What Are Nightshades?

August 26, 2013 in Categories: , by

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349px-Illustration_Solanum_dulcamara0_cleanAt the Ancestral Health Symposium, I was offered some jerky.  I said something like “oh, I’m highly sensitive to nightshades so I probably can’t eat it”.  The man offering it to me said “I don’t think this one has nightshades”.  I said “Really?  Paprika?  Cayenne? Tomatoes?”.  The man said “nope”.  So, I took a piece.  The heat in my mouth instantly told me that I should have scrutinized the ingredients before agreeing.  Red pepper was clearly listed and the burning sensation in my mouth was sending alarm bells throughout my body.  I spat out the bite, but am seeing increased inflammation in the aftermath anyway, including joint pain in my ankles and hips, inflamed skin and acne, and stenosing tenosinovitis in my right hand.  Not convenient while I’m in the last final push to get the book ready for the printer.

This experience got me thinking:  most people don’t know what nightshades are.   And if you are like me and need to avoid nightshades (I actually recover from accidental gluten exposure more rapidly than I recover from accidental nightshade exposure), this can be a problem.  A big problem.  I also realized that even though I wrote a thorough post on why nightshades are eliminated from the autoimmune protocol (food for thought for anyone with unresolved inflammation), I haven’t shared a complete list of nightshade.

So, what are nightshades?

Nightshades are a botanical family of plants, more technically called Solanaceae.  These plants all have certain characteristics in common (like the shape of the flower and how the seed is arranged within the fruit–Wikipedia has a good description).  There are more than two thousand plant species in the nightshade family, the vast majority of which are inedible and many of which are highly poisonous (like deadly nightshade and jimsomweed). Tobacco is a nightshade, and is known to cause heart, lung, and circulatory problems, as well as cancer and other health problems (although, clearly some of this has to do with the other toxins in tobacco products derived from the processing.)

It became very important for me to include a complete list of nightshades in my  book, in part because avoiding nightshades can be harder than avoiding gluten.  So, I put together this list.

The following are all members of the nightshade family (a couple of which you might only ever encounter while on a vacation in the tropics or in supplements):

  • Ashwagandha
  • Bell peppers (a.k.a. sweet peppers)
  • Bush tomato
  • Cape gooseberry (also known as ground cherries—not to be confused with regular cherries)
  • Cocona
  • Eggplant
  • Garden huckleberry (not to be confused with regular huckleberries)
  • Goji berries (a.k.a. wolfberry)
  • Hot peppers (such as chili peppers, jalapenos, habaneros, chili-based spices, red pepper, cayenne)
  • Kutjera
  • Naranjillas
  • Paprika
  • Pepinos
  • Pimentos
  • Potatoes (but not sweet potatoes)
  • Tamarillos
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomatoes

This is a very complete list of edible nightshades, but note that many of those listed include dozens of varieties.  There are many, many varieties of hot peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and even something like 200 varieties of potatoes, for example.  And the number of products including nightshades is enormous.  In fact, if a label lists the vague ingredient “spices”, that almost always includes paprika.  Many spice blends, like curry and steak spice, usually contain nightshades (for more information see Spices on the Autoimmune Protocol).   You might find ingredients such as sambal, shichimi, or tabasco listed and not immediately realize that those are sauces made with hot peppers.  In fact, there are thousands of varieties of hot sauce, all of which contain nightshades.

The reason why nightshades are problematic for many people is due to the glycoalkaloid content (see this post). Overconsumption of these edible species can actually be poisonous to anyone, and it is possible that the low-level toxic properties of nightshade vegetables contribute to a variety of health issues over time.

Speaking of glycoalkaloids, some Websites have erroneously “reported” that some nonnightshade fruits and vegetables contain the glycoalkaloid solanine. See this post for full details, but rest assured that these fruits and vegetables—including  blueberries, huckleberries, okra, apples, cherries, sugar beets, and artichokes—are safe to consume from a glycoalkaloid standpoint.


Hi Sarah! Thanks for this overview on nightshades. I wonder if I could pick your brain…I recently had an ALCAT test done and I am intolerant to over a dozen foods including tomatoes but NOT bell peppers or white potatoes. Is it possible to have an IgG response to some nightshades and not to others? I definitely notice an IgE response to eggplant – immediately my throat and face become itchy after eating it. Despite the ALCAT results, do you think it would be prudent to still eliminate ALL nightshades for a period of time (21-30 days) and see if that improves my symptoms (mostly eczema and allergies)? I have eliminated tomatoes for the last 30 days (along with gluten, dairy, eggs and random other foods from the ALCAT results) and I have notice no change. Should I be more patient?

Thanks so much for all you do!

Hi Sarah! Thank you so much, as always, for your AMAZING work and passion for what you do! I have a question – I have hashimoto’s and Ashwagandha stimulates the production of T4 (my t4 is in the low normal range and i do not have problems converting t4 to t3; the only antibodies currently present in my body are the TPO AB). I have been exclusively following the AIp since April this year and feel amazing (my TGB AB are in normal territory already!)….this means that I have not been taking any supplements that contain Ashwagandha. Do you know if Ashwagandha could be added to my protocol bc it would be helpful for the thyroid? I know it is a very specific question and you would probably think – well, the sensitivity question you are asking is answered in my post above – but I just wanted to hear your opinion….Thank you so much again for everything!!! You have been my guru in navigating this autoimmune disease since I have discovered your website and you have literally changed my life for the better!!!!

I have a similar question so I thought I’d ask it here to kill 2 birds. In addition to JC’s question, Ashwagandha, from what I’ve read, helps the adrenals as well. I recently purchased a supplement that contains Ashwaganda root. Is that the same as the Ashwaganda you have listed? Thanks so much for your hard work, dedication and documentation of how to improve symptoms!

Yes, when I’ve take it, it was part of an adrenal support supplement. It is usually the root that is used in supplements, which might be why it’s typically better tolerated (fewer glycoalkaloids), but I still recommend caution.

Ashwaganda does help with thyroid and adrenals, but after a couple of weeks on it, I was having numerous and increasing symptoms. I waited for months, then I tried again with the same result. You could try it yourself and see if you can tolerate it, but just keep in mind that it may take a while for any symptoms to pop up.

Just wanted to chime in with my experience with Ashwaganda: I have lupus, Hashimoto’s and Grave’s disease. My thyroid was ‘dysfunctional’ according to my integrative doctor (regular endocrinologist says the ranges are normal even though I don’t feel normal) so she put me on Armour thyroid meds. I took some Ashwaganda because I heard it is an adaptogen anyone can take. I had a strong reaction to it: within one hour I was vomiting and had severe diarrhea (is there any other kind??) for about three hours. I actually felt better the next day-like I had cleansing. I tried it again 3 weeks later just to see if it was a fluke. Same reaction. Then I just happened to be at a lecture given by the herbalist David Winston who says Ashwaganda should not be taken by anyone who is on thyroid meds. Not sure why. I have never seen this warning in an herb book. I do know I am sensitive to nightshades and now that I read this article, I think I need to cut them all out. I occasionally eat some of these foods listed and am dealing with nagging inflammation and other issues. Thank you Sarah, for haring all of your research.

Wow, how fortuitous that you posted this today. After nearly a year AIP, I felt bold and confident in my healing last weekend and ate out twice (!) exposing myself to eggplant, jalapenos and tomatoes. It took 2 days, but this is the quickest, most fiery reaction I’ve had. Body aches for a week now, hips, knees, lower back wrists and finger joints feel arthritic. Muscle weakness and crashing fatigue and puffy hands and feet. Yes, I do indeed feel poisoned.

Eek!!! I’m taking Ashwagandha to support adrenal fatigue…but that is likely not to be helpful for the arthritis and AI issues I have. Guess what I’ll be taking a holiday from?!

Just thought you might be interested in this…
I was taking Ashwagandha for a couple of months to support my adrenals as well and found out that it was part of the nightshade family which I have serious sensitivities to. I found that while taking Ashwagandha I didn’t have the energy and felt depressed and my GI felt off. I pointed this out to my Naturopath and she suggested I take Rhodiola which has been an excellent supplement for my adrenals and is not part of the nightshade family. I have 3 little ones to chase all day and I feel great…even at the end of the day! 🙂

I had to Google cocona to make sure you didn’t misspell cocoa! 😉

I had never heard of that vegetable before. Whew! What a relief, because I’ve come up with a breakfast blend that I substitute for coffee. I steep roasted chicory root, then add cacao powder, coconut milk and a little vanilla extract. This seems to satisfy my palate without giving me the issues that coffee does…

Thank you so much for this post! My husband is sensitive to nightshades. Your website has been a God send because even though we are Paleo, all the Paleo recipes are FULL of nightshades. I thought I was going to go crazy trying to figure out recipes. You I have made me excited about cooking again!!!!! Keep up the great work!!!!!!!!!

If I’m sensitive to tomatoes (response is joint pain, primarily in my wrists), will I always be sensitive or could I possibly re-introduce them at a later date? Any thoughts – does this have anything to do with leaky gut? I am a celiac.

I recently had someone tell me that spinach is a nightshade and causes inflammation. I know it is not included in the Solanaceae family, and I cannot find spinach listed on any of my trusted AIP lists of foods to avoid, but I have found conflicting information on the internet. Is there anything about spinach that would cause inflammation or exacerbate an autoimmune condition?

Thank you for your list. I’ve had autoimmune problems for years and thought it was merely a probem with gluten. But recently eating nightshades had turned into anaphylaxis for me. (Eeep!) I found your site through another paleo podcast and have been researching voraciously your info. Thank you. By far you have more info here than most other sites and far better organized so I can find just what I need to know. You are a lifesaver.

Thank you for validating my inner suspicion that my numbness (middle and ring finger of dominant hand), which appeared immediately after delivering my fourth baby this spring, IS connected to my adrenal fatigue. I asked multiple medical professionals, and they all scratched their heads and pointed me to someone else. I could tell my body was having a harder go in this pregnancy, and a number of symptoms not-previously-experienced presented themselves within 12h of delivery. I’ve been practicing paleo for some time, and it was an obvious help. But it took a lovely online friend’s recent delve into AIP for her lupus to push me into ‘self-diagnosing’ and take the leap.

I’m in week 2 of AIP and have noticed instant results!!! I won’t bore you with them, lol but suffice it to say I’m getting ME back again. And this is especially interesting as I’ve been on supplements as Rx’s by an ND for last month+. The above listing of Ashwagandha *totally* explains the nasty side effects I had literally immediately. I assumed it was a matter of ‘getting worse before better’.

My question is, will you be going into greater detail in the book about the above?

What an interesting post. I am not a lover of raw tomatoes but do use them as a sauce. However, I love sun dried tomatoes – I don’t suppose their properties change through the sun drying process so make them a better way of having tomatoes?

Drying any food just concentrates the offending substance. So sun-dried tomatoes will be a lot worse than regular tomatoes, just like raisins have higher levels of salicylates than grapes.

I’ve been wondering this for awhile…is potato vodka safe to drink or are the nightshade toxins still present? I’d like to have a drink on the rare occasions I’m in a social situation without paying for it for a week or longer…

Hi, I just recently found your website. Great resource! I am trying to figure out if maca root should be avoided. Do you know if it is a nightshade? I saw somewhere that it was, but don’t see it on a list of things to avoid anywhere. I was taking a tsp. in a smoothie about 3 times a week. I have Hashimoto’s, and just recently started the AIP diet using the Autoimmune Paleo cookbook as my recipe guide.

Thanks so much for your response. Also, I have a question regarding scallions. Are they considered nightshade? I really enjoy the flavor of onions. What can I use as a substitute? Thanks.

After trawling through the internet at 1:23am I found this blog post. Thank you so much for this info, I’m currently lying here with a wet towel on my head running tote bathroom every few hours after having potatoes for dinner, I’ve also noticed increased joint pain and fatigue over the past few weeks. I’d already given up tomatoes, but this article also explains why eggplant was making me so sick! Now it’s time to re-do my whole eating plan! Goodbye potatoes!

I heard chocolate is not good for people who have autoimmune diseases.. I stopped eating chocolate for two months and I felt ok but as soon as I ate it again my tummy was very upset.

I have had an IGe test and none of the above nightshades came up. So would it be safe to say they dont affect me negatively? Or is there another test that can be performed to better determine sensitivity?

Ok, verrryyyy interesting, thank you! So I have hypothyroidism, and eczema caused by nickel, like my belt. I researched it and apparently nightshades have nickel in them. I notice my hand swell up when I eat them and that even though I eliminated gluten a while ago the joint pain in my hand, wrist, and ankles can be unbearable.

Someone just suggested to me that nightshades could be a factor in my very stubborn acne.
I’m already working on a Whole45, so now is the perfect time to give it a try. Is a month a good length of time to cut them out, or can I go shorter or should I go longer?
Most elimination programs seem to average a month, but I have seen different lengths. I’m mostly curious as to how I will know when there’s a difference, as spots that appear on my face take a very long time to heal.

