Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I have to admit the first time I heard nightshades I shuttered a little bit.

I had thoughts of wizards and maesters working with potions and herbs to create that on-screen poisonous drink that ultimately closes the eyes and stops the hearts of many unsuspecting villains and sometimes...
{Do I have to say it?}
our Heroes!

It could have been the close to one of the most famous love stories ever penned
Scary thought hu?

So after having these thoughts
I told myself there is no way I eat any of the foods that may fall into this category.
Just the thought of it makes my heart skip a beat.

But what I didn't know is that many of the foods that are classified as
are some of my most favorite foods.

{Are you kidding me?}

And after doing some reading I learned some 
interesting things about these 
so called...

[Potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, cayenne, and Tabasco sauce are all classified as nightshade foods!]

So by now you have taken a gander at the image above and said to yourself
Nightshades are Yummy!

and I would have to agree with you there...

But there are some very interesting traits and qualities to these foods that I found very intriguing and would love to share with you.

Nightshade foods contain a particular substance called alkaloids.
Alkaloids not Altoids 
silly :)

[OK where was I?]
oh yeah Alkaloids...

What do they do? Well...
Alkaloid substances can disrupt nerve and muscle function in both animals and humans, they can also impact digestion and compromise joint function.

And since cooking these foods only decreases the amount of alkaloids by about 40-50%
if you are sensitive to alkaloid substances you may have to avoid this food group all together.
If you experience problems with
Arthritis or Joint Pain
you just might want to limit the amount of
you eat.

And I clearly remember as a kid being told not to eat that lone green potato chip that sometimes found its way into the bag.
So when I read this I immediately thought
AH HA! Mom was right!
It turns out that the green and sprouted spots on potatoes usually reflect a high alkaloid content, even though the green area contains chlorophyll, not alkaloids.
so here's the deal...
that green color, CHLOROPHYLL, is very beneficial to our health but unfortunately is accompanied with high levels of alkaloids that we can not see.

 all green and sprouted areas should always be completely removed before cooking
toss that potato!

And Green Tomatoes fall into this category as well. Sitting just behind the eggplant with nicotine content!

Lastly, I discovered that tobacco isn't the only plant on this lovely planet that contains

with that being said I have to tell you that
as well.
[Yeah you heard me right!]
and actually
the level of nicotine goes
Tobacco then just under it sits Eggplant followed by Green Tomatoes.

Shocking I know.
But don't panic just yet!

 The amount that's in your eggplant parm
is really minimal compared to a tobacco leaf.

But it's still in there to say the least and with an amount that puts it
right behind tobacco with the next highest nicotine content on this
we call home.

and of course something we all already know is
that nightshade foods add a boost of flavor to our favorite dishes and help make that
we all love and adore.

So the next time you reach for that corn chip and take it for a dip in the salsa bowl
remember it's the 
that give it that
Hope you enjoyed this post
If you would like more in-depth information on nightshades please click here!

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