A group of vegetables – nightshades – have recently hit the headlines after claims they’re bad for your health.
Gisele Bundchen and Gwyneth Paltrow are just a few famous faces to admit that they’re avoiding potatoes, tomatoes, aubergine and goji berries.
These are just some of the long list of vegetables from the nightshade family which it’s claimed are toxic.
The term is coined because they tend to grow in shady areas and sometimes only flower at night.
However, the reason why many are starting to avoid them is because they all naturally produce solanine.
It’s a poisonous compound designed, as part of the plant’s defence system, to ward off insects who might snack on them as they grow.
For the plant’s it’s great, but for humans this may be a problem.
It’s been suggested those sensitive to the compound – particularly people with arthritis – can develop inflammation, joint pain and digestive troubles from eating them.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, some sufferers have complained nightshades exacerbate their pain.
However, they point out there are no scientific studies yet to back this up.
Nightshades are also thought to deplete energy levels and cause skin problems.
However, it’s only present in small amounts in nightshades, and if you’re not sensitive to solanine you shouldn’t be affected.
What’s more, solanine is concentrated in the green leaf of a tomato, for example, not the whole food.
It can also be found in foods that aren’t a nightshade, such as cherries, apples, blueberries and artichokes.
Rob Hobson, nutritionist and Head of Nutrition at Healthspan, said: “All veggies are good for us and a valuable source of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrient antioxidants.
“We already don’t eat enough veggies as a nation so it’s probably not the best thing to start vilifying them.
“Some people may have issues with certain types of veggies, such as the nightshades, but this is not the case for everyone and not a reason to stop eating vegetables.”
In February, Imperial College London, recommended we eat ten portions of fruit and vegetables per day to boost health and longevity.
Source : EXPRESS