There is bioperine (an extract from black pepper) in my CoQ10 supplement, to increase bio-availability – is it necessary for me to find a new CoQ10 supplement? I have had alopecia for almost 30 years. Thank you

I don’t have a good answer for you. Black pepper definitely causes some people problems, but my suspicion is that it’s the phytoestrogen content, but I’m just guessing because the literature on this is sparse to say the least!

Hi Sarah,

I know this is an older post, but I noticed you answered some else’s question so I figured I give it a try. First, I just want to say I really LOVE your Podcasts! You ladies are awesome and I have been addicted to listening to them for the last three days! I really appreciate that you have a strong scientific background and can back-up your comments with research. You explain science in an easy to understand way.
Thank you!

Okay so my question is I’m wondering why I have trouble digesting cucumbers if they aren’t nightshades. I’m still not sure how sensitive I am to nightshades because I have mainly noticed that I only have an issue with raw bell peppers red/green. If they are cooked I only burb them up a little (sorry for the visual). It still takes longer to process those foods I eat with them though. I notice that I feel sick to my stomach if I workout 2 hours after eating cooked peppers. So does this sound like nightshade sensitivity? I know potatoes make me a little bloated, but I figured it was just all that starch. I haven’t noticed much with tomatoes, but I only eat a few slices on salad raw and I’m not sure about cooked.

Back to my first question, can you explain the cucumber issue and based on my other explanation should I be avoiding nightshades. Mostly I don’t want to give up tomatoes or spices. Everything else I won’t miss. It’s hard to tell if the spices make me bloated cause I just started using them more in my cooking since eating Paleo for this last month.

Thanks for all your wonderful advice!

Well, you could just be sensitive to cucumbers. They are one of the worst foods for stimulating gas-production (due to a compound called cucurbitacin) and are known to be a common irritator for people with diverticular disease. When they’re grown in depleted soil, cucurbitacin in the cucumber is increased, so you might be able to get some in season at a local Farmer’s Market and be fine with them.

As for nightshades, yes, that does sound like a sensitivity, but it is totally possible to be sensitive to one family of nightshade plants (like just peppers or just tomatoes) and be fine with others. The easiest way to tell is an elimination diet, here you eliminate all nightshades for a few weeks and then add them back in one at a time every few days.

“…the shape of the flower and how the seed is arranged within the fruit–Wikipedia has a good description).”

Wikipedia is not published work and cannot be considered a reliable source. I would like to order your book but before I do, can you tell me if the information is backed up with actual credible sources (Ie., not information gathered from random internet sites)? Sorry, since I can’t preview your book, I just want to make sure I know what I”m getting. Thank you!!!

actually, never mind. I found the answer to your question in the video. I am ordering your book from Amazon right now. many thanks!!

I am having difficulties tonight. The only thing that I can think of that was out of order, was a heavy dose of allspice in a chicken recipe that I made. Looked it up and sure enough allspice is a form of pimento – a nightshade. Who knew?

I just recently found your website and am thrilled with the amount of information you have on autoimmunity and the paleo approach. I have Crohn’s disease and have tried SCD in the past and am currently on Paleo but just starting the AIP. I never did see any affect from SCD even though I was on it for almost 2 years, but I was also over exercising at the time which may also have played a role in my not getting any better.

As far as nightshades, I’ve been reading the benefits of resistant starch on creating butyrate which has anti-inflammatory effects and can help Crohn’s and also it’s role in promoting the growth of favorable gut bacteria. Most places I’ve read about is suggest the easiest way to get the most resistant starch is to take potato starch. Obviously potatoes are nightshades and so they aren’t on the AIP, but is consuming just the potato starch in any way OK for AIP or would you suggest doing without it until you start reintroducing foods?

Also, I know this isn’t concerning nightshades, but do you know of the role of how our female hormones play a role in our autoimmune disease? I was never able to get into remission for very long before I got pregnant, then when I got pregnant I flared horribly, but I was able to get it under control after IV steroids and sulfasalazine. Somehow I remained in remission on Sulfasalazine only (along with a Paleo diet), and didn’t have any issues until I had my first postpartum period. Since then I’ve been in a horrible flare and am currently on steroids. I’m wondering how our hormones affect our autoimmune disease and if there is anything we can do to try and counteract that. Any ideas? I’ll have to check out your book as well, maybe you have info there. Thanks.

I do not recommend potato starch with autoimmune disease. Lots of starchy tubers have resistant starch, as do green bananas and plantains. I also don’t like the idea of supplementing with the idea of targeting one specific genus of bacteria in the gut, because even good bacteria can overgrow. Instead, I recommend a wide variety of vegetables to feed a wide variety of friendly gut bacteria who will then produce a wide variety of beneficial substances (like other short-chain fatty acids, neurotransmitters, anti-inflammatory cytokines…).

Sex hormones are quite tightly linked with the immune system, and flares during pregnancy, upon the birth of the baby, and/or when the baby weans are all very common. I do talk about it in my book.

How long should someone wait before introducing nightshades back in to their diet and for that matter any food? Thanks for letting us pick your brains!!! Very grateful for all you do for everyone for all autoimmune people!!

Hi, I’ve always found the term paleo amusing as I can’t imagine many followers going into their butchers and asking for woolly mammoth steaks or whole ibis for roasting. Perhaps it should be the meso or mesolithic diet. Silly pedantry aside (sorry!) I wanted to say a massive thanks for this article as I think I have pinpointed my problem. I have eliminated dairy and gluten and felt the benefits. I had a lush chilli last night, a healthy not gluttonous portion I might add, replete with bell and chilli peppers, fresh and puree tomato and eggplant. Despite only one glass of vino with it and a good sleep I have woken up feeling stiff and achey, bloated and lethargic. Chillis and curries with these ingredients are a staple of mine, I thought, healthy comfort food. Apparently not. I am going to eliminate them and have a look at your other blogs now. When I get paid I will buy your book 🙂

Hey Sarah, I have a few questions about the autoimmune condition involving Hidradenitis. I have had h.s for 4-5 years now and I seam to always have flare ups in one spot or the other I can’t find anything that will help ive Tryed so much. Anyway, I was hoping you could help. Besides my questions I am looking for any advice on how to manage h.s. It would be appreciated. My first question is should I avoid sugar? I have been doing my best too already. Second when it comes to autoimmune protocol should you not eat nuts and seed? Or just nuts? And if u can’t eat seeds does that include corn? .. I have started my auto immune diet and the hardest part for me is no bread or nuts. I love peanut butter. And was wondering if there were any substitutes for bread or peanut butter. I have been using corn tortillas with no wheat instead of bread.

Thank you so much for your help.

I love your book, The Paleo Approach, and have had the cookbook pre-ordered for some time. I wanted to ask if your cook book will be ALL AIP friendly? I hope so! I have so many Paleo cookbooks already but most seem to include a lot of nightshades. Would LOVE to get one without!!

My wife left this up on the computer so I took the time to read it. My father and his siblings have been on a nightshade free diet for almost 20 years. Potatoes seem to be the really sensitive item for them. They discovered a long time ago that MODIFIED FOOD STARCH is potato starch so any food with that listed in ingredients is off limits.

So to recap, modified food starch is made from potatoes and should be avoided.

Hi, thanks so much for writing this article. I have had extreme joint pains for 2 years and I’m just starting a nightshade elimination diet because of your article. I’ve tried most other nutritional advice to help but so far to no avail.

You mention in your article that you found a gluten reaction faster to overcome than a nightshade reaction. I was wondering: how long does your body take to heal after inadvertantly eating gluten? And how long after eating nightshades? I’d just like to have an idea of how long before I should see a difference in my joint pains.

Thanks very much for your help!

Some nightshade sensitive individuals are just as sensitive to the glycoalkaloids in sugar beets, cherries and apples even though they are not in the solanacea.

Integrated Laboratory Systems – National Toxicolo…


Both -chaconine and -solanine are glycoalkaloids which exhibit antifeedant, … naturally in potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) and other members of the Solanaceae family. Solanine is also present in apples, bell peppers, cherries, sugar beets, and tomatoes. … Acute toxicity values for several species have been reported.

Integrated Laboratory Systems

-Chaconine [20562-03-2]
-Solanine [20562-02-1]
Review of Toxicological Literature
Prepared for
Errol Zeiger, Ph.D.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709
Contract No. N01-ES-65402

Submitted by
Raymond Tice, Ph.D.
Integrated Laboratory Systems
P.O. Box 13501
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709

February 1998
-Chaconine and -solanine were nominated for testing based on their frequent occurrence in high concentrations in commonly ingested foods and the lack of carcinogenicity data for either compound. Both -chaconine and -solanine are glycoalkaloids which exhibit antifeedant, fungicide, and pesticide activities. -Chaconine has been used as a nematicide, and both glycoalkaloids have been used in the treatment of asthma and epilepsy. -Chaconine and -solanine occur naturally in potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) and other members of the Solanaceae family. Solanine is also present in apples, bell peppers, cherries, sugar beets, and tomatoes.

Are buffalo berry and sea buckthorn berries nightshades? Also what about ningxiared red by young living. There’s evidence this supplement is foot for gut health but it has wolfberries in it along with other berries and essential oils, do you have a recommendation on that?

my daughter just found out that she has hidradenitis suppurative and the more research i am doing, this work nightshades keeps coming up. do you think this could be a cause of her condition?
Also, i think i am not understanding, it looked like it said that the paleo diet has a lot of nightshades in it, but then it looks like people in the posts above are going to start it? I have read so much info that maybe i am just overwhelmed right now. ugh

HS can certainly benefit from the autoimmune protocol, which is an offshoot of Paleo that excludes nightshades and other foods likely to exacerbate autoimmune disease. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

Thank you so very much for writing about this! Throughout my healing journey I’ve been recommended by several people that some of my issues might be caused by nightshades and to cut them out of my diet but I never really understood WHY and what they are. Now I have a little bit more of a better understanding 🙂

This web page is amazing. I have been battling for almost two years now with strange symptoms. I have Hashimotos and only discovered in Feb this year about gluten (despite going to many doctors, and ENT specialist and having an MRI which was clear, so they said i was simply depressed, I tried the meds cause i was desperated but…I felt like I had been poisoned so i stopped) I had awful neurological problems, with what is described in some of the above posts in peoples hands and feet but in my head, sometimes it felt like my brain was on fire, my skull seemed to be tight and prickly from the inside of my brain to down the sides of my face, my balance was unsteady, the anxiety and panic sometimes so bad I couldnt walk to the letterbox. Just horrific, I thought I was dying and sometimes just wished I would. I couldnt take anything to alleviate the awful horror of what I was going through, I didnt know what was wrong and no-one seemed to know either to help me. Its an awful place to be, sick, desperate, not having a clue why and noone seemed to know or understand. (although i had very good support and lots of love from my husband and daughter, who have been there for me all the way through). I researched so many different things and found out about the arm, wrist, feet and leg pain, but nothing seemed to match the awful symptoms going on in my head. I then discovered gluten ataxia and going gluten, wheat, dairy, soy and egg free has certainly helped considerably but i havnt seemed to get fully better again, just stayed steady on about 80%. Then I discovered this site and read about nightshades. I have been eating a steady variety of most of them since going gluten free, especially potatoes, which I love. I couldnt believe it when I saw this post. I am sitting here thinking, really?? is this the missing link?, is this why i cant completely heal? As of this minute I am dropping all nightshades from my diet. I pray this is the final bit of the puzzle. Has anyone else ever suffered nuerological symptoms as well? I would be so happy to know if someone else could identify with me, because I feel very alone in this. Thankyou for such wonderful information, I feel very excited that maybe, just maybe I can now get fully well again 🙂

All so very interesting thank you! I have removed wheat, dairy and soy from my diet, suffered chronic depression for many years before removing these. I have noticed recently that night shades particularly potatoes bring back depression and joint pain. The back of my neck on the right side becomes inflamed which moves up into my eye, which in turn becomes a migraine and then i feel like vomiting (sorry). When the migraine is caused by a night shade it takes a lot longer to feel well again. I also find that bringing down the inflammation in my neck takes a long time too. So i agree with a former persons comment that the symptoms caused by wheat etc pass a lot quicker than the symptoms caused by the night shades! I will also add that i found out in 2013 that all antidepressants and mental illness medications i looked into had lactose in them and that this in turn keeps those suffering from these illnesses permanently unwell while they take them, so if you felt like the medication was poisoning you, you were most likely very right! it happened to me, my liver suffered which caused fluid retention. Since coming off medication i have lost 20kg. All the best on your journey to healing 🙂

Hi Bonnie,

It sounds like you are going through the same neuro problems that I have been going through. My Neurologist told me that he believes that the health problems that I have been experiencing are actually a form of migraine. He recommended that I try a migraine diet that is basically the glutamate & aspartate restricted diet. (G.A.R.D.) It is similar to the Paleo diet. If you are interested in it, there is a lot of good information about it at http://dogtorj.com/ It is a veterinarian’s web site. LOL

I have been on this diet for about 4 months and I am doing much better. I found the PaleoMom.com when I was looking for Paleo recipes. It looks like this website has just what I was looking for!



p.s. I am allergic to most of the plants in the nightshade family especially tobacco.

