6

votes

What is the latest on nightshades?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 05, 2010 at 1:19 PM

In reviewing questions under the nightshades tag, I know there are some paleohackers who have eliminated nightshades from their diet. But more generally, where do nightshades stand in terms of the paleodiet? Are they in or out? Or are they simply to be avoided (or included) on an individual basis?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 22, 2014
at 10:22 AM

You become more sensitive to most foods you eliminate. Not because the food is evil but because you lose the gut bacteria to handle them. Stupid orthorexia.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 22, 2014
at 10:19 AM

Finally some common sense. Cordain's dictates aren't the be all and end all.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 22, 2014
at 10:15 AM

You left out African nightshade and ripe solanum nigrum berries, both of which historic paleos ate.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 22, 2014
at 10:13 AM

Paleo is not optimal. Why is that so difficult to understand.

76345c2345c3278ad061dd5d79cb477b

(10)

on March 22, 2014
at 05:30 AM

Great comment, I am with you on this. Gut health has to come first, then you can see what you may still be sensitive to.

76345c2345c3278ad061dd5d79cb477b

(10)

on March 22, 2014
at 05:29 AM

Agree totally. My experience has been that I can eat some but not others. It is all trial and error until you get them all lined up as in or out.

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9

(0)

on March 22, 2014
at 03:41 AM

What about hormone therapy, either homeopathic or bioidentical? It's a thought I've been having as I'm 43 and wondering what lies ahead!

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9

(0)

on March 22, 2014
at 03:38 AM

I'm new to all this--can you tell me then if it's the case that one may not have a major issue with things until they're reintroduced? How would one not know about migraines until you did, for example? I eat all nightshades, but now I'm wondering if I want to bother eliminating them! Can you explain?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 12, 2013
at 04:33 PM

Paleos died off because they didn't adapt. If you've lost the ability to eat tomatoes because you started eating "paleo" then you've thrown away a survival tool that you evolved to use. Why oh why do "paleos" quote Darwin chapter and verse but throw away valuable Darwinian selections? Hopefully your kids will get back what you threw away.

84dc4ef339e8f66f37a6523b2845694e

(0)

on December 30, 2012
at 08:02 PM

Try this one: http://macrobiotic.about.com/od/saucesanddressings/r/nomatosauce.htm

75bf87379aa119821e3f6f4115f1145a

(224)

on August 02, 2012
at 10:34 PM

Very informative - thank you for sharing!

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on March 20, 2012
at 10:31 AM

Implying there's anything uniquely fattening about the calories derived from starch in metabolically healthy individuals, aside from the anecdotes regarding appetite stimulation

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 20, 2012
at 06:44 AM

Really digging your writing style, Kamal!

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on March 20, 2012
at 02:35 AM

Wow, that's a great write up on nightshades.

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on March 19, 2012
at 11:16 PM

i really dont eat em tho.........no peppers or tomatoes ever again for me, going on over a year now...maybe potatoes once in a blue moon

4c9c4d3b6de06c4ac282e7e40ec5992f

(209)

on February 08, 2012
at 04:18 AM

I'm of the positions that potatoes do us nothing *but* wrong and I class them as equal to wheat in my 'never eat' list. This is hard for me - as an Irishman and spud lover - to say, but there seems to be nothing to gain (except GIRTH) from eating these starch-laden hand-grenades. :-(

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 02, 2011
at 01:47 PM

I always forget that quote. I'll make a big poster of it. For sure.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on July 06, 2011
at 06:45 PM

You're saying that the nightshades contain zonulin?

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on May 09, 2011
at 05:12 PM

20 years! Wow! What was your resource back then?

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 16, 2011
at 01:44 PM

I had no idea, never heard of the nightshade list....now I'm wondering about tomatoes and red/green peppers which are a staple in my diet and I'm still having issues....another elimination on the horizon! Thanks for sharing this info, I feel better every day that I might figure myself out (since my dr. are completely worthless)

Af2ad65226384cedd4f5f08825a75b5d

(665)

on March 18, 2011
at 03:03 PM

But don't forget Hormesis, that some things toxic or detrimental in larger quantities are outright beneficial (rather than tolerated) in small doses. Some nightshades have been implicated as potentially fitting into that category in studies.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on November 07, 2010
at 02:57 PM

