening reaction and is classified as a medical emergency. If you're experiencing a severe allergic reaction after eating any food, you should seek out medical attention right away.

Anti-inflammatory foods

There are foods that you can take to help control inflammation. Majority of these foods are included in the Mediterranean diet.

These are the anti-inflammatory foods that you should consider including in your diet:

  • Beans - A good example of beans to take are black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans, which contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • Colorful fruits and vegetables - Examples for this includes blueberries, broccoli, cherries, and kale are full of antioxidants that can support the immune system.
  • Oily fish - These fish contains a high Omega-3 content that can help reduce inflammation. Examples of oily fish to consider include anchovies, salmon, and tuna.
  • Nuts and seeds - You should consider eating almonds, walnuts, and pine nuts with monounsaturated fats, that can reduce inflammation. Olive oil can also provide you with a similar effect.

You can include these foods into recipes and daily meals with ease. If you're unsure, you can consult with Dr. Alex Tam of Vacaville to find out if these foods are safe for you to consume. You can also visit him in his top chiropractic and holistic clinic in the Solano county to book an appointment.


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