I just found your post, and like so many others, I have hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, but I have so many unexplained symptoms and/or issues and I too am at my wits end. I have seen multiple doctors with no result. Unexplained inflammation in only one arm and now severe pain in the elbow of that same arm. I also having extreme joint pain. and a long list of other symptoms. I have not started any type of diet, Paleo or otherwise and until this post had never even heard of a night shade. I guess my question is, will your book be a helpful resource for me to get started.? I have no idea where to even begin on the diet/elimination journey, it all seems to overwhelming

Tammy, I just want to encourage you as you begin this journey. I have a deep love for food, good food, ALL food, and thought I would never be able to give up the things that were making me sick. I still struggle most with SUGAR, but continue to make positive strides. READ, READ, READ! There is so much helpful info out there. Feeling good is sooooooo worth the sacrifice of some of the foods we can’t imagine going without. You go girl!

Hi Linda….I also suffer from hypothyroidism and Hasimotos…..the thing that has helped me the most is giving up grains totally…..I am now on natural/organic supplements from my natural doctor and I feel 20 years younger, and I began eating a paleo way of eating. I know it’s a big overwhelming making a lot of changes at once, but if nothing else, I highly recommend becoming grain-free. All the best!

Seafoods, fish, pastured meat !
Heck, even if you can’t afford the three former items, you can at least buy occasionnaly livers from farmed animals to at least maintain your B12 without supplementation. It’s cheap, heavily nutritous and most likely harmless.

Hi Sarah,
Basically, I have a horrifying, chronic skin-blistering condition on my face (along with neurological symptoms and kidney problems) for almost 3 years now.
Any kind of heat seems to activate it, especially uv exposure. I can’t say it’s worse during a particular season, but rapid shifts in weather seem to play a role. Also, my property is surrounded by woods with wetlands. My kids have been diagnosed with “severe systemic allergic reaction” to poison ivy and were put on steroids 3 times this year! I found so many poisonous and/or potentially irritating plants. I would love to send some pics of plants and face.
I’d like to share a very scary experience I had last March. Maybe you could shed some light on it? (no pun intended) So, I was outside with my son waiting for the bus (came about 11 am). My neighbor was doing lawn work and walked over to chat. He immediately told me that my face was looking so much better. Anyhow, the sun came out and was beating down on me. We continued to talk for about 15-20 min. During that time, I gradually felt like I was being cooked from the inside-out! I didn’t tell him how I felt, nor did I need to. He literally stopped mid-sentence and said, “I know I just told you how good you look, but you suddenly look really sick.” I told him I felt really weak and needed to lie down.
My house wasn’t even a block away. It took everything in me to walk home and crawl up 15 stairs. I got to the bathroom. Short of breath, trembling, heart-beat was intense and sluggish at the same time. I looked in the mirror. I already had a large pustule or blister between my eyebrows, my eyes were bloodshot and burning like crazy, and sweating profusely. I rinsed my face with cold water. I lightly started to dry it and this blistered skin just “slid” right off! There was a huge, circular raw spot. I still felt horrible. I put some neosporin and a bandage on it and get to bed. All I remember after that was not having energy to set the alarm and praying that my life insurance would cover this if I never woke again. Thank God, I did eventually wake 🙂 4 hrs. later and 9 missed calls. I missed the bus, so I had to pick kids up from school and husband was on his way home from work. At that point, I felt “drugged,” but I was at least able to go get the kids. When my hubby got home, I explained and went back to bed. I slept for 13 hrs.
I’ve been to so many different Dr’s and Dermatologists. There is severe hyperpigmentation on sun-exposed areas with bizarre scar-patterns. I’ve been treated horribly by most, receiving absurd diagnosis’ ranging from adult acne to meth addict 🙁 I finally got approval for a skin biopsy 2 weeks ago. The only thing that came back was seborrheic dermatitis. The Dr.’s think I’m crazy and I feel like maybe I should just give up on the medical system. I have lost my self-esteem and don’t like socializing because people treat me like a contagious disease.
In conclusion, I am open to any and all ideas. Including, what type of specialist might give me the time of day. Thank you so much for your time and understanding!
Amanda Saam

Hi Amanda! I am so sorry to hear about all of that. Sarah has consultants available at ThePaleoMomConsulting.com and also recommends primaldocs.com and paleophysiciansnetwork.com. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

In December of last year I had a skin prick test done which included some foods but wasn’t exclusively food. I tested positive for tomoatoes and potatoes. I was very surprised since I had never had a problem I could link to anything I ate. After I cut them out for several months and then tried tomatoes again they made me very sick. Fortunatley not an anaphalactic reaction like I have with soy, but I was defintely very close to the bathroom all night. 🙁 Anyway, I still eat peppers and have never really noticed a problem but I’ve been wondering if I should cut those out as well. Is it possible to be allergic to tomatoes and not to other nightshades?

I have just recently started the AIP protocol and somehow came across today that Ashwaganda (taking 2@ 500 mg. capsules at bed) is a night shade. I thought I was doing so well, and now have found that this adaptagen herb I thought was beneficial to me for thyroid issues and better restorative sleep is in fact something I should be eliminating. I guess I need to ditch this supplement now? I’m particularly following this protocol as I have hypothyroid and expect leaky gut issues and trying to get my body in better balance.

I know this is a different question but I’m failing to find anyone with an answer. My mother for the past two years has had a terrible taste in her mouth. Started as a really sty taste on her tongue, went to her jaw area, turned into a metallic taste and has now gone into her throat area and makes her feel constantly sick. She is on no medication apart from Warfrin for the past four months due to a blood clot from a fall. She has seen Doctors, dentists, Dental Specialist, all of them having no idea what is causing this. She has been given a mouthwash for throat and tongue thrush with no results. She is 74 and has kept good health all her life apart from two knee replacements. Any thoughts from you would be appreciated. Thank you

The othre day I had a chili cheeesebugrer and French fries with ketchupp. Less than two hours later, I noticed that all of my fingers and toes had grown about 1/2″ longer than usual. Normaly, tht would be kinda cool, but now my shoes don’t fit and it has becom difficult to type. I’m sure I;ll get used to it. DO you thin this cuodl be a nightshade attack?

i am gluten, dairy and nightshade free. Makes it hard eating out and shopping. Most gluten free flours have potato starch. I have serious auto-immune issues. I eliminate a food for three weeks, then re-introduce it prior to eliminating it. I try this three times. If I find significant improvement without the food and issues on reintroduction I eliminate a food. I treat my body as a science lab. It has led to greatly improved health , however I don’t advocate eating what I eat for people with issues, rather using your own body as a science lab and work out what works for you.

Hey there!! I was just diagnosed in October 2014 with Hashimoto’s, and decided 2 weeks ago to go AIP after receiving a list of food allergies that I have. I was curious about the wolf berry though. I have a bottle of Ningxia Red that I bought a couple of months ago and it’s made from the wolf berry. I’ve read article after article about how great it is for an anti-imflammatory, after seeing it listed as a do not on the AIP I’m terrified to drink what I purchased. Is there a possibility that I could drink it with no effects to what I’ve accomplished so far in my 2 weeks of AIP??

My daughter took her three-year-old daughter off all nightshades because she was complaining of joint pains and she is now pain-free and seems physically stronger. We also noticed that her eyes are now focusing better (she normally has strabismus). Is this possible or a coincidence?

I am sorry in advance, but really? I have a restaurant and allergies have become all the rage. What about just eating a balanced diet? Think about something other than yourself. Wake up and decide to feel good. I know that some people have serious allergies, but things like this seem disrespectful to those people. While in France last year (for three months), I was cooking for a book, and I kept asking people if they had any allergies and they looked at me like I was crazy. Because most eat everything. No one else in the world does this. Get over yourselves. Just live life.

Deborah, thank you for your comment. It is through comments such as yours conversations are sparked and experiences are shared (albeit with quite a peppering of self righteous indignation). Hopefully someone will be helped as a result of the shared experience brought out below as a result of your complaint.

I agree with you to some extent, that allergies (or more appropriately immune and autoimmune issues) seem to disproportionately affect citizens in the US as compared to other developed, let alone undeveloped nations and cultures. Based on articles, exposes, documentaries, related experiences and my own experience I don’t doubt that these chemical sensitivities are a result (in part) of the exposure to tens of 1,000’s of unregulated chemicals used in our country for manufacturing and industrial process, with little to no safety evaluation or research performed whatsoever.

Our bodies are constantly in a state of distress, from the time we are in the womb, and believe that all of these reactions people’s bodies are having are a result of this. These unnatural chemicals (both good and bad…harmful or benign) are so prevalent and embedded in our lives and environment that I fear the situation in this country will continue to get worse for some time.

Happy day and life to you!

Amen to that. I suffer inflammation a lot. I restricted my diet of many things. Last night I went out and was very careful but have yet to eliminate the night shades. I feel achy today and I think it could be from the eggplant. I react to peppers horribly too. Time to give up these up too?

I couldn’t agree more! That person clearly has no idea what it’s like to live with food allergies that severely affects ones health. What an uneducated comment. Ugh.

You have no idea. After having children with severe food allergies, and finding out what difference eating carefully makes in their health and well being, I have to wonder if every sickly or hyper kid is showing us his food allergy.

Really? I have had chronic hives every single day for the past 5 years. It is not because I decided to wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Certain foods trigger these hives. Dairy, Pork, Seafood, alcohol and recently discovered that nightshades too are a major trigger. Since my recent nightshade discovery and avoidance of these foods I can finally sleep at night and don’t have red burning welts all over my body every day. But of course, maybe it’s just an attitude change.

When you get to the cause of leaky gut (certain glutens) and understand that other foods the leak though become food sensitivities, you can appreciate how any food can become problematic. The cure is to cut out all food sensitive foods, and heal your leaky gut. Then after 9 months or so, you can begin to reintroduce these foods (nightshades, for example) into your diet one at a time. Dollars to donuts, you’ll discover the problem wasn’t the nightshades but the leaky gut.

If there is third party peer-reviewed science proving nightshades cause leaky gut — not simply permeate it after the fact — please share here with link.

Good health to all.

Amen David and John. Deborah, I appreciate your comment, but be aware the food regulations in Eutope are much stricter than they are here. For example no GMO is allowed. Interestingly, many who have gluten sensitivity here are able to eat wheat in Europe, myself included. My younger daughter has ADHD and several neurological deficits that are exacerbated by gluten and dairy. When I eat nightshade a my tongue blows up like a balloon. I’m not in a bad mood and overly sensitive. For many people this is real. It’s rude and the increase in autoimmune disorders in this country should be a wake up call. We need to change some things about our “food” here. So many things the FDA allows in our food aren’t even food. Most people don’t realize that a lot of what on the shelves in our grocery store could be making us sick. They assume it’s safe because it’s there. Our only defense is diligent label reading and being an educated consumer about what you are actually eating. Be well.

If you do not eat tomatoes where is a good place to get the lyapen or liapen (do not know how to spell it) that a man’s prostate needs?

It must be nice not to suffer from, or know anyone who suffers from autoimmune diseases that completely rob you of your life. Food intolerances, not allergies are so much more formidable than people give them credit for. My husband has a fused thumb from the arthritis that developed because of undiagnosed coeliac disease. If only the damage had stopped there – we’re still trying to figure out how to heal his gut and cutting out nightshades has really seemed to make an impact.

As I say, must be nice to be blissfully ignorant.

You, Deborah, are obviously someone who has lived such a charmed life as to not have had or known anyone closely enough that has had any type of autoimmune disease. As someone who has always eaten well, I.e. organic and for the most part clean, and been in great shape, and then was crippled with the disease Lupus, I can attest to the fact that one doesn’t have to just have an “allergy” to be extremely negatively affected by nightshades. When you go from being an active Mom, wife, doctor, and volunteer to being someone who cannot move because of pain and inflammation due to an autoimmune disease, you come to know how deleterious nightshades can be for your health if you have one of these horrible diseases, that, by the way, have no cure. You might want to do your research before making such ignorant and sophomoric statements.

I have watched my FOUR YEAR OLD child eat nightshade vegetables and break out into hives all over her body, severe enough to require a visit to the emergency room because she was scratching herself RAW. In fact, I feed her a VERY balanced diet, and thought that many of these nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant) were good for her, but come to find out they are slowly killing her! Should my FOUR YEAR OLD “wake up and decide to feel good”? Should she “get over herself” and “just live life” when eating these foods makes her completely miserable, uncomfortable and in medical danger?