I would caution people who think that nightshades are their poison to take in the whole picture of their lifestyle first. While yes i believe there are those who will do better without nightshades in their diet, there also seem to be many who come to this for a quick fix to a litany of lifestyle problems. If you're eating chocolate desserts, drinking milk in your coffee, not moving around like a kid, still having pizza here and there, etc. there are more obvious detrimental ingredients in your life that are probably having more acute and profound influence on your well-being.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 06, 2010
at 12:30 AM

Quote is from Dr Kurt Harris of PaleoNu ;) , it's one of my favorite too. On the favorite quote thread, it's the opening quote

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21 Answers

22
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 09, 2010
at 10:57 PM

--EDIT--

Well, 1.5 years has passed and I finally looked at the evidence on nightshades! Here is my writeup:

http://paindatabase.com/nightshades/

My conclusion is that nightshades are probably not terrible for most people, but you can't figure out if you are one of the lucky nightshade sensitives unless you try to eliminate them for a few weeks. The mechanisms connecting nightshades to pain are vitamin D3 / calcitriol in certain nightshades, as well as propagation of acetylcholine overload at nerve junctions. There are very few human studies on this subject, so it's pretty much all up to you and self-experimentation. Be strict when eliminating, or else you'll never know.


I think the latest on nightshades depends on the nightshade in question. Journal articles on potatoes vs peppers vs etc give very different findings depending on the food and condition. Sometimes anti-inflammatory, sometimes bad for the gut, sometimes bad for joints, etc.

Nightshade consumption may depend largely on experimentation with elimination diets, moreso than finding whether one's ancestors ate it. I, personally, wish nightshades would just get together and decide if they're good or evil!

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 20, 2012
at 06:44 AM

Really digging your writing style, Kamal!

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on March 20, 2012
at 02:35 AM

Wow, that's a great write up on nightshades.

76345c2345c3278ad061dd5d79cb477b

(10)

on March 22, 2014
at 05:29 AM

Agree totally. My experience has been that I can eat some but not others. It is all trial and error until you get them all lined up as in or out.

11
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on September 05, 2010
at 02:22 PM

There are definately people who have seen changes with elimination.

on a personal level, Ive done a couple strict elimination routines. Fructose affects me. Gluten ruins me.

Dairy and Nightshades, no noticeable changes or effects. Mood, Energy, Weight, Skin, all seem good. to be fair, its Raw/Pastured Dairy only. I did not test with commercial grainfed dairy, for similar reasons to why I do not eat Grainfed Beef.

I know Dairy is a shorter term evolutionary thing. Some people have developed to be able to tolerate it just fine.

Nightshades are trickier, I classify them with Nut Allergies, Egg Allergies and other outliers. Im not convinced yet that they are a broad spectrum allergy to the entire population... However, I do believe, they, like the others have the potential of allergy for Everyone when introduced into the system while the gut is permeated.

In my opinion Gut Health should be priority #1. With that taken care of, many allergies simply disappear.

Unfortunately, some, once obtained, are here to stay.

76345c2345c3278ad061dd5d79cb477b

(10)

on March 22, 2014
at 05:30 AM

Great comment, I am with you on this. Gut health has to come first, then you can see what you may still be sensitive to.

5
6738ae1082ab735fc5fbd92baf7544d7

on November 08, 2010
at 07:18 PM

Ripe tomatoes contain no detectable levels of tomatine, the poison found in tomato plants. However, green tomatoes do contain trace levels, and the tomato plant body contains a significant amount of tomatine.

Most commercially grown potatoes (not a nightshade, but related) contain low levels of solanine and chaconine. Though the compounds are partially broken down during cooking (actually, only deep frying) I would recommend avoiding conventional potatoes if you're looking to eliminate everything resembling a poison in your food supply.

5
0bd25616a0f550058b423ab96fde273c

on November 07, 2010
at 02:37 PM

I eliminated nightshades to see if I had a problem and was surprised at the violent reaction I had to red bell peppers. In bed for 2 1/2 days with a migraine...aw man, I love bell peppers. I haven't tried to reintroduce potatoes and tomatoes yet, but will try a SMALL quantity in a couple months. I've never eaten eggplant so won't try it now.

Food sensitivities are very personal and the only way to really figure it out is to eliminate the suspected anti nutrients and reintroduce them.

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9

(0)

on March 22, 2014
at 03:38 AM

I'm new to all this--can you tell me then if it's the case that one may not have a major issue with things until they're reintroduced? How would one not know about migraines until you did, for example? I eat all nightshades, but now I'm wondering if I want to bother eliminating them! Can you explain?

