Are Nightshade Vegetables Beneficial For Arthritis Sufferers? 

 November 5, 2022

By  Linda Rook


Fruit and vegetables from the nightshade group are staple nutritious foods. But they can cause inflammation, although this does not have support from scientific evidence.

The nightshade contains solanine, a chemical that some people with arthritis believe could aggravate the symptoms of pain and inflammation. But the arthritis foundation (AF) disagrees.

When people with certain foods, like nightshades, trigger symptoms of arthritis, they should avoid them altogether.

 The common nightshade vegetables that we eat are:

What are nightshade vegetables?

The nightshade family is not only vegetables but also spices like cayenne and paprika, are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that fight inflammation.

Nightshade vegetables are a group of plant-based foods called Solanaceae. Species like the belladonna plant are toxic, called the deadly nightshade.

  • White potatoes.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Eggplant.
  • Bell peppers.
  • Cayenne peppers.
  • Paprika.
  • Chilis.
  • Garden huckleberries.
  • Goji berries.
  • Red and Yellow Peppers are nightshade vegetables.

    It is essential to notice that the nightshade contains alkaloids or solanine, which is toxic when in a high concentration. Which is a compound to lower molecular weight; this mainly helps with the body’s protection; for example, the alkaloids include morphine, codeine, coniine, caffeine and much more...

    A trace of solanine is in potatoes and is safe. But the leaves and stalks of the potato plant and green potatoes are toxic and can lead to poisoning.

    The symptoms of solanine poisoning, for example, in a fourteen stone person need to eat 20 pounds of potato peel to get to the toxic level.

    The symptoms of solanine poisoning could be:

  • Fever or headache.
  • Pain in the stomach or abdomen.
  • Diarrhoea or vomiting.
  • Body temperature is lower than average.
  • Slow pulse.
  • Or slow breathing.
  • Do nightshade vegetables cause inflammation?

    Apart from poison, the arthritis foundation, seems to have no evidence of linking between nightshade vegetables and inflammation. However, people with arthritis blame the tomato for worsening symptoms.

    Nightshade vegetables have several healthy compounds, such as tomatoes have lycopene and beta carotene, which are antioxidants.

    Peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant have an alkaloid compound called anatabine, a minor alkaloid family of Solanaceae with antioxidant properties.

    However, a study found that avoiding certain nightshade vegetables in a diet is an anti-inflammatory diet, such as potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants. The result was that the solanine substance increased the leakiness of the intestines, which affects the gastrointestinal tract; therefore, the inflammation increased in symptoms of arthritis.

    A review in 2021 found that eating purple potatoes could reduce inflammation and DNA damage as they are high in antioxidants and prevent cell damage.

    Potatoes also have high contents of chlorogenic acids or CGA, which helps decrease high blood pressure and the risk of type 2 diabetes.

    It has been found that red and purple potatoes have a more significant amount of CGA than white potatoes.

    Sweet potatoes are the best option when you don’t want to eat nightshade potatoes.

    The health benefits of nightshades.

    Some nightshade vegetables are high in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals also fibre.

    It’s best to eat a varied diet of rich vitamins and minerals, as this significantly affects the person’s health by improving the symptoms of chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

    vitamins and minerals

    The best nutritious nightshade foods.

    • Eggplant: the deep purple skin has the benefit of phytonutrients. The flesh is high in fibre, potassium, vitamins B1, B6, K, and magnesium.
    • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are high in vitamins C, A and K and minerals, antioxidant called lycopene, which helps protect against cardiovascular diseases, and specific cancer and lowers inflammation.
    • Potatoes: the purple, yellow and white ones are nutritional in fibre, vitamin C and B6, high in blood pressure-lowers potassium and traces of minerals.
    • Bell Peppers: are high in vitamins A and C, potassium, and antioxidants called carotenoids and folate. Bell peppers have also been found to give a slight metabolic boost.
    • Anti-inflammatory foods.

      The arthritis foundation has no specific diet that a person with arthritis should follow, but the next list is foods with anti-inflammatory compounds that help control inflammation. However, many of the below foods are in the Mediterranean diet.

    Olive oil is best for cooking.
  • Oily fish: fish oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids that help with inflammation. These are salmon, tuna and anchovies.
  • Fruit and vegetables: these are colourful and include blueberries, cherries, kale and broccoli, which are full of antioxidants; they help with the immune system as well if you have rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Nuts and seeds: walnuts, pine nuts and almonds all contain anti-inflammatory ingrediency also certain fatty acids.
  • Olive oil: Virgin olive oil has antioxidants, monounsaturated fats and oleocanthal which help reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Beans: black beans, pinto beans and kidney beans that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients.
  • Could anyone be allergic to nightshade vegetables?

    Allergies to vegetables are uncommon, but there is a possibility with potatoes and tomatoes. However, people could become sensitive to certain foods. The symptoms that people can be susceptible to include.

  • If you are dark-skinned or lighter skin, you may have                 raised, itchy rash.
  • A flare-up of eczema.
  • You could have abdominal pain.
  • Diarrhoea or constipation.
  • Bloating or stomach cramps.
  • Runny nose.
  • You could even have breathing difficulties or wheezing.
  • Or a headache palpitation.
  • Ulcerative colitis in the stomach

    There could be cases where people have a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.  The anaphylaxis can be life-threatening, as some symptoms that can develop are:

    anxiety sign
  • Hives.
  • Swelling of the face or mouth.
  • Fast heart rate.
  • Clammy skin.
  • Anxiety or confusion.
  • Blue or white lips.
  • Fainting or a loss of consciousness.
  • Wheezing or rapid, shallow breathing.
  • Vomiting.
  • If anyone has the above symptoms, you must:

    1. Check to see if they have an epinephrine pen, read the instructions and apply.

    2. Dial the emergency department.

    3. If the person is standing, lay them down. If they have vomited, you should put them on their side.

    4. Stay with the person until the emergency people have arrived.


    Allergies of nightshade foods are very rare. However, they can be challenging for those of you that are affected.

    To diagnose if you are allergic or intolerant to any of the nightshade family, you should remove the foods from your diet temporarily. Then, you need to substitute the nightshade with an alternative fruit or vegetables.

    Further research needs to be done as chemicals in nightshade foods that affect pre-existing conditions are still unclear.

    It could be the case that the symptom could worsen in certain people.

    I hope this article has helped you. Please subscribe to my website, and I will keep you updated on new blogs or videos. Also, if you need to know anything about arthritis, please go to my contact page and leave a message; I will get back to you within 24 hours.

    In the meantime, if this post is informative, I’d be very grateful if you’d help your friends or family if they have a similar condition to tell them. So please share it on Twitter or Facebook or send them an email.

    Linda Rook

    Linda is now retired and has suffered from Osteoarthritis for about 40+ years.  She struggled with her weight until she found the correct one that also helped with her arthritic pain.  Linda was in terrible pain until the physician thought her right hip needed replacement. 

    Now Linda has an artificial right hip, which has left her with the left leg shorter than the right.  Therefore, her spine is now wonky, and has arthritis of the lower back, also it seems to be going all over the body, her pain is now in the knees, elbow, wrist, fingers and both hips.

    Linda now spends her days writing information to help others with the same conditions, so they do not suffer like Linda.

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    Natural Ways To Decrease Inflammation.

    What Supplements Are Good For Arthritis?

    Coping With Pregnancy and Chronic Illness.

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