You are ignorant and stupid, and as the owner of a restaurant you should be ashamed of your lack of concern for your patrons allergies! I sincerely hope no one with an allergy enters your restaurant and encounters your cavalier attitude and it ends up in severe allergic reaction and a LAWSUIT for you.

You cannot sue a restaurant owner regarding the food they serve in their establishment. It is the CUSTOMERS responsibility to chose another restaurant that better suits their dietary restrictions. Now who’s the ignorant person??

What an ignorant comment, she mentions what her reaction to it is!
I am in a similar boat, with gluten, no I do not have celiac, so people like you think I am crazy and faking it. NO. I didn’t want to go to the trouble of giving up gluten, because I wasn’t having a horrible reaction or breaking out in hives, But I had blood work PROVE I HAVE A WHEAT ALLERGY. So I went gluten free, and wow, my stomach is finally happy, I forgot what a normal tummy was actually like before this.
So just because I don’t have celiac or break out in hives and nearly die from gluten, doesn’t mean I can eat it, I still have a proven issue with it.
I guarantee you that an extensive food allergy panel would show that her body freaks out when exposed to nightshades and everything else she is avoiding for health.

Totally agree with you Brandon.

Every time I’ve deleted grains, dairy, (and processed food) I have an amazing surge in energy, reduced or no IBS symptoms, no hives, no pimples (I am 60+).
A colonoscopy/gastroscopy and blood work reveal I don’t have celiac disease but I certainly react to grains, particularly wheat.

I pass out and have severe bloating and stomach pain after ingesting white bread (especially supermarket sliced white), I fall asleep anywhere from 2-4 hours. I’ve even came close to falling asleep standing up.

I can tolerate a little of some problem foods, but when I go Paleo 100% the difference is quite astounding.

Seems to me that everyone who thinks we can just ‘get over’ it by changing our mindset/attitude has never suffered from CFS, FM, IBS or MCS……and autoimmune diseases.

I can sometimes excuse lack of experience, but I can’t excuse rude, insensitive and ignorant (like Debra Scarborough).

I’ve always found peppermint oil to be very beneficial in relieving the symptoms of Ibs ad gastric discomfort, ever since my mum told me to take 2 capsules or tablets 10 minutes before a meal, granted its no cure but when you feel really ill, boy doe it feel like one, its a shame that so many people suffer from these things, my problem with nightshades started when someone deliberately poisoned me with deadly nightshade and certainly was not an imagined illness, rather i barely survived by the grace of God and ever since have been super sensitive to nightshades, i have only today found a complete list of foods to avoid, and warmly thank the author for his diligence and for helping me to get my life back, thank you very much. Also to all of you, please don’t waste your time argueing with pork, good day to you all and God bless.

Bread! I can’t eat it…. especially cheap white bread! Potato’s do the same thing! Bloating… sweats… then…Goodnight!!

Yes gluten intolerance can be an issue, but there is still a very small portion of the population that is intolerant or allergic to gluten. It might be a good idea to watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eO3cIrNEuIc&feature=youtu.be
This whole notion that gluten is the devil was a concocted idea from someone who had no data whatsoever to back up their claims. Sure do what feels good for your body, but there is no need to completely cut out gluten. This might also help you: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-diagnose-gluten-intolerance/

Paige, how can you say that ‘there is still a very small portion of the population intolerant or allergic to gluten’? How can most people tell without being tested? EVERY TIME you eat gluten, it damages the lining of your gut. But it doesn’t have to give you any symptoms for a very long time. So you simply don’t know until it’s too late because what’s going on inside you, is a completely different story. Perhaps you could try watching some other videos for a change?

Agreed! Everyone is intolerant because it damages all of our gut linings. Whether you display the classic symptoms is irrelevant, and it may be that those who don’t get the symptoms get sideswiped later in life with auto-immune disorders they have no understanding about. And typically the physician is at a loss because he or she has no understanding or training in orthomolecular science.

Lol at this lady and her “humble brag” about being in France for 3 months writing a book. Hahhaa. That kills me “oh but they don’t do xyz in Europe!” Who said Europe has it right?

When I eat a nightshades I start feeling like I have a bad sunburn, begin sweating as in I sweat thru all of my clothes, then the uncontrollable diarrhea starts and the vomiting. At the 20-25 minute mark I pass out. I stay out for about 15 hours. I have diarrhea and vomit white foam for the next 4-7 days. BTW – I LOVE absolutely LOVE….tomatoes, bel peppers and potatoes. A good bowl of chili, chili cheese dogs, frito pies, mashed potatoes! You have no idea!

Okay, do you have allergies? Apparently not. So, you do not understand and you chose to post something so mind bogglingly ignorant.

I am 22 years old and here are my allergies:

All Nightshades

I suffered from horrible dermatitis, bloated stomach, gas, gut issues galore, felt horribly depressed, foggy brain, couldn’t concentrate, gained weight, stomach aches. You get my drift, I was miserable until I went on an elimination diet. I am in badass shape, I am happy and I eat like you would not believe. I create my own treats, cook all my own meals and actively avoid eating out. I am living my life and so are all the others on this website, including its creator.

I would love to hear more about the meals you cook! My husband fits your symptoms to a T and we have been on a long 3-year journey of eliminating foods. We are starting to notice nightshades negative effect on him. Please email me with any tips you may have! Thanks you!

wow, must be nice to feel so good and not have any compassion for people with illness. What a snot you are. Yeah, people make it all up so they can be consumed in themselves. Maybe a few do, but most do not.

Reasons to avoid certain foods are not always an allergy, many are just reactions. I just returned from a doctor’s appointment. I have very bad migraines and instead of the horrible medications usually prescribed for migraines my doctor has suggested I try taking a few new supplements and get rid of all night shades and gluten from my diet for at least 2 weeks. I would much rather try to go natural than fill up on chemicals. Just trying to live life the best way possible. Think how bad it sucks for those that can’t just go out and eat what ever they want. Put a few really cool gluten free and or nightshade free meals on the menu, bet they pay off.

Deborah, that was quite an ignorant comment.
i did not have any food allergies until i had my 1st child. i now suffer horrendously with Wheat and Nightshade products.

If i was to just live and enjoy my food i’d be sat on the toilet for days.

Wow, its apparent from the side of someone who doesn’t have to deal with food allergies that life is good. I’m curious why you would take such personal offense to this written information for people with “unresolved inflammation.” You have no idea what it’s like to have a strong degree of inflammation in your body, I’m guessing. I went from being driven and determined with absolute action taken in any circumstance. Because of inflammation in body and brain reduced me to zombie on the couch. Eating what everyone else was eating, yet I was having migraines for first time ever. Brain fog, inability to execute a purpose or plan for life. I’m thinking these night shades are a part of the problem. Yesterday eating some potatoes and tomatoes and this morning being as if I suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome when yesterday I was just fine. There is a legitimate need for someone with this article. Your need for a personal attack/response to this doesn’t make sense. Something doesn’t add up, I’m not sure why. Such an attack may stem from something in this article reminds you of something or someone else. Good luck with that, this article isn’t an attack against you trust me. I hope you never have to deal with food sensitivities or allergies or anyone in your family for that matter. People are not robots. You can’t just make them feel good.

you have got to be kidding me. please list the name of this restaurant. I would never want to eat there. good food or not. your ignorance is enough for me to know I would never want to eat there. WOW

Ok, so you have a restaurant. Did you do research before you opened it? Certainly you did. On how much money you could make, let others decide if they wanted to eat what you had or not. Such is life. We choose to do what we choose to do. You chose money. Or did you choose that because you like to cook? Really, then you would have done your homework on what people like and don’t like. Hmmm, you just made a comment that brought you all kinds of reproach huh? Think before you talk.

http://www.blackcatbistro.com/food/culinary-team.php >>>>This seems to be her restaurant, shall you chose to avoid it for your own safety. Or if you wanted to screenshot this comment feed & say, post it to social media.

Dear Deborah,

Thanks for the heads up that allergies are trendy right now. I’ll let my allergic toddler, allergic 5 year old, allergic 15 year old, allergic husband and our highly specialized pediatric immunologist know that they actually have nothing to worry about, as long as they eat a balanced, varied diet. Now, just a quick question for your infinite wisdom of autoimmune diseases and disorders- what do you recommend for anaphylaxis treatment? And how about full-body hives? Or a chronic stomach ache for a week or more following exposure to an allergen? Shall I simply feed my child some peanuts, cashews, onions, bananas, strawberries, milk, soy protein, eggs, sesame, garlic, or any of the other 8 foods he is allergic to to appease your opinion?

Have you ever actually seen a person in a full anaphylactic reaction? Have you ever experienced oral allergy syndrome yourself, or had a headache and stuffy nose for weeks because you accidentally had a milk derivative? No? Then how about you can it & keep your reckless, ill-informed, ridiculous opinions about matters in which you clearly have NO experience or education of locked up in that snarky little mind of yours.

The Entire World

You know, some people don’t care what they put in their mouths because they already know. They already know we are destined to die. Well if I can make a difference in how I feel before that time arrives, if the end of this system doesn’t arrive before my death, I choose to eat to make myself feel good. So. I need to pay attention to what makes me thrive or what makes me hide in my house to deal with the results of bad eating.
We all have choices.
Make wise ones.

Ps. only the body dies, for those who are loving and kind and suffer and do good works the soul is a fortress of strength ever loving and ever enduring, so pay no attention to the souless flesh that speaks hatred, for they are blind and dumb they see naught and all they say is just noise, really this person is the most unfortunate person on here, for her illness in in her soul and ours is only in our bodies, our bodies will pass away but the soul is eternal, peace and love to you all

WOW! I guess you really told her where to go. My strawberry allergy is so severe I have to avoid the areas of the supermarket where they are displayed if I don’t want to risk anaphylaxis.
And what about the drug companies that use milk sugar as a filler. I am lactose intolerant, and there is no way to tell if a drug contains lactose until it’s too late. What that restaurant owner may not be aware of is that due to regular exposure to certain things, years from now she may suddenly develope allergies, and they tend to be more severe when we develope them when we are older.

Now, I have no known food allergies, my allergies are linked to pollen and contact with certain plants, mainly weeds. However I am intolerant to dairy, only cows milk, I have no reaction to goats milk(universal milk, those of you with an intolerance I suggest trying goats milk you may be surprised like myself(: ). I’m also severally allergic to sulfa and penicillin, which I found out while handling Tulip bulbs, one of the main hosts for Penicillium Molds. Over the last 5-6 years I have been cleansing my body of medication or pharmaceutical control. I notice now when I have no choice but to take an antibiotic they severely effect me.. light sensitivity, nausea, 5 mins in the sun will cause a sun burn, can not tolerate any form of dairy, cannot have spicy foods or tomatoes, very sugar sensitive, even potatoes make me feel as if I’m holding on to an extra 20 lbs of water weight and bloating when I am on any medication. When my body has cleared the rest of the medicine out I can resume life as normal.. This is something that has bothered me since I noticed it happening two years ago. I am now in 100% control of my weight, I’m active, alert and energetic, I do my best to eat healthy and have plans to grow and eat my own food when I finally move into a house. My family is very high risk for autoimmune diseases psoriasis, lupus and diabetes is in our family too. I will only search out a doctor for antibiotics after I’ve tried everything I can to heal myself, I take herbs and supplements now to help counteract all of my side effects and the ones that are given naturally by the medication.
I personally think that between big Pharma and big Ag controlling so much of our nation and constantly tinkering around with the genetics of our food and filling our bodies with their poison in a pill bottle is actually what is causing so many fowl issues for our people. Before the 2000’s how many people did you know that were allergic to everything they are now? Before the 80’s when the science for genetically modifying seeds and crops wasn’t even a common thing.. what have we done to ourselves? I think the comment about sucking it up and living your life is awful. BUT, I do need to say we need to stop toying with the genetics of our foods, they need to held in account for not following pesticide and herbacide guidelines, stop poisoning our people. These problems, these terrifying life altering problems wouldn’t be in such high numbers if they weren’t experimenting on us. Other countries don’t have these problems because other counties don’t own and control their citizens like the United states does. If you think you are free think again, open your eyes. We are the only ones who can change what is happening to us. In terms of life, the proof is in the pudding my friends.