4
9f8111d9ecaa64ea098a0860b47300e0

on September 05, 2010
at 08:48 PM

A fav quote.... forgot by whom ..................

???"Tolerated is not optimal, why is that so difficult to understand"

( for example .... Tolerate is that you can take x amount of poison and not die IMO)

~s

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 06, 2010
at 12:30 AM

Quote is from Dr Kurt Harris of PaleoNu ;) , it's one of my favorite too. On the favorite quote thread, it's the opening quote

Af2ad65226384cedd4f5f08825a75b5d

(665)

on March 18, 2011
at 03:03 PM

But don't forget Hormesis, that some things toxic or detrimental in larger quantities are outright beneficial (rather than tolerated) in small doses. Some nightshades have been implicated as potentially fitting into that category in studies.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 02, 2011
at 01:47 PM

I always forget that quote. I'll make a big poster of it. For sure.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 22, 2014
at 10:13 AM

Paleo is not optimal. Why is that so difficult to understand.

3
Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on November 02, 2011
at 12:58 PM

bahhh humbug. i eat my nightshades. i just rid everything else thats non-Paleo. 80/20 rule

3
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 18, 2011
at 01:07 PM

I personally don't have any issues with nightshades, but I haven't tried eliminating them, either. I absolutely adore potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers and would be quite sad (and might still eat them) if I found out they were doing me wrong.

4c9c4d3b6de06c4ac282e7e40ec5992f

(209)

on February 08, 2012
at 04:18 AM

I'm of the positions that potatoes do us nothing *but* wrong and I class them as equal to wheat in my 'never eat' list. This is hard for me - as an Irishman and spud lover - to say, but there seems to be nothing to gain (except GIRTH) from eating these starch-laden hand-grenades. :-(

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on March 20, 2012
at 10:31 AM

Implying there's anything uniquely fattening about the calories derived from starch in metabolically healthy individuals, aside from the anecdotes regarding appetite stimulation

2
2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

on March 19, 2012
at 11:14 PM

fuck nightshades! honestly i hate harvesting tomatoes. after having worked for many a farm where they are pretty much the fall money crop i noticed heirlooms and wild varieties especially burn the hair off of my skin and give me a horrible headache. not only that, when consumed regularly, chile peppers and powder give me crippling arthritic pains and make the bottom of my feet swell. i do like potatoes but they have to be welllll cooked and usually i just eat the skin and a little flesh...and mostly do best with the purple varieties for whatever reason.

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on March 19, 2012
at 11:16 PM

i really dont eat em tho.........no peppers or tomatoes ever again for me, going on over a year now...maybe potatoes once in a blue moon

2
9ef815655a2511dd40a7ca6573c32dac

(20)

on July 06, 2011
at 04:15 PM

I have a very strong reaction to bell peppers - migraine that forces me into bed. The green bell peppers are the worst. Second is any kind of peppers, such as those used in Picante sauce. I'm beginning to suspect that potatoes are also a problem and have started to eliminate them. I have had joint and muscle pain for about a decade. It has been classified as Fibromyalgia, although I'm beginning to suspect that FM is a bucket that largely contains food and environmental allergies. I only began to suspect bell peppers after my brother-in-law casually mentioned that his multi-decade bout of migraines had been traced to bell peppers by his Chiropractor. Our wives (sisters, obviously) cooked routinely with bell pepper. They don't do that anymore and now, neither of us has migraines anymore, except when I travel and restaurants dose me with it (even after me asking the prep details), especially Paprika (dried, ground bell pepper). Nightshades have a reputation for a reason. My dad told me, in his later years (70's - 80's) that his arthritis would become much worse if he ate potatoes more than once a week.

75bf87379aa119821e3f6f4115f1145a

(224)

on August 02, 2012
at 10:34 PM

Very informative - thank you for sharing!

