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Are Nightshades Safe?

Nightshades?! Whats that? It sounds like some cool pair of sunglasses. Not quite. Nightshades are a category of plants. There is a bit of a debate about them, with some claiming that they are inflammatory foods and have other problems and others praising them for their health benefits. 

Nightshades are a family of different fruits, vegetables and herbs that grow five-petal flowers and grow leaves in a staggered fashion. Only some nightshades are actually edible such as, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes to name a few. 

Some claim that nightshades are good for you for two reasons. One, because of the lectins they contain and two because of alkaloids. They can compete with nutrient absorption in the body. Lectins are proteins present in many beans and grains. Kidney beans for example contain lectins that can make you sick if consumed raw. To avoid this you must cook the legumes until tender. The lectins are broken down when cooked for enough time. So you can get the benefits of beans without the downside of them. 

Alkaloids are toxic when eaten in large amounts. Like 400 mg would be really unsafe. Nightshade vegetables on average contain only 13 mg of this, so you should be fine. 

Those with allergies to nightshades should obviously avoid them. Also, people that suffer from Crohn's disease or other inflammatory bowel diseases seem to do better avoiding nightshades. So see for yourself in notice a difference eating or avoiding nightshades. 

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