Reading things like this makes me absolutely SICK. As a restaurant owner of all people..I wish I knew where you worked so I could NEVER GO THERE, ever! Being diagnosed with Hashimotos, Lyme disease, and every organ problem you can imagine, all at 18 years old is extremely difficult. It turned my life upside-down. However, people like me with autoimmune diseases find healing through avoiding foods we are sensitive to. I was practically bedridden my entire life because doctors told me I was “fine,” as I’m sure most of you autoimmune sufferers are familiar with. But giving up harmful foods completely changed me life. I’m sure if you gave up gluten, grains, and dairy..you wouldn’t be so angry yourself Deborah 😉

dear deborah, good for you if people were less like you I may have had some help 12 months ago! I’ve been sick, lost 8kg’s and have a weird anxiety about food poisoning. I don’t eat a lot of wheat because I get lethargic after it so I eat rye and a lot of potato. I have had tests and scans for lymphoma, endometriosis, lung shadows etc. Only the homeopath kept me going but even he said I was a tough case, then a couple of weeks ago I noticed my stomach spasm and I got really irritable after eating a packet of potato chips. All the symptoms match it a shame not more people are informed, so far i have cut out potato and tomato and starting to feel better. The french may eat more traditional food since they live in their native land. Allergies are large in places like Australia because we are so multicultural we may be eating a lot of foods that are not native to our genetic origins, as some of us may actually be unaware of where our ancestors came from. As if we don’t want to eat whatever we can and live life, you are very ignorant.

A very ignorant and selfish comment. And how, in today’s world, do you define such a cliche as a ‘balanced diet’?

Debra… (& any other doubters…)

What you may not be aware of is the dramatic rise in ALL forms of allergies, & reactions to foods since the introduction of GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS (GMOs)… ESPECIALLY in CHILDREN!

90-95% of all Corn, Soy, Canola, Cotton, & Sugar Beets are GM’d… as well as a lesser degree of Alfalfa, Hawaiian Papaya, Zuchini, & Yellow Crookneck Squash.

In addition to the “standard” GM to resist Monsanto’s HIGHLY TOXIC “Roundup Herbicide” (or Dow, Sygenta, Pioneer, etc’s versions of pesticides) their CORN packs a double-whammy… Bt Toxin… a pesticide built into every cell of the corn plant that is designed to cause the stomachs of the “Corn Root Worm” & any other bug that eats it to EXPLODE…

This Bt Toxin has been linked to “Leaky Gut Syndrome”… whereby food particles leak out of our intestines via microscopic perforations & are seen as “invaders”… triggering an IMMUNE REACTION & eventual Sensitivity – or full blown Allergy.

And… virtually ALL MEAT & DAIRY is GM since most all animals are fed GM crops (Corn, Soy, Alfalfa, etc..) instead of being “grass fed”.

GE/GM foods have been linked to DRAMATIC RISES in ADD/ADHD, Austism, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Cancer, Diabetes, Obesity, & a host of Autoimmune diseases… among others.

After 38 yrs as a FULL VEGAN with a VERY HEALTHY DIET (so I thought) & 50 yrs of eating whole wheat bread & grains, I suddenly started having a lot of stomach problems around 2006-2007, that I initially attributed to beans/lentils, etc… but even dropping them from my diet didn’t help… till I learned about GMOs & Gluten Sensitivity issues in 2010… via the videos “Farm Inc”, “The World According to Monsanto”, & especially GMO expert Jeffrey Smith’s “Genetic Roullette” (find them on YouTube) as well as many other videos & hundreds of articles & health webinars I’ve downloaded & watched since).

Since dropping ALL GMO FOODS, as well as ALL Gluten Grains (breads, crackers, rice, chips), packed/canned foods, sugars, etc… & going fully RAW VEGAN 4+ yrs ago… problems are gone!

What you may not know is that Europe & most of the rest of the world never fully adopted GMO crops, & very quickly REQUIRED that ALL GMO foods be labeled… whereby their people were SMART ENOUGH to REFUSE to BUY/EAT them & they fairly quickly lost their foodthold.

Over the last yrs ~69 countries have either severe restrictions on them or BANNED them altogether… so that may be why you never heard of “Food Allergies” during your stay in France.

Unfortunately, there are currently over 200 GE food crops, as well as animals… GE salmon is already being produced, but not yet “Legal” for sale… but the FDA is ready to approve it!

We have the Best Congress, FDA, USDA, EPA. etc… Money Can Buy…. so Monsanto & friends have done a VERY GOOD job of HIDING the fact that our main food crops are Genetically Engineered… & NOT LABELED… DESPITE OUR YEARS of PROTESTS!

It doesn’t help that Monsanto’s former Legal Council & later VP is the FDA’s “Food Safety Czar”… along with over a dozen other Monsanto employees in various KEY Government Food/Agriculture positions (Guess how they feel about GMOs? Can you say “AUTOMATIC STAMP of APPROVAL” with ABSOLUTELY NO FDA/USDA TESTING WHATSOEVER?!!)


Now, just realizing that Nightshades maybe part of what’s aggravating my multiple back injuries (from bike accidents & falls over the years) I’m going to see if dropping these helps also.

Thank you very much for educating me further on this subject. I wont go into my own personal issues at this time but I removed wheat and corn and milk from my diet since I was a teen. The only grain I eat is quinoa and little rice. I have been removing the nightshades recenttly since my body aches when I eat them. Do you mind if I post this on FB? It may help many people to understand what the heck is going on and why we are sick.
Also, I hope the person who wrote the original comment and sparked this discussion can understand that food quality is better in Eurpoe. Sadly our food is making us sick and killing us.

I agree. In the good old USA, it all about special interests, agendas, politicians, and most importantly, fueled to make more money.

I have been bashed several times by people in a lot worse shape than me for trying to manage what ails me by diet first. Trust me, no one wants to blend in and “get over it” more than me. Doing what we do can be isolating at times. I certainly don’t do it to be part of the “in crowd”. I have to listen to my body and watch what is put into it, it’s the difference between being able to be a contributing member of society or not. I struggle enough with feeling like I am a bother when I go out to a restaurant. Thank you for forever ruining that experience for me and making me feel like I have to choose my health or your feelings. Please respect us all by posting where you work and your cookbook.

Nah, see you have to be neurotic about ever last bite these days. Forget about a balanced diet and taking it easy: SCRUTINIZE LITERALLY EVERYTHING IN YOUR ENVIRONMENT AND NEVER UNCLENCH YOUR BUTT.

But seriously, I totally feel you bro. These people are going to overanalyze themselves to a heart attack.

I would just like to point out that no matter how much proof, research, or experience another person claims, it doesn’t mean it will change her (Deborah) attitude. People seem to be so offended so easily about someone else’s opinion. I am fully aware we are all entitled to our own opinion and ideas, but her comment has some sense. If you’ve never met anyone with these kind of allergies, then it’s going to be difficult to imagine it happens in real life. My comment goes against what I am trying to say, but hopefully the next person to comment can focus on providing constructive feedback to the author of the article. Or perhaps provide an example of how this diet helped them WITHOUT pointing fingers and shaming another.

It has been my attempt to hopefully bring to attention the criticism people face online even though they share an opinion, not facts, just an opinion. We can all get along right? That way we can all be friends and share delicious healthy recipes haha

I’ll be politically correct here. Put a sock in your pie hole. What’s good for one could be hazardous to another. Period. In Trump’s vocabulary, “people are very stupid.” If the shoe fits. You all know what follows.

A friend of mine once said, opinions are like anuses, everyone’s got one and they all stink, i’m rather inclined to agree even at the expense of my own (opinion that is), lets face it, truth be told when your life is awful, the only thing you are interested in is the truth, not all of which is known by or at least admitted by the scientific community, the difference is in places like this with the exception of a few egocentric idiots (Deborah) the only thing people have to gain here is the truth, pharmacists etc all make a lot of money out of their research, true or not. Think about it.

WOW!! Deborah I take it you don’t have an autoimmune disease? I hope you are never unfortunate enough to be inflicted with one! Your comment is ignorant and offensive, apology in advance or not.

Glad you are healthy, and perhaps that’s why you can’t understand the constant struggles of those who aren’t and are forced to try and manage their health with their diet, rather than taking copious amounts of pills that our Drs prescribe.

Seriously if I could just ‘wake up and decide to feel good’ I would!! I am 35 and I watch my friends live lives full of vitality and fun. Two years ago I was the fittest and healthiest and happiest I had been in years, then my body decided to throw some curve balls and I am back where I started. Everyday is a constant struggle.

Be grateful that you are healthy and can obviously just eat a ‘balanced diet’ whatever that is. It would be nice if you could try and have some compassion and understanding for those that aren’t as lucky as you. I hope you never have to learn the hard way what it is like to be one of us who can’t just eat what we like.

Oh shit, why didn’t we think of that? Just decide to feel good!

In the USA, sociopaths are taking over food and poisoning us with GMOs. We are being sprayed with chemicals containing heavy metals to weaken us and weaken our offspring more. This is not some conspiracy theory – it’s reality.

Thanks for sitting back and judging people from the outside. Don’t worry – if you live here in the USA you will be one of us soon enough. Sickly. You’ll be lucky if it’s treatable by changing your diet.

I really think that maybe possibly there’s more to it than just allergies and sensitivities. I think it has more to do with the chemicals we apray and inject into everything!!! No one else does this anywhere else in the world and this is why they don’t have the health problems at an alarming rate…cancers, arthritis, migraines, fibromyalgia, allergies, and kids with these serious autoimmune diseases and severe allergies, asthma at alarming rates in kids.., just all of it…really it’s not too hard to figure out it’s not the food, rather the things we do to the foods that cause the problems. I can attest that the veggies and fruits I grow in my backyard not only taste better than store bought, they look better, and they do NOT cause the same ailments that all those chemical ridden buggers at the super market. Bell peppers and cucumbers don’t even taste the same AT ALL. and then, on top of it, we cook them in a genetically modified oil, chemically synthesized spray or spread or an animal fat…changing the complete molecular make up of the food entirely…I know eating a plain baked potato certainly doesn’t wreak the same havoc on my stomach as fried potatoes do!!! It doesn’t take a phd to figure out why other cultures do not suffer in the many ways that we all do….and it’s NOT just in our heads!!!!

When I see “balanced diet” or “whole foods” with no further detail and when positioned as a counterargument or alternative to paleo concepts, I wonder where people found those words and what they think it means. I wonder if they even took the time to think of meaning. However, I have no doubt they don’t really understand what they are even arguing against.

I think it’s because their food in France might be from fresh, organic sources, without chemicals. When I was staying with friends in Puerto Rico, vegetables & herbs were taken fresh from their gardens minutes before cooking. Chickens were slaughtered as needed from the “chicken man” that were free range. They purchased rice & dried beans from the store altho some ate fresh beans. I suspect that in France it’s the same or they buy fresh foods everyday at the market.

I’ve always eaten fresh food – limited trash food and rarely eat out and have take always. But I’ve spent a year in agony – stomach pain I cannot describe that keeps me sitting up at night while I fall asleep in my hands. I am fit and healthy. I don’t smoke and don’t drink. CT scans have found nothing. Blood tests show nothing. But the pain is increasing. Bloating is evident as I double over – I’ve eliminated gluten to no effect. Previously I though allergies were generally a ‘fad’ – but this pain is very real. I’m eliminating night shade now. Worth trying – I just want a decent night’s sleep ?

You realize that over half of the food we consume in the US (which happens to be destroying our gut and causing these issues) is completely banned in most other developed countries, right? They don’t douse their wheat with round-up right before harvest because they don’t know what round-up is. They don’t allow companies to sell genetically modified food.

I have an autoimmune disease. I ache all over my body. Sometimes it hurts to just walk or pick up my two year old. My arms, legs and face sometimes go numb. I get strange sensations all over and I am sleepy ALL DAY LONG no matter how much sleep I get. For two days I have been on a strict autoimmune diet and the sleepiness has completely vanished. My numbness and pain is at least 50% better already and the brain fog associated with autoimmune disease is nearly completely gone. TWO DAYS. That’s all.

thats because in those other countries, they arent plagued with all of the gmos, herbicides and insecticides either……. it makes a huge difference.

I just want to thank you in advance. I have been living my life to the fullest. But my food problem the one you want me to get over myself is a medical problem. I have been suffering since I was a young children with the most horrendous headaches that you cant possible even imagine. I black out from the severity of my headaches and I have a high pain tolerance. I am 26 years old and the doctors told me to do research on nightshade foods since some of them cause inflammation. I was also attacked at my jobs recently by 2 huge guys that hit my head and neck that has increased these headaches. I went to the comment section in hopes to see if anything or anyone could have positive feedback and to see yours first. IM SORRY THAT I HAD TO SEE YOUR COMMENT FIRST!! Thank you for making me feel even better about myself. “To think about something other than myself,” Trust me I am a person that will do for someone else no matter how bad I feel that day and doesn’t demand anything in turn. I give when I have nothing to give. “to wake up and decide to feel good” Oh trust me Mrs. Deborah I have to tell myself that every single day. I don’t wake up and say ‘I think im going to have 5 headaches that day’ or ‘I think im going to be allergic to potatoes today”. most people with allergies have a medical.

Consider pulling your head out of your tuckus. If your restaurant is that wonderful then it will support itself regardless of people and their allergies. If eating a certain food or foods make people not feel good does that mean we should just go ahead and continue to be sick just for ignorant and selfish people like yourself?