2
826c5e2bca3547506098db84277d9f12

(166)

on March 18, 2011
at 04:02 AM

List of Nightshade Vegetables (Solanaceae Family) Culinary Vegetables

Bell pepper (sweet pepper) Italian pepper Chile pepper Examples of varieties:

fresh Anaheim Fresno Jalape??o Pimiento / pimento Poblano Serrano

dried Ancho Cascabel Chipotle Guajillo Haba??ero Pasada Pasilla Eggplant Potato Tomato Tomatillo

Spices Cayenne Chili powder (some ingredients of) Curry (some ingredients of) Paprika

Sauces Ketchup Tabasco

Culinary Fruit Cape gooseberry Goji berry Pepino Tamarillo

Other Tobacco

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 16, 2011
at 01:44 PM

I had no idea, never heard of the nightshade list....now I'm wondering about tomatoes and red/green peppers which are a staple in my diet and I'm still having issues....another elimination on the horizon! Thanks for sharing this info, I feel better every day that I might figure myself out (since my dr. are completely worthless)

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 22, 2014
at 10:15 AM

You left out African nightshade and ripe solanum nigrum berries, both of which historic paleos ate.

1
229faa9f9cb551cbf9d1d766b84cf8f5

on August 12, 2013
at 04:46 PM

Nightshades, like any other food, should be avoided if one is allergic. However, the incidence of nightshade allergy is rare and does not cause overt reactions in most people. Therefore, nightshades should be included as part of a balanced diet.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 22, 2014
at 10:19 AM

Finally some common sense. Cordain's dictates aren't the be all and end all.

1
3fca93f0530aeb75b611463571713251

on March 20, 2012
at 01:11 AM

after doing a pretty strict elimination diet, i cooked up a batch of stew (from "Paleo Comfort Foods") containing half a dozen different nightshades -- and my digestive tract threw a horrible tantrum! never had problems with peppers or tomatillos or chili powder before, but put them all together and they were too much for me. painful, bloated, sleepless night....

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 12, 2013
at 04:33 PM

Paleos died off because they didn't adapt. If you've lost the ability to eat tomatoes because you started eating "paleo" then you've thrown away a survival tool that you evolved to use. Why oh why do "paleos" quote Darwin chapter and verse but throw away valuable Darwinian selections? Hopefully your kids will get back what you threw away.

1
5c8a675951eb32b8c19e9fe4e764294c

(168)

on September 06, 2010
at 07:00 PM

I find nightshades (and fermented dairy too) are tolerated well once I ditch wheat. Gluten and zonulin are not a happy combination!

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on July 06, 2011
at 06:45 PM

You're saying that the nightshades contain zonulin?

0
9c38053f772186f8a000835142090e36

on January 31, 2014
at 06:01 PM

I'm 36. I spent well over a decade trying to solve the root of my muscle/joint pain, migraine, anger, depression, learning disability, major gut swelling, body inflammation, skin problems like acne and itching, paranoia, social anxiety etc...

I quit my career 6 years ago and currently work at a large natural grocery store. During a physical training 6 months ago I finally did a full elimination diet. The diet helped but it was me cheating on the diet with grocery store samples that revealed potatoes. A couple of other AHa moments brought nightshades under the microscope.

I only struggle a little with my symptoms now unless I risk a restaurant meal. I cook almost everything from scratch. I'm not paleo, I still eat bread, but I'm mostly vegan. I recently added back in pasture raised eggs since I'm fearful of supplements and need certain vitamins (vegetable starch is sometimes a filler and is not often listed as potato starch vs corn, soy or other). I'm also adding honey back in since refined sugars also cause some issues.

I'm starting to ferment, not so successful yet.

Helpful hints!

-Potato starch has been my worst and is in many gluten free bake mixes. It sometimes hides under "vegetable starch".

-Anything listed in the ingredients as "spices" is seriously suspect

-Your server at restaurants might have a big heart but they fail often with all dietary restriction, so do managers, owners and anyone not already educated about the nuances.

-you may become MORE sensitive to nightshades the "cleaner" you become. I ate out last night and cheated with stuff I ate 2 months ago with only moderate problems. They either changed a recipe/cross contaminated or I can no longer cheat. I purged as soon as I was sure to minimize the impact. I'm 16 hours in and experiencing all my old migraine symptoms, body pain, nausea, sensitivity to scent/light. Hopefully I'll be able to keep food down by this evening.

I hope this is helpful to anyone out there looking for answers!

Lauren

0
9c38053f772186f8a000835142090e36

on January 31, 2014
at 05:59 PM

I'm 36. I spent well over a decade trying to solve the root of my muscle/joint pain, migraine, anger, depression, learning disability, major gut swelling, body inflammation, skin problems like acne and itching, paranoia, social anxiety etc...

