How to know if you’re sensitive to nightshades
Do Nightshades Cause Joint Pain?
People with arthritis are sometimes advised to avoid all nightshade plants because they are said to cause inflammation. But this advice really only applies to people who have a sensitivity to solanine. For these folks, eating nightshade plants causes an inflammatory reaction—including joint pain.
Because most people are not sensitive to solanine, however, I think it’s misleading to characterize nightshade plants as “inflammatory,” and it’s certainly overkill to suggest that everyone with arthritis should avoid them—especially because they have so much going for them nutritionally.
Nightshade plants are high in antioxidants, which actually help reduce inflammation. And chili peppers also contain capsaicin, a strongly anti-inflammatory compound. So, if you’re an arthritis sufferer, I’d think these would be foods you’d want to eat more of—unless, of course, you are among the minority that is sensitive to them.
See also: Foods that Fight Inflammation
How to Tell if You’re Sensitive to Nightshades
If you have joint pain—and tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and/or eggplant are a regular part of your diet—try eliminating all nightshades from your diet for at least two weeks and see if you notice any difference in your symptoms. If you see an improvement, you might be among those who are sensitive to solanine. For you, avoiding nightshades might help reduce joint pain or other symptoms of inflammation. If you don't notice a difference, chances are that nightshades are not a problem for you and you can feel free to enjoy these otherwise nutritious foods.
Have you had success beating arthritis with diet changes? Post your story below in Comments.
If you have a suggestion for a future show topic send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it on my Nutrition Diva Facebook Page. I answer a lot of listener questions in my free weekly newsletter, so if you’ve sent a question my way, be sure you’re signed up to receive that.