Deborah, A person who understands their allergies is probably on the best track to eating the most balanced diet they can. I’m not sure what “think about something other than yourself” has to do with anything…other than maybe you need to hear that for yourself. Allergies are all the rage because allergies cause havoc in people’s lives and in some cases take their life! You have added nothing intelligent or helpful to this article. But you have added self centered ignorance and wasted my time reading your crap.

You obviously have no idea what it’s like to have your child sick all the time, suffering with asthma, ear infections & having to get tubes in his earns, being hyperactive & getting in trouble in school….on & on….all the while never knowing why b/c modern medicine says to just medicate, medicate, medicate….side effects, side effects….& never getting to the root of the problem.
You think I wanted this for my kid & my family!!!??? Yet, I’m thankful b/c it took a Naturopathic MD to properly rest my son for food sensitivities…..and finally my son is so much better & his behavior is better!
Your comment is just ignorant & compassionless…really.
I think the thing we need to ask is….why is this generation struggling with these allergies!? Why aren’t there these kinds of problems in Europe!?

God help us…

Really Buddy? I have Hidradenitis Suppurativa never heard of it most likely. It is a rare disease with no cure. No amount of antibiotics or anything seem to touch it and because it is rare there is little to no research being done. I have suffered with this horrible disease for 20 years! Guess what, cutting nightshades out of my diet has had an amazing impact on the frequency and severity of this disease. So I find your greedy little post just that, a greedy little post. Your all butt hurt because it affects your bottom line income. You clearly don’t give a flying fig newton about your customers! You as a restaurant owner are probably part of the problem as you will usually try to save a few pennies by using crap ingreedy-ents pun intended. HFCS, white sugar, white flour and all the other cheap junk to stretch a buck. I don’t eat out at all anymore because of this. So I submit to you that YOU get over it!

You are an idiot and if you own a restaurant you should better inform yourself….. I would never eat at a restaurant that had your attitude. Restaurant owners like you make me sick do you realise how ill people can become due to food allergies, eating a balanced diet I bloody wish I could instead of having to read the packet on everything and asking every restaurant owner what is I their recipes because they are so ignorant they do not have an allergen listing.

Good luck with your restaurant after your comment I am sure if people find your restaurant it won’t do very well

That’s cool. So if I just try really hard and believe in myself, my throat won’t close up and I won’t break out into hives when I eat something I’m allergic to? My cousin, who literally had to spend an hour in the bathroom after eating gluten, must just not be trying hard enough, because her Celiac’s disease is all in her head.

Thanks, Dr. Scarborough. Who would have thought owning a restaurant could net you a medical degree?

Those people you speak of would not read this article, you obviously do not live with pain, and the doctors pain killers and “helpfull” drugs have more side effects than the problem itself. I can not go out and enjoy a restraunt dinner, as chefs like you think that it is not necessary. Surely there is a balance where we can offer a variety of meals to please all walks of life and be tasty too. I feel gratitude for any chef that embraces the allergy era, and the reason we have so many allergies is because man thought it would be a good idea to modify our food and now a lot of us are suffering because of it. Research your opinion before you insult the many of us that are suffering from these allergies.

Do you have any idea what living with psoriasis is like? Its awful the itchy dry flakey skin when you scratch it til it bleeds. People stare at you and have disgust written all over their face. Its so hard to go out in public without covering up head to toe even in the summer. Doctors give you steroid after steroid but it seems to get worse. So when someone finds out food is the trigger its a miracle its a blessing to finally find out what has been causing you to suffer and that there is a way you can live a normal life.

Deborah, it’s quite narrow-minded of you to say that allergies have become “all the rage”, as if those of us who actually DO have life threatening allergies are sitting around going through a rolodex of allergies before we go eat at a restaurant. You get over YOURSELF. And if you “Just live life” and that life happens to be allergy free, good for you. Consider yourself blessed. And if “most” people in France eat everything, good for them. They are also lucky. Maybe you should consider that many people do wake up and WANT to feel good, we can’t always magically will it to happen or “decide” to feel good when our bodies don’t cooperate as we would like.
I’m a Yoga Instructor, Pilates Instructor, Red Belt in Tae Kwon do, and a Studio owner. My son has severe shellfish and strawberry allergies. I have Lupus and a severe iodine allergy, none of which we asked for. I have a passion for living healthy and help people every day who live with pain, all of them WANT to feel good. I want to feel good, but waking up and deciding it simply doesn’t make it a physical reality. Despite our passion for living, sometimes people need a little extra care with their diets to manage things. There’s nothing wrong with that, and one day should you need to be on a restricted diet, I hope nobody says to you the dreaded words “Wake up and decide to feel good” or worse yet: “get over yourself”. Nobody wants to hear that.
Your lack of compassion is so sad.

Why go looking for a fight on a blog that has information you are not interested in? It’s not like this is a general news site and you accidentally ran across this. You clearly don’t believe in food allergies or dietary changes to relieve some autoimmune disease symptoms. That’s your right. And it is your right to say so, even in spite of the fact that there’s plenty of peer reviewed studies in professional journals (and have you seen the qualifications of The Paleo Mom to be discussing scientific concepts?), and that you’d be better able to charge premium prices in your chosen business (and have the most loyal customer base ever) if you helped people with these issues as opposed to mocking them. But it’s not your self-destructive tendencies I’m most interested in, actually. It’s why you need to search out opportunities to show the ignorance and hate that seems like a thinly-veiled and rather ineffective defense. Why here? Why this blog? What brought you here? What happened in your “film production career” that soured you so much that you needed to bring the negativity and resistance and aching for a fight to this career? It’s probably holding you back quite a lot in life, in your career, and in relationships. Think about your need to go out of your way to look for a fight they next time you have a problem with someone.

Thank you!!!! I have been dealing with a severe nightshade allergy for years and it’s so difficult to find accurate information. I had no idea ashwaganda was a nightshade! I had also read that okra is a nightshade. There is so little information and even less understanding of this allergy. I appreciate all the help I can get!

To Deborah Scarborough,
I seriously wish I could “get over” myself and be eating all the wonderful foods I am sure you are cooking in your restaurant! Unfortunately my body will not allow it and my autoimmune heart disease keeps getting worse if I ignore the food allergies that the doctors have tested me for and don’t eliminate those foods from my diet to heal my stomach because my immune system has gone crazy. It isn’t easy for someone like me to make the tough decision of having to live this way, I love food! All different types of foods! But I am just turning 41, I am not over weight, I was “healthy” or so I thought, and happy before this disease came out of nowhere a year ago! For a year now I have been battling this autoimmune issue, which 90% of Americans are battling inflammation or an autoimmune disease…..why not the French you ask well it’s our American way of eating, mainly a grain diet and processed foods! 80% of your body’s immune system begins in your gut! 80%! So eat an unhealthy GMO grain based and processed food diet for many, many years (which your government tells you is safe and healthy!), add in the environmental factors of what people put on their skin every day and you have a nation facing an epidemic of autoimmune disease!
It’s not pretty, and by telling people to “just get over themselves” is absurd and horrible when these people have no control over their health and the issues facing them other than having to make the gigantic decision of having to totally turn their lives upside down by changing their lifestyles, and diets to foods that can heal their gut!

Bravo. You are so right. I have an autoimmune disease as well (Hashimoto) that came out of nowhere. Our government doesn’t protect the American people because the company that provides the GMO foods contributes lots of funding to the Government. makes you wonder why a company that developed Agent Orange and Roundup is allowed to tamper with our food supply. At least in Europe the government does care about the food people are eating and a lot of other countries have banned GMO foods.

Tanya, Thank you well said! i also have a autoimmune disease. i cannot touch wheat products or Nightshades. It is total agony when you when you accident do have either products,
I am actually struggling to know what to cook myself on a daily basis.

Thank you Tanya, I wholeheartedly agree with you. The government has done this, and we’ve allowed it year after year. The upcoming presidential elections are going to either make out break us. Hillary Clinton has already sided with and backed Mansanto and Big Ag, she is going to push for an entirely GMO based crop, nationwide. This will destroy our country. We don’t know what these crops are doing to our soils, but they are already creating super weeds and super bugs that are evolving far faster than ever before to combat the over use of pesticides and herbacide. Trace amounts of these chemicals are found in our every day fruits and veggies purchased at places like Walmart and Kroger. These chemicals are ladden with toxic salts, heavy metals and cell-disruptive chemicals. These are the reasons our country is so unhealthy…… 🙁

You know, Americans are the only ones who seem to be preoccupied with evil foods. Everyone else on the planet seem to live to ripe old ages eating ALL of the things on this list. Oh, but I forgot, Americans are self-absorbed physio-phobes who are afraid to eat the diets that allowed their ancestors to live into their 90s. My bad.

There’s probably some legitimate reason for this, Sheri… maybe our food is different, water quality, air quality, household chemicals, clothing, building materials, prescription medications, etc… I’m sure there are even more aspects to consider than just what I listed here. So let’s try to see the bigger picture here. Maybe Americans are preoccupied with allergenic foods because we are quite ill already and must be careful about what we eat nowadays. People of other countries might be far luckier in the physical environments they were born into, and perhaps could stop judging what they have not personally experienced.

This x 100000000. Exactly. They don’t eat the s— they sell us here in America. Their water isn’t all filled with fluoride and toxins. The food they eat isn’t GMO what, MSG, soy isolate, and corn syrup packaged in a hundred different ways.

I grew up in the US, but now live in the UK and I can assure that this is not just an American thing – it’s a people thing.

I live in Australia and have an extremely limited diet due to IBS and migraines. I know many people here who are on limited diets due to various health reasons. It doesn’t only happen in America. It may not be so prevalent in Europe, but I’m sure there are many people there who have similar issues.

I’ve found that Italian cooks are wonderful at providing alternatives to wheat (gluten-containing) pasta, as they have recognized that worldwide, many people have celiac disease (1% translates to plenty of us with biopsy-proven intestinal dysfunction). Perhaps just as many people in France have the “American” issues of fibromyalgia, migraines, and nervous disorders exacerbated by “nightshades” (foods containing alkaloids)…but are a bit “classier” than the rest of us by not talking about it, so much. I know I have lots to learn from Europeans, but it’s hard being quiet about something that hurts so much and is so easily solved by what we in the USA call “clean eating.” Also, I think Americans have a tendency, once we’ve discovered something helpful…to shout it from the mountaintops, so that others (of our little percentile of the population) may enjoy healing, too!!! By the way, I LOVE “toutes les choses Francaises,” most especially their beautiful lifestyles and attitudes toward preparing fresh and nutritious food. Truly a superb culture are the French!

Thanks for the article it was very well written and informative. The comment about Americans was a little misguided I understand the comment but our food is just not the same here as in other countries. Most countries have outlawed the things sitting on our shelves in most grocery stores. Much love to everyone trying to take responsibility for their own health.

I couldn’t imagine not eating and loving almost everything on your list. I grow most of it and take supplements for some of them. There are so many health benefits to several things on that list. I am in great health and have never suffered from any inflammation or anything else from eating them. I would have liked you to have listed real medical studies stating your claims.

One might check out the action of the alkaloids (present in this list of “nightshades”) in the human body. Similarly to gluten ingredients, these only affect a small percentage of the population. So…so happy for you that you can eat “almost everything on the list.” You are blessed. Now, you ALL be nice to the tiny percentile of us who have these particular food allergies. Our tummies hurt, and other things, too, as we react to these foods. To do otherwise is not fair! And, by the way, I eat a VERY colorful, healthful and nutritious diet. (You should see all the recipes I am collecting, including mouth-watering baked treats). Just made with different flour, not wheat. Many of us do, as we’ve been squeezed to do so, and our creativity comes to the forefront!!!

I am 28 years old and was diagnosed as being nightshade sensitive almost 2 yrs ago. Ever since I can remember, it was common for me to vomit regularly. Also since falling down steps when I was 19 and having a car accident when I was 25, the pain in my body was intense. I went through the medical route, without success. So I went to a kinesiologist in Ohio. That visit changed my life. I cut out nightshades from my diet and immediately noticed a drastic reduction of pain and inflammation. I cut out alcohol and energy drinks (most of the time), so now it is rare for me to vomit. I have degenerative arthritis that is twisting my spine and whip lash from my accident, so I am always in pain. However, it is manageable pain. On Monday, I accidentally ate a wrap that had peppers in it. I didn’t realize it until it was too late. For five days it hurt to do the simplest things (i.e. lift a finger, arm, or my head). My body twitched all day Tuesday, my nerves were on fire, and I through up. Now my intention posting this was not to complain, but to show sympathy for those who have the same, or worse, problems than me. Nightshade sensitivity is like a mental illness or other disorders in that you don’t chose to get it. It just happens. For people to callously say to “snap out of it” is very infuriating and rude. Some people can eat anything they want, and hurrah for them. Those of us who can’t don’t need to be made to feel like freaks or lab specimens.

