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What are Nightshades and in which foods are they found?

Eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, paprika, hot and sweet peppers, pimentos and cayenne peppers are categorized as nightshade foods. A group of substance that is present in these, called alkaloids can affect joint function, nerve to muscle function and digestive function in humans and even animals. Usually, the amount of alkaloids is very low, therefore above-mentioned health problems associated with nightshade foods may only occur in individuals who are sensitive to these naturally occurring substances.

Cooking might reduce alkaloid concentration of nightshade foods by approximately 40-50%, but individuals who are highly sensitive to alkaloid substances may need to avoid this food category completely. Non-sensitive individuals will have no problem to consume these foods, especially in cooked form.

If you experience joint and/or muscle pain, try to avoid indicated nightshade foods for a period of one week and monitor your symptoms. If you note decrease in pain and increase in joint flexibility, then alkaloids might be the answer. If the symptoms do not subside, then consult a health care practitioner to address your concerns and seek alternative treatment

Article by Aleksander Kanevsky, DC, CFMP

At New York City Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Center, Dr. Aleksander Kanevsky provides Chiropractic Care, Bioenergetic Medicine, Functional Medicine and Nutrition. Dr. Kanevsky demonstrates why this type of integrative care is an essential addition to a health care practice. He helps people to achieve quality of life and highest expression of health.

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