I was catching-up on some nutrition news and came across the notion that nightshades should be avoided for those who may have an auto-immune disease, especially arthritis.

Oh lovely, more things to my “not allowed” list. Kidding, I appreciate experimenting with foods to decipher what makes me feel best. The important thing is, I tinker with my diet and find what leads to an improved quality of life.

For example two years back I stripped gluten from diet and realized what energy was and no one could pay me to eat gluten today. It was a phenomenal feeling and realization, however, I cannot preach everyone will get the same result. My suggestion is to always try something for 30 days, if you feel a difference after 30 days, keep chugging away. If you feel no difference, eat gluten with a well balanced, fresh diet.

Yet, what is this new idea of avoiding nightshades? I heard it on a podcast during my daily commute and am struggling with the thought of removing the foods under the nightshade umbrella. Per The George Mateljan Foundation food members of the nightshade family include:

Even though this list is not that long, I realize how much tomato is in my diet. I use a lot of hot sauce and salsa, especially when making a mexican style chipotle bowl lunch.

One of my preferred health sites include “World’s Healthiest Foods,” recommends the following for nightshades:

“First, if you are an individual with existing joint problems like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout, temporary 2-3 week elimination of nightshade foods from your meal plan may be a worthwhile step to determine if these foods could be contributing to your joint problems. This same recommendation would apply to individuals with existing nervous system problems, particularly nerve-muscle related problems.

Second, even if you are an individual with no existing health problems potentially related to nightshade intake, you will want to take precautions to avoid excessive intake of alkaloids from these foods.”

I believe this is great advice and suggest you empower yourself to eat the healthiest you can while still finding enjoyment in food. Meat, fruits, vegetables, dairy, etc can be labeled as good or bad in certain instances, but eating not too much, a variety of foods (unprocessed) is a road to longevity.

Cheers to you and good health!