I quit my career 6 years ago and currently work at a large natural grocery store. During a physical training 6 months ago I finally did a full elimination diet. The diet helped but it was me cheating on the diet with grocery store samples that revealed potatoes. A couple of other AHa moments brought nightshades under the microscope.

I only struggle a little with my symptoms now unless I risk a restaurant meal. I cook almost everything from scratch. I'm not paleo, I still eat bread, but I'm mostly vegan. I recently added back in pasture raised eggs since I'm fearful of supplements and need certain vitamins (vegetable starch is sometimes a filler and is not often listed as potato starch vs corn, soy or other). I'm also adding honey back in since refined sugars also cause some issues.

I'm starting to ferment, not so successful yet.

Helpful hints!

-Potato starch has been my worst and is in many gluten free bake mixes. It sometimes hides under "vegetable starch".

-Anything listed in the ingredients as "spices" is seriously suspect

-Your server at restaurants might have a big heart but they fail often with all dietary restriction, so do managers, owners and anyone not already educated about the nuances.

-you may become MORE sensitive to nightshades the "cleaner" you become. I ate out last night and cheated with stuff I ate 2 months ago with only moderate problems. They either changed a recipe/cross contaminated or I can no longer cheat. I purged as soon as I was sure to minimize the impact. I'm 16 hours in and experiencing all my old migraine symptoms, body pain, nausea, sensitivity to scent/light.

I hope this is helpful to anyone out there looking for answers!

Lauren

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 22, 2014
at 10:22 AM

You become more sensitive to most foods you eliminate. Not because the food is evil but because you lose the gut bacteria to handle them. Stupid orthorexia.

0
B1453941ea4d3797d8527affa80f6850

on August 12, 2013
at 07:08 AM

I never knew such a problem even existed till about 6 weeks ago. Avoidance has brought me so much relief. My hands and feet o longer itch all night and part of the day. My acid reflux may be the same (?) but the heavy painful pressure in upper chest is gone. (hoping over time the whole issue will improve) Still have some random pain, may be related to long term damage from problem, but if I had been at a ten as level of pain (hips, lower legs, ankles, arms, shoulders) I am now at a 3. If I eat one item I know of as Nightshade the pain jumps back up in two days to 10 and last for 3 to 5 days. Seriously a reason to never eat them again if at all possible. I am actively seeking information on hidden ingredients as far as food starch (just one example) perhaps being potato and how to tell from label? Also names of peppers where they list only that name on ingredients and dont specify it is a pepper. (OK I am older and never heard of some of these food items before this) I never ever had a migraine from anything but have full and even exaggerated symptoms otherwise.

0
84dc4ef339e8f66f37a6523b2845694e

on December 28, 2012
at 12:09 AM

I get migraines from tomatoes and peppers so i skip eggplants and all spice type peppers too. I make marinara from beets and carrots (look up macrobiotic no-mater sauce online) and use this mix to make no-mater chili sauce and even ketchup. No headaches. Yay!

84dc4ef339e8f66f37a6523b2845694e

(0)

on December 30, 2012
at 08:02 PM

Try this one: http://macrobiotic.about.com/od/saucesanddressings/r/nomatosauce.htm

0
361e96d70d6d3b91d63f6ad975e60ab6

(840)

on March 20, 2012
at 12:00 AM

Tested a few times in the last 3 months and had 24 hours crazy gas! (out of nowhere)

0
E35aaf8829606f72f57af2f66fd7e85b

on May 09, 2011
at 02:13 PM

After 20 years of being pretty much Paleo with a no sugars/no fruit twist, my body has changed...I turned 50 and suddenly there is something UP! I'm a lady and its interesting to note that the body adds fat after menonpause to help produce the progesterone that is declining. Maybe thats all it is? I mean how else can you gain more weight on the same diet that produced the loss of weight? Any thoughts on this?

I wonder if I need to drop the nightshades and the small amounts of dairy I cheat into the diet. That would truly mean an end to the vestiges of my southwest cooking!

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on May 09, 2011
at 05:12 PM

20 years! Wow! What was your resource back then?

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9

(0)

on March 22, 2014
at 03:41 AM

What about hormone therapy, either homeopathic or bioidentical? It's a thought I've been having as I'm 43 and wondering what lies ahead!

0
B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on November 08, 2010
at 07:40 PM

Nightshades make me back and neck stiff and cause my mood to drop. I avoid them

0
2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

on October 26, 2010
at 11:10 PM

Do we have a nighshade list here in its entirety?

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