Thank you!! Yes I believe that for those of us HAVING DIFFICULTIES, these types of articles are important for education and consideration. Americans may talk a big talk about food, but trust when I say that other cultures make it a common understanding. The reason, in my opinion of course, why it sounds like we are always preaching about food is because the idea does not get across to our culture. Other cultures may say it here and there but the response is more familiar and balanced. Some people try to eat vegan or dairy-free, even wheat free to eliminate inflammation. For instance I have inflammation to an extreme in my body that causes liver cirrhosis and ulcers in my colon, both diagnosed auto-immune diseases. The linking factor being inflammation to the point of needing steroids, colonoscopies (I’m in my 20s and a healthy weight) and consideration from doctors about liver transplant. If understanding how nature and plants grow and finding the right balance for each individual body can lighten the load, I think it’s well worth it. Plus, what harm would it do to go off these foods for one week and discover if you function better? Keep an open mind, and thank you for the article!

4 myths about nightshade vegetables
Some popular diets suggest avoiding eggplants, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. They’re wrong!
By Rhea Seymour

Sometimes even vegetables get a bad rap. Take the nightshade vegetables or Solanaceae, a plant family that includes eggplant, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes.(The term “nightshade” may have been coined because some of these plants prefer to grow in shady areas, and some flower at night.) An online search of “nightshade vegetables” yields results linking them to a host of health ailments from arthritis to migraines. Naturo¬paths sometimes recommend that people with arthritis avoid nightshades. And Patricia J. Wales, a naturopathic doctor in Calgary, says naturopaths may suggest that people with osteoarthritis eliminate nightshades. These vegetables are also excluded from certain eating plans. Dr. Joshi’s Holistic Detox—endorsed by Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Moss—claims nightshades are related to poison ivy and potentially poisonous. “But poison ivy isn’t even in the same plant family,” explains Barry Micallef, a plant biochemistry expert at the University of Guelph.
Why the bad reputation? Some people may think nightshade vegetables are harmful because they’re confusing them with “deadly nightshade” or Atrope belladonna, an inedible weed that’s also part of the Solanaceae family, explains Micallef. Historically, the deadly nightshade has been associated with witchcraft. When ingested in large amounts, it may cause convulsions or even death. But that has nothing to do with these vegetables. Here, we bust four other myths:
1. Do nightshades contribute to osteo¬porosis?
Doubtful. Certain macrobiotic diets recommend that people with health challenges avoid nightshade vegetables and that even healthy people should eat them infrequently, says Judy MacKenney, a counsellor at the Kushi Institute, a macrobiotic edu¬cational institute in Becket, Mass. “Nightshades are high in oxalic acid,” she claims, “which inhibits the absorption of calcium, and can weaken bones and lead to osteoporosis.” But Stephanie Atkinson, a member of the scientific advisory committee for Osteoporosis Canada, says that while oxalates are known to bind calcium in the intestine, reducing calcium absorption, this occurs only when calcium intakes are very low and oxalate intakes very high. Nightshades, however, are not high in oxalic acid, she says. “The alkali contributed by vege¬tables and fruits is bene¬ficial for bones as it protects them from using bone to neutralize blood acid.”
2. Do they all contain a toxic alkaloid?
No. Many alternative medi¬cine websites allege that nightshade vegetables contain a toxic alkaloid compound called solanine, a defence mechanism in some Solanaceae plants that protects against natural threats such as insects. It’s true that solanine may develop in potatoes, which turn green when they are exposed to light during growth, says Micallef. (That’s why potatoes with green areas should be discarded.)
Contrary to the rumours, however, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes—even the green ones—do not produce solanine and are perfectly safe to eat, he says.
3. Do nightshade vegetables worsen arthritis pain?
Doubtful. Much of the online dis¬cussion concerns nightshades and arthritis, and the notion that eating these vegetables causes an increase in pain or inflammation. But no scientific evidence supports that theory. “I’m not aware of any studies in peer-reviewed journals that prove or disprove that they affect arthritis,” says arthritis expert Mark Erwin, an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Toronto. “There are a lot of references to it, but the evidence is mostly anecdotal.” There’s also no scientific reason to avoid nightshades even if you have arth¬ritis, says Pamela Piotrowski, a registered dietitian at the Arthritis Society of Ontario. “Many people have food intolerances. If you start to feel achy every time you eat tomatoes, then maybe, for you, tomatoes are a contributing factor.” But even if your symptoms disappear after eliminating tomatoes, it would be hard to pinpoint that as the cause since many factors can affect arthritis.
4. Do they cause migraines?
No. Linking nightshades to migraines is also without merit, according to Dr. Jonathan Gladstone, director of the Gladstone Headache Clinic and director of neurology at Cleveland Clinic Canada in Toronto. “I am certain that headache experts internationally would be in agreement that there is no evidence that tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes cause migraines,” he says.

The health benefits of nightshades “far outweigh any risks,” says Piotrowski. Tomatoes and peppers are amazing sources of antioxidants that lower the risk of cancer and heart disease; potatoes are high in vitamin C; and eggplant is a source of vitamin K. All are high in fibre. If you do want to elimin¬ate them, make sure you get this nutritional value from other foods.
This article was originally titled “Four myths about ‘nightshade’ vegetables,” in the September 2009 issue of Best Health.

I would like to comment that Ashwaganda actually does not contain solanine, the poisonous glycoalkaloid that protects the plant, according to this database and research on the chemical components in the plant. http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/
Botany is a little more complicated than just looking at the family of species. Ashwaganda, also called Withania somnifera is a beneficial herbal extract found in many supplements to help with stress and balancing the adrenal axis.
Please do research and consider taking that off your list if you feel the research supports my findings.

I agree. Ashwagandha is a wonderful herb that helps in many ways. It is in fact known to help people with arthritis (the opposite of what nightshade vegetables do). I was shocked to see it in this list. This is so misleading. You have the social responsibility to take it off off your list or quote some research that says it’s a nightshade.

We have become so aware of our own dietary needs that we can often loose sight of the value of food as a social connection.
No one has to eat something they don’t want to eat. But the smoothest way to decline, and to keep everyone’s dinner conversation off the subject of your gastrointestinal health, is a simple, “No thank you. ” Just, ” No thank you.” We have forgoton, “No thank you.”
I have allergies, and I am a restaurant owner. And yes the French have allergies as well. The difference? Perhaps if they can’t eat the eggplant they order the sqauash. Honestly, The server, other diners, and likely your companions, do not need a list of the symptoms that could stay between you and your clinician.
Of course, I have no issue with the ordinary, discreet, “I’m on a special diet, can I ask if that has paprika?”
It’s the overblown production, the whining, the huffing, and the full medical disclosure, that could simply be expressed thusly, ” And could you hold the tomatoes?”
Restaurants and gatherings are cultural spaces, where we can show off the the best of ourselves, and enjoy our lives with other humans. We have our own beautiful places to meet here, not just in France. Perhaps they can stay warm, gracious, and entertaining, if, heaven forbid, we order what we can enjoy, and let the hives and gas infomercial rest for a night. Imagine if this author had politely said, “No thank you” to beef jerky. We wouldn’t have had this lovely descriptive artical to enjoy.
I believe that was what was meant by “get over yourselves,” and indeed, I concur.

The “Get over yourselves” comment and its supporters should come along to my household for one meal, and can experience what the consequences of “Getting over yourself” would mean to someone whose body can detect the slightest touch of ‘spices’ (paprika), or Tomatoes, or even the humble potato (especially anything containing it’s starch – just find 10 items in your supermarket that are pre-prepared that DONT contain this starch – good luck, enjoy the hours reading immeasurably small ingredients list in everything from frying oil to fully fledged meals).
The meal I will cook for you all might go down well, we might even get on (doubtful, you seem inconsiderate asses tbh), but then you can sit and wait under 5 minutes, you can experience the consequence of these ‘fake illnesses’ (as you heavily imply). Bring a mop, a change of clothes and probably your shower kit. You will get to witness something truly amazing – you can witness first-hand the expulsion of the entire gut and bowels from a serious and violent reaction to such little things, like the humble potato or tomato or spices like paprika. You can then spend the next couple of hours nursing and caring for someone as you witness before your very eyes and in real-time, hives and blotches appear all over the body as after effects (the main event goes with a serious explosion that is akin to volcanic fire!). You and your superbly accommodating and friendly attitudes will certainly change forever by being exposed to this event (or covered in it).
My partner has had some sorts of reactions in a very mild and almost undetectable form for what must have been many years, but then, one single meal whilst on holiday triggered a change so formidable that it has left them consulting doctors and poison experts for years whilst trying to identify the causes. They eventually turned out to be useless so back to the drawing board, before an allergy test changed our history and significantly changed the future. Each time we came close to discovering what it was we were hacked down at the knees when an unrelated food item caused the same reaction. After all, why can freshly cooked potatoes offer almost no reaction (in the early days), but frozen ones so violent that there was no time to even get out of the seat before the expulsion was complete. Who would (without knowledge of plant genus) put Parika, Potato, or Gojo berries in the same family? Today, with my analytical skills managing to help identify this is a quantity based reaction, that spans 7-10 days and half life of foods needing to be taken into account my partner can occasionally enjoy the simple foods you so clearly enjoy and promote. Any article or publication highlighting the ‘Nightshade’ intolerance or allergy substances makes life normal again, with simple exclusions of specific poisonous food.
Lets not forget the tomato originally believed to be poisonous and is from South/Central America – as is potato and Paprika (all forms) it may be that some people whom are genetically from outside of this geographical area have some form of reaction to these foods. Then when you realise that the entire(I believe) Solanaceae family originates from South, Central and to some degree North America and are today grown and eaten world-wide you start to realise that this family of foods might simply not be genetically acceptable by some people from other regions. Maybe this is why the ‘Americans moan a lot’ about allergies – maybe it is because they are genetically foreign in the land this stuff grows and is clearly consumed in – maybe they are not moaners, but early detectors of foods that are unacceptable to their bodies due to no genetic pre-disposition.
I know from my own research into various allergy and intolerance works and studies that there has been some muttering amongst scientists that has led them to start looking at the introduction of antibiotics and the rise of various aliments (including Autism and all sorts). Time will tell, it may be that ‘westerners’ whom have been living with antibiotics for more than half a century are more prone to suffer some of these ‘fake illnesses and allergies’. Lets see what science has to say in the coming decades.
Maybe our chefs and cooks should stop bitching at people whom have allergies, maybe they should look at their ingredients and question their origins and maybe try to see that these species of foods from far away lands may have some genetic intolerance to the locals….Just a thought. Nahh you wont bother, you are too up your own a***s. Speaking of asses, when are you coming round for a bite to eat, I am sure my partner will indulge in one single tomato for dinner and enlighten you to intolerances (in both senses) – we are accommodating like that!

A reaction like that can be entertaining for some people. 🙂 I accidentally ate a nightshade about a year ago. We were in the car. After about 10 minutes, I said to my uncle, “Pull over NOW!!!” I then proceeded to vomit in someone’s driveway. My friend Mike was amused and still teases me about not being able to “throw up gracefully.”

Hey there, im a south african and here we are taught not to be fussy as children. Now in my adult life i have no other choice but to be ‘fussy’. At the age of 31 ive been suffering from severe hidradentitus superativa since i was 17. In all those years doctors and dermatologists have told me its my body’s way of saying its being poisoned. Not only is this a heriditary disease, it severely affects the quality of my life. So i went to see a naturopath who did a few allergy tests on me and guess what… Im allergic to nightshades and have an intollerance to gluten. Since my diagnosis ive cut out these foods as much as i can and not once have i had a flare up of my condition. So to those ignorant enough to dispel the idea of an allergy to nightshades and gluten may for all the love and painfree living in the world feel free to jumpoff a bridge. If one day i am blessed enough to have children ill definately teach them to avoid toxic food

I’m single, so I don’t have to worry about having kids, but the thought about having kids worries me. You see, my dad is also nightshade sensitive, but I’m worse. So my thought is, if I would ever like to have children, would it be unfair to shackle them with the pain and need to be ever vigilant not to eat something that will cause so many reactions?

Please don’t be afraid to have children. My daughter has three awesome little ones. I posted today, and you can read it if you scroll down. My five year old grandson can no longer have anything with red food dye. When his parents explained to him that he would have to do this, he was okay with it. My daughter took him to the health food store to let him pick out foods to replace others that he enjoyed. I think he thought it was great that he was able to pick out the special things for himself. We are all reading labels these days. My sister found out a few years ago that she can’t have ANYTHING with soy. She was having her hair styled when she told the stylist that she didn’t feel well. She passed out, there was a $3,000 ambulance bill to the hospital about a mile away and tests. When there is a family gathering, she often brings her own foods and we all check labels to enable her to share the goodies. If you just offer and teach your children the right foods to eat from day one, they will be fine with that. My grandchildren love to eat everything, other than red food dye. My daughter said that her son is a happier little boy and no longer has night terrors. Good luck in your future.

