It is not everyday that you hear how eating vegetables may be harmful to your health. However, if you follow current nutrition trends you may be re-considering foods like tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and potatoes – also known as nightshades. Over the past several months, bloggers and journalists have been discussing the potential inflammatory impacts of these foods.
The claims against nightshade foods, which are named due to their tendency to grow in shaded areas, state that they cause inflammation, leading to side effects such as bloating and constipation. It is important to remember that these claims are just that – claims – and are not backed by scientific evidence. Like any other food, some people may have sensitivities that could lead to bloating or constipation after consumption. It has been mentioned that those with inflammatory bowel disease are more prone to experience negative symptoms, but even these allegations are not proven on a clinical level. If you have discomfort after eating particular foods, it is best to consult a medical professional before removing these foods from your diet.
Bottom Line: Nightshade vegetables are full of nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, potassium and a number of antioxidants; all of which are essential to the body and could actually prevent inflammation. Removing these foods from your diet could be detrimental to your health if they are not replaced with foods with similar nutritional content.
Written by: Leslie Lewis, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern