What Are Nightshade Plants?
Do you know which foods are nightshade plants?
The mere words Nightshade Plant bring up images of mysterious workings within the gloom of night, the creation of magic spells or poisonous concoctions, images of witches and of medicine men silently creating their wares.
Well the images and ideals surrounding Nightshade Plants may not be that far off from the truth.
Many nightshade plants contain ingredients that are used within modern and herbal medicines.
Although these plants and their chemical components are generally used to promote good health, some of their properties can indeed be toxic when consumed in large quantities, or when given to people who have sensitivities to the nightshade plant.
Nightshade plants are more common than you might presume.
Do you know what is growing in your garden?
Many people do not realize that the plants growing in their garden may actually not be all that healthy for some members of their family. Plants classified within the nightshade family of plants fall into this category.
Nightshades are plants which have developed a means of defending itself against predators who may wish to consume them. These predators generally being small creatures such as bugs, or insects, but may also include larger creatures such as us humans.
Nightshade plants produce a toxic substance to protect themselves from being eaten. The deadly nightshade plants are fortunately really not as scary as the term sounds unless you are an insect that is. The toxin produced by nightshade plants is in small amounts so usually only extremely harmful to small creatures.
Unfortunately the toxins within these plants can be sufficient enough to cause an allergic reaction or food sensitivity in some people so are indeed a food source which it is wise for some individuals to avoid.
Foods that Harm - Foods that Heal
Some individuals are sensitive to stimuli that others are not and consuming the wrong foods can have serious health consequences.
Knowing which foods are most likely to cause health issues can help those with chronic illness, intestinal difficulties, or who are prone to food sensitivities to avoid these foods.
So do you know which vegetables and plants are nightshade plants?
- Is the tobacco plant a nightshade plant?
The answer is: (Yes)
- Are white potatoes a nightshade plant?
The answer is: (Yes)
- Are tomatoes a nightshade plant?
The answer is: (Yes)
- Are green peppers a nightshade plant?
The answer is: (Yes)
- Are red peppers a nightshade plant?
The answer is: (Yes)
- Is an eggplant a nightshade plant?
The answer once again is yes.
All of these very common plants, fruit, and vegetables are indeed from the nightshade family of plants and there are others. What these nightshade plants all have in common is that they contain a protective toxin within them to prevent bugs, insects, and small animals from consuming them. When you consume these plants you also consume that toxic substance.
Some of the foods included on that list may surprise you.
The foods you consume do make a difference.
Planting an indoor herb garden is actually quite easy to set up and can be a very attractive display within your home. A stand of plants is a very charming image in the kitchen, living room, entry way, or main hall.
Why Most Allergies To Nightshade Plants Occur.
Most of us know that the tobacco plant is not good for us because it contains a little chemical that we all know by the name of "nicotine". However, what most people do not realize is that other nightshade plants such as eggplant and tomato also contain these same chemicals.
The nightshade family of plants have developed a protective defense mechanism to keep insects from consuming them. They produce alkaloids, a nitrogen containing structure that is designed to poison the offending insect, and keep it from feeding on the nightshade plant.
Nightshade plants that are known to cause an intolerance within people are generally the white potato, tomato, eggplant, green, yellow or red bell pepper, hot pepper, tobacco, mandrake, belladonna and morning glory. It is important to note that nightshade food products are sometimes hidden within other foods or fall under the guise of a seasoning or spice. This includes such foods as Pimentos, Paprika, Cayenne pepper, and Tabasco sauce.
People with autoimmune illness can be more sensitive.
Plant alkaloids and why they can cause a food sensitivity.
There are four types of alkaloids distinct to the nightshade family of plants, steroid alkaloids, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, indole alkaloids, and tropane alkaloids. Health effects from the consumption of these can result in joint or nervous system disorders, digestive problems, loss of calcium in bone or increase of calcium in soft tissue, as well as other health related problems.
This is why sensitivities to the nightshade family of plants are quite common. The people who ingest members of the nightshade family consume the very alkaloids that the plant produces to ward off offending insects. They eat the very poisons that the nightshade plant produces to keep itself from being consumed.
It is surprising that a food so healthy could hurt so much.
A food allergy or sensitivity affect a wide range of the population.
Do you suffer from a sensitivity or allergy to specific foods?
List of Nightshade vegetables, plants, and foods:
There are over 2800 species of nightshade plants all of which fall into the classification of Polemoniales or Solanaceae. These nightshade plants come in many forms and can be foods, herbs, shrubs, or trees. Some of these being so common that we might never have considered them to be a member of this distinct family.
Some of the most common nightshade plants are the white potato, tomato, eggplant, green, yellow or red bell pepper, hot peppers, and the tobacco plant.
Other less common nightshade plants include the mandrake, belladonna, tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, ground cherries (Physalis), garden huckleberry (Solanum melanocerasum), and Morning Glory.
Common seasonings or spices that are derived from nightshade plants are Tabasco sauce, Paprika, and Cayenne pepper.
It is important to know which plants fall under the category of a nightshade plant because a large number of people suffer from ill health reactions when they come in contact with these plants. Many people with existing health problems have no idea that their current illness may be caused by an allergy to nightshade plants.
An anti-inflammation diet can help to relieve the pain.
There are foods which can increase inflammation just as there are foods which can alleviate it.
Knowing the correct foods to consume for your specific health needs can greatly improve your quality of life. If you suffer from inflammation this book is a must read.
Yams or sweet potato can replace white potatoes.
Eat an apple a day. The malic acid in apples can help to cleanse your body of metal toxins.
Allergies To Food Products are common.
About 75 percent of people have an allergy, sensitivity or intolerance to one or more foods that they consume. Symptoms of an intolerance to a specific food might include difficulty breathing, cough, fatigue, headache, migraine, flush, rash, swelling, or gastrointestinal difficulties such as gas, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, and abdominal pain.
Food sensitivities can display themselves as a simple mild case of gastrointestinal discomfort, or they may be severe enough to actually initiate a chronic immune system response. In the severest case a food allergy can even result in the death of the individual.
Food sensitivities should always be taken very seriously. They are a warning from your body that it is not able to tolerate what you are feeding it.
What a lot of people may not realize is that a food intolerance, or allergy, is often triggered by the foods that you were raised on and considered safe for you to consume. There are many common foods that you would never suspect to be harmful to your health, but unfortunately they are, and nightshade plants are one of the foods which fall into this group.
Many of the Nightshade plants are such common food plants that you would not suspect that these vegetables are the reason for you are having health problems. That is until an allergy test comes back proving that they are indeed the culprit.
Allergies to the Nightshade plant: What You Need To Know.
It is recommended that individuals who suffer from an inflammatory based illness such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Gout, Lupus, or other forms of inflammatory based arthritis should not consume nightshade plants.
1) It is especially important to never consume nightshade vegetables raw. Cooking nightshade plants can reduce the strength of the harmful alkaloids within them by as much as forty or fifty percent.
2) Do not store potatoes in a lighted area as this will increase their alkaloid content.
3) Do not consume green or sprouted potatoes as they contain a higher alkaloid content.
Safeguard your health.