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Once Upon A Nightshade

Its summer and the bounty of freshly harvested fruits and veggies is now upon us!  This is a fantastic time of year to eat fresh, local produce and succumb to the encouragement of eating a healthy “plant based diet”.

How do you decide which fruits and veggies are the right ones for your body?

In the name of bio individuality; one person’s food is another person’s poison.
Let’s talk about a specific plant category; nightshades.

What are nightshades?

Nightshade vegetables landscape

(photo and Ratatouille Recipe courtesy of A Harmony of Flavors)

The most common nightshade fruits and veggies include white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, chili / bell peppers, tomatillos and goji berries.  Many of these fruits and veggies have healthy vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.

Why do some people avoid them?

Nightshades are flowering plants, so they should be included in a healthy plant based diet. However, these fruits and veggies naturally produce a small amount of solanine, a poisonous compound, as part of their defense system to ward off insects prone to snacking on leaves and stems.

Solanine is a glyco-alkaloid. Nightshades contain trace amounts of alkaloids that can be harmful in heavy concentrations; therefore some people have trouble digesting them. Also, eating nightshade plants can affect the way calcium metabolizes in the body. These alkaloids can lead to calcium deposits in tendons, ligaments, cartilage and joints contributing to inflammation and joint pain. This can cause inflammation and arthritis flair ups.  These alkaloids can also be found in foods that aren’t part of the nightshade family, including blueberries, apples, cherries, and artichokes.

How can you find out if your body is sensitive to these antioxidant rich foods? I can help you design a personalized elimination diet, or do a temporary cleanse. Perhaps your body can tolerate them. If not, I can help you find some substitutions. Contact me so we can try it!

Want to Get Healthier?

Do you want to learn more about eating healthier foods, balancing your gut, and enhancing your health? Let’s talk!  As a Health Coach, I work with individuals and families to help them integrate healthier nutritional options into their lives. Let’s get started! Contact me today to schedule a complimentary 50 minute health consultation, or pass this offer on to someone you care about!

About Me
I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods.  In my “Balance Your Gut” program, I will help you create a completely personalized “road-map to health” that suits your unique lifestyle, preferences, and goals.

I look forward to hearing from you!
In good health,

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