Monday, January 18, 2010



The conversation:
Me: "What do you know about nightshades?"
Mandie: "Nitrates?"
Me: "Nightshades."
Mandie: "Like nitrate free bacon?"
Me: "No, nightshades?"
Mandie: "Not nitrates?"
Me: "No, nightshades, like tomatoes."

We could have done this back-and-forth a while before getting no where quick.

So what do you know about NIGHTSHADES?


  1. I eat peppers and tomatoes pretty often, no potatoes though. I don't think I have any inflammation issues, so I've never tried removing them. Since they're not in season right now, it wouldn't be too difficult to try a 3 week elimination and see if I see any changes. I'll start next week after all the above are out of the house and report back. No hot sauce over that period might be a little rough.

  2. I love how when I googled "nightshades paleo" this blog post is the 6th search result. So helpful.
    Anyhow, the way I understand it is that nightshades are a New World / North and South America food (with the exception of eggplant) and weren't strictly a part of true paleo diets. They seem to cause inflammation in some ppl, but not everyone. I've also read that tobacco is in the nightshade family and that all nightshades contain nicotine. I eat a ton of peppers and tomatoes and have never tried to cut them out.

  3. I know I hate eggplant as much as my wife hates the paleo diet (I'm out of the challenge, by the way, for anybody who missed my profane tirade at 6am today), and ANY excuse to avoid them is cool by me.

  4. I have read that tomatoes are healthy for us until they are cooked. Once cooked it changes their constitution and and could then cause the inflammatory response you are talking about. I will find my reference and report back.

  5. I asked Bryce about these last week. He didn't know anything about them really, except that he doesn't eat them. I eat eggplant and mushrooms often. I also grew up eating tomatoes ALL the time so will be heartbroken if I have to stop eating them.

    I searched online and couldn't find WHY we shouldn't eat them (beside the inflammatory thing - and I don't know how to tell if I'm having an inflammatory reaction, or what exactly it is or does to me) so don't know what to do - eat them or not??

  6. I've been reading up on this and it looks like the topic is still up for debate. I don't really have any inflammation issues and I eat some sort of pepper almost on a daily basis. If I removed tomatoes, peppers and eggplant from my diet now, I would be stuck with just pine nuts and broccoli.

    I found this article ( which has conflicting information. So, umm, that's helpful.

    I'm on the side where I think nightshades have bad 'parts', but they also have good 'parts' (the tasty ones) and shouldn't be discarded.

    The Paleo Diet for Athletes book has a bunch of recipes using all types of nightshades and I'm using that as my food bible for now, so I'll continue to eat them.

    Additionally, I'm scared of the conversation I would have to have with Dila if I told her that tomatoes and eggplants are no longer welcome at home.

  7. The information I've picked up, similar to Billy, is the inflammatory effect doesn't take place in everyone. Best way to test this out is through personal elimination for a period of 2-3 weeks, and see if you notice a difference. If you don't feel any different, have at'em, if you do, then it's decision time if having the food in your diet is worth not feeling as good as you did without.

  8. I'm catching up on this post... I've been eating a lot of peppers/eggplants in the last little while... probably more than I ever have in my whole life.
    Is that why I am getting inflamed in all sorts of joint areas? Hip flexors, groin, wrist, ankles?!
    Ugh this would be awful as I have grown to like these.
    Wait, mushrooms are nightshades too??
    Wait, what now about cooked tomatoes being bad?? I don't like raw tomatoes!! Argh!

  9. Wow. I just saw this. I don't eat eggplant, but I do eat tomatoes (cooked and not), mushrooms, and peppers, and thought they were all on the recommended paleo food list. Might have to try elimination to see if I experience any difference, but it won't be easy. Yikes!