Have you ever noticed how there are so many stories and myths and facts related to night time? I have often wondered what is it about nights that people find so repelling, or what is it about the dark that makes people feel scared. I have a penchant for all things night I am a devotee (not of Satan), which is why I often find it cumbersome to have to deal with so many true and untrue stories. The irony is we don’t just stick to the actual nights, but we chagrined all associated things as well. So much so we have extended this courtesy to even nightshade vegetable family.
I am pretty sure you have all heard the narratives related to how eating nightshades can cause inflammation and it contains toxic solanine. So let’s take a look at this, and decipher if there is any weight to this knowledge, or if this is just another myth repeated enough # of times that it has become a distorted reality.
What are the nightshades:
Well, they are the plant/fruit belonging to the Solanaceae family of flowering plants. As to why they are called nightshades, it’s a mystery with many theories, one of which suggests that it has something to do with them growing in dark dense areas. Anyways, so the common ones which humans consume – Potatoes, Tomatoes, Aubergines, Goji Berries, Cape gooseberries, Huckleberries, Peppers – chili and bell both, Paprika is your popular ones. So is tobacco. Now if you have been online, you’ll know there are many advising to replace or restrict this in your diet, why what’s the big deal. Well, nightshades have alkaloids in them, which works like pesticides, killing attacking the microorganism that try to feed on it, however, the plant we consume has minor quantities as majority is concentrated in Stem, leaf, and unripe fruit, but yes some portions are present, and alkaloids in large quantities can prove dangerous even fatal, like the deadly nightshade belladonna, which is poisonous. In small quantities, although there is no definitive research to back it, people experience an increase in inflammation if they already suffer from diseases like Arthritis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Autoimmune diseases – like multiple sclerosis. Their paradox with nightshades though is some people even without any conditions feel the inflammation symptoms, whereas a few with the preset illnesses don’t observe any symptoms.
Nightshades are actually dense with good nutrients and even contain Phytonutrients which are pro-health and immunity, so the real question is do solanine outweighs the benefits of the rest of the nutrients in it. The answer lies in personal factors. Mostly it is believed people without any above-mentioned criteria are cleared to consume them, but if you wish to test it out, then you have to observe yourself and any symptoms your body may exhibit after you consume nightshades, and if there is any improvement in your condition when you avoid them. A few symptoms you may experience – headaches, rashes, muscle or joint pain, nausea, and inflammation.
In the end, we all are built differently, we have personal choices and preferences, our bodies adaptable and allergic to certain things, which is how you should decide for yourself. Afterall not everyone fits the mold.