For as long as I can remember, I’ve had digestive issues. I’ve gone through every diagnostic test available, tried every OTC and prescription medication possible and not one thing has helped. Where does that leave me? Food (because what else is there and why didn’t I realize all this sooner? Aaahhh well.).
I’m getting more and more into Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, which might be the best book ever. Her approach to healing through food is absolutely fascinating. The book is extremely user-friendly and not overwhelming at all (P.S. I’m attending her workshop with a friend here in San Diego, this coming Sunday and I am beside myself!).
Anyway, back to nightshades, this is how she explains them: “Nightshades are a family of plants that contain specific alkaloid compounds that can be irritating to those suffering from joint pain and inflammation. Tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers (all kinds, bell and hot), and eggplants are the most commonly consumed nightshades. Black pepper and sweet potatoes are not nightshades, however…some other, less frequently consumed nightshades include tomatillos, tobacco, goji berries, cape gooseberries (not normal gooseberries), ground cherries (not regular bing or rainier cherries), garden huckleberries (not blueberries), and ashwagandha (an herb)…if you suffer from joint pain, joint inflammation, arthritis, cracking, or any other joint-related issues, eliminate nightshades from your diet for at least thirty days.” She goes on later in her book to talk about how you should avoid nightshades if you’re trying to heal your gut, which is exactly what I’m setting out to do.
I begin the journey to healing my gut (with the added benefit of helping my joints), by eliminating nightshades today (surprised with my consumption of tomatoes from the garden, I haven’t turned into one yet…). Why did I pick nightshades? Because there are a handful and it seems less overwhelming to me than say, FODMAPS. Baby steps. It isn’t about deprivation; it’s about health and feeling good.
Reference: Practical Paleo, Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC, Victory Belt Publishing, 2012.