I am wondering if and where beetroots fit in the autoimmune protocol? I seem to have trouble with them and was wondering if they were a nightshade or if they have some other common reaction in people?
Thanks in advance,

I am discovering that I have sensitivities to certain things (sugar is a biggie, and I am lactose intolerant).
I do not eat enough nightshades to know if I have this issue….BUT, I would like to suggest to those who suffer from autoimmune conditions ( I once had ulcerative colitis) to look at the website digestaqure.com. I followed this regimen and ended up CURING my ulcerative colitis. Digestaqure is a natural cure for auto-immune conditions – see for yourself. I also use Zyflamend to prevent inflammation – I take 2 a day, and am now on a maintenance dose of Digestaqure. This was the treatment I chose for myself after my gastronenterologist said that I would have to take Apriso for the rest of my life, and that I would have to give blood periodically to be sure that the drug was not harming my kidneys. I feel great and eat sensibly. I am beginning to think that tomatoes (which I think is the only nightshade I eat) may be a red flag food for me, so I may be eliminating that. I hope some of the information I have shared can help someone. Thanks for the information shared here.

I first gave up all dairy (even “non-dairy” creamer) and can tuna due to them using caseine. Huge difference in health. No more migraines, lowerback pains, stick neck, joint pains and sharp groin pains. I started avoiding more processed foods processed foods like oils, mayo, wheat, spices, etc. And went further to remove potatoes (due to sugar spikes) and tomotoes (because I didn’t feel normal after eating it). I’m doing a lot better and lab tests prove it.

stop arguing about me and my friend potato..ect. we dont want yall to eat us anyways!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When you say autoimmune are you talking about hiv/aids? Or what? That’s what comes to mind. Agreed I think a lot of this is in people’s heads. No one eats or lives exclusively non-toxic so I don’t see how people can be so specific as to causes. Our environments are also toxic. I also think as biological creatures we are going to be subject to aches, pains, infections, reactions in the same way plants and animals live with infection, parasites, etc etc. their whole existence really. Get over it already! We’re humans. We’re not that special that we deserve to be biologically perfect after screwing up this world in the way we have.

Taya: Autoimmune diseases are all diseases that attack your own human body. Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Lupus, Arthritis just to name a tiny few. It has nothing to do with getting over it or a few aches and pains. These are diseases that usually will eventually end your life. Most people in pain just want the pain to stop. It’s like having a toothache or earache that won’t quit. A person will do anything to stop the pain even avoid great tasting food that we all love. Sometimes we make these sacrifices just to wake up another day without pain.

Does anyone know where I can find a list that also contains inedible nightshades? I’ve been Googling around, but I can only find lists of nightshades that people actually eat.

Food allergies aren’t suddenly “en vogue”, you’re ignorance is alarming. Maybe in Europe they don’t have such horrible chemicals, pesticides, additives, etc in their food! Instead of starting fights with those suffering maybe you could take your “annoyance” with us and channel it into some activism for better practices regarding food in our country!

Sorry about the “you’re”, I changed my anger-filled “you’re and idiot!” To something a bit more calm and forgot to change to “your”. Oops!

Two months ago I was diagnosed with MS. In my favorite magazine, Woman’s World, there was an article that mentioned the Paleo lifestyle. I read the article, checked the books out of the library. Since March 9, 2015, I cut dairy, grains, sugar and all processed foods out of my life. I have also been taking certain supplements. In this short time, I have gone from barely being able to walk to noticably walking better in that short time. Others have also commented on the difference they see. My knees are actually bending a little today. I notice every little improvement in my health. And no, it is not because I am on prescription drugs for MS. I have chosen to take care of myself naturally. The neurologist told me that if I’m not going to follow his treatment plan, then I don’t need to come back. I cancelled my scheduled appointment. I miss my tomatoes and green peppers, but I am going to do whatever I need to, to be able to walk like a normal person and be able to take my grandchildren for a walk in the stroller or to the park. I have had some people tell me to take the drugs. I read the possible side effects. Three of the four mention that the doctor would have to monitor my liver. Great, I have MS and then I could possible end up with liver damage. No thank you. I know someone with MS. He takes self injections. He is currently off his medication because his liver counts are off. I have friends and relatives who have been diagnosed with sensitivities to certain foods, i.e. red food dye, soy, nuts, dairy, gluten. My five year old grandson can no longer have red food dye. EVERYONE has come on board to help him. My daughter takes him to the natural food store to replace some of his favorite foods. He is fine and happy. No complaints at all. What a special little boy! He recently went to a birthday party. The party host made sure that whatever was served was food that he could eat so that he wasn’t left out of anything. That’s love and caring. He didn’t get candy for Easter. He got Legos. Couldn’t find a happier little boy. I still have a long way to go to put more variety in my diet, but I am only two months into my diagnosis and food lifestyle change. I have more energy too. I realize that I may never be able to walk 12 miles a day again, but I will be happy to be able to walk through the grocery store without leaning on the cart or dragging my feet just to be able to get the necessities. So yes, there are people with food sensitivities. I have six just in my family. We are all going to do what is best for all of us. So I appreciate the people who support people like me. My food lifestyle change is also helping me with my osteoarthritis. I have a long way to go in life. I am 57, my Mom is almost 97.

Question for you – does having a nightshade in a body lotion have an effect on your system? I just got some lovely lotion that has goji berry extract, of all things. It’s probably a minute quantity, but I didn’t know if it would matter topically, as compared to ingesting.

The reason other countries don’t have the problems we have is because their countries don’t mess with Nature. They don’t have frankenveggies, or bees dying by the millions because of this. Or cows, (all meat for that matter) filled with big pharmacy drugs. I have a friend of mine that lived in the UK for 2 years because her husband got a job there. Her whole family thrived while living there. When she moved back home they ate the same things, but her children started reacting horribly to “normal” foods. It’s not ALL the food it’s a much bigger picture than that. It’s definitely a major issue. I have friends that were raised on Dairy farms. (Raw dairy products) But now they can’t tolerate store bought dairy. Don’t blame the people. Blame your congressmen, & representatives….

Thank you! That was my first thought exactly. A lot of other countries don’t allow the massive saturation of pesticides that the US does. Over the years we have all built up such massive amounts of this in our bodies that our bodies are finally screaming out to let us know “SOMETHING IS WRONG”.

I have a reaction to nightshades, but have a question regarding topical products. Indian gooseberry, or amla, is used as indigo with henna/hair coloring. If I have a digestive reaction would it still be safe to use to color hair?


After reading this article I get to your comment. I am beyond upset. Do you have some magical powers we all don’t know about. Asking someone to just live carefree and ignore the foods that make them physically sick is beyond disgusting. That’s like telling someone that has cancer to ignore the medication/treatment and think yourself to a cancer free life. If you are so concerned about your bottom line within your business, adapt. Before 2012 I could eat,drink and be merry to my hearts content. But then I became pregnant with my 3rd child and I developed an autoimmune disease. I was in the hospital every other work for at least 3 days (depending on how quickly I could get through my IVG treatments) for 6 months. That was only the physical part. That didn’t include the hospital bills totaling over a million dollars, but that might be in my head too. Right? Here it is a little over 2 years later and I am still fighting to feel healthy. I didn’t complain because I believed it was in my head between me being diagnosed and the treatments and nearly dying at child birth it was a bit traumatic. I didn’t want to go through anything further. and I still don’t. But my change in diet is necessary for the aches and pains to go away. The same aches and pains that are present regardless of the medications and excercise I do. Why don’t you open a book or better yet read up on my autoimmune disease (ITP)

Get educated before you go assuming everyone is a head case. Ignorance is bliss in your case but doesn’t mean I have to tolerate it.

My solution to chronic hay fever, asthma, and IBS was to GO VEGAN, which is the best choice I’ve made my entire life. After going vegan I became aware of exactly what I was putting into my body, which has led me to only include real, whole foods with the best nutritional value. I became in tune with my body and what food made me FEEL good instead of what I THOUGHT tasted good. I realized my body reacted strongly to high amounts of sugar and starch, therefore I’ve eliminated some fruits with high sugar content as well as potatoes (except sweet potatoes). This may be a temporary or permanent solution, but as for now I don’t care. All I know is they didn’t make me feel my best, and I deserve to feel my best. We all do.

The amount of chemicals, hormones, and pesticides in the standard American diet has had horrendous effects on our physical and mental health. Corporate greed has infiltrated our culture, force feeding us lies about nutrition with no regard to its effect on our health or the environment. But the truth is, corporations don’t run the show, consumers do. I believe in my optimistic heart that we are reaching a tipping point where more people are finding out what goes on “behind the scenes”. And it ain’t pretty. Consumers are therefore choosing healthier alternatives, which will put pressure on corporations to either change or lose precious profit. Americans are buying less meat and dairy, and that’s a fact.

In regards to the Paleo Diet, I applaud people who have made this change. However, I find a vegan diet works best for me and I encourage others to try to for a week or two and see for yourselves. In my first quest for a more nutritional diet, I went dairy free, still including organic meat as a big part of my diet. After a few weeks I began to have a strong distaste for meat in general . It started to remind me of lifeless rubber, sitting next to my beautiful vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. It just did not belong. After eliminating meat I feel lighter and my asthma is improving everyday. Soon after I began researching the meat and dairy industry, where I came to know the horrendous way that animals are treated, even the organic farms, free range, cage free, grass fed, and local farms. It’s just not necessary to kill animals to use as food when there are healthier alternatives to get proper protein that do not involve ending a life.

The enviromental effects of the nest and industry and disasterous as well, which if researched, should create an alarm among all of us (i.e. greenhouse emissions, water waste, and pollution ). These facts are not shown in the media as its not in the best interest of the billion dollar meat and dairy industries. But it’s in OUR best interest to seek the truth, as well as the best interest of our children and generations to come.

I don’t meant to spark a vegan vs paleo debate, so please don’t get me wrong. I just know first hand how well it has worked for me, and the change it could make for our planet, and the lives of its inhabitants including the beautiful animal kingdom to GO VEGAN. It will no doubt change your life, and have an immense positive impact on the world around us.

Were you sourcing humanely and sustainably raised meat when you were eating organic meat? Yes, there are a lot of conventional “farming” practices that are hideous and animals are treated incredibly unfairly, tortured even…. but what about small family owned farms who pasture-raise their animals, don’t use antibiotics, treat their land with respect, and live in harmony with nature? I feel that some people are better off eating meat, some people are better off eating strictly vegetarian, and some are better off eating seafood instead of meat. It’s all how your body reacts. I appreciate you not shoving your rhetoric down throats as I find so many vegans tend to do (I know, once you feel strongly about something, it’s hard not to think everyone should do exactly the same thing). Be well 🙂

My knuckles became very painful and swollen. It felt as if my fingers were broken. I had no idea what was happening. Doctors told me that I had osteo-arthritis. The only treatment was prescriptions for anti-inflammatories. My fingers would swell up to five times their size and would stay that way for weeks.
When the swelling subsided they never went back to the original size and the majority of the joints became fused.
This went on for six or more years before I heard about nightshade foods. As a vegan I ate a lot of tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant etc. Since I’ve cut these foods out of my diet there have been almost no more flare ups. However the damage has already been done. I wish that someone had told me about these foods earlier.

GMO soy is genetically modified with the petunia plant which is a nightshade. Nightshades are a huge problem – it’s in “everything”! I was accurately diagnosed 5 years ago by a Chiropractor who also does nutritional handlings, with a nightshade allergy or sensitivity & realized as time went on the odd-ball, off & on body symptoms I’ve had for 40 years (since I was 12) were due to eating nightshades. The two main symptoms (symptoms are so different for different people) were cracked, eczema like condition on hands & sometimes arms and “goopy” (wet wax like) infected ear(s). Symptoms start returning ONLY after eating nightshades which I rarely do anymore.

Just get a life! Aah, if only. Since it looks like Deborah could serve up a healthy serving of humble pie right about now ( I hear there’s a great academy in Tuscany right next door to the Olive Garden cooking school), I want to take a turn towards that whole telling comment that started this firestorm and say this is exactly what we’re fighting, folks. The line in the sand has been drawn. There are those who have had their life stripped bare by the ravages of America’s sick food system and America’s denial of GMO danger, political machinery driving private interests and the very real future of this country tanking because of a major healthcare capsize. Then there are those who argue for the establishment and cry “CONSPIRACY THEORIST ALERT”. Just like the whispers of the collapse of Wall Street or the atrocities heard to be happening in Europe during WW2 were just urban legends and alarmist notions. Wall Street did collapse and the Holocaust was happening and we’re all getting our taste of the looming disaster for our generation.
My husband is from Tuscany. He’s lived in this country for 23 years but still, he’s toting his green card. Of course, since we moved back here, all I’ve heard about is the poor quality of our food. Tomatoes don’t taste like anything, egg yolks are so light they seem invisible. He goes on about the quality of the water used to make bread in Italy. The milk tastes better and you don’t hear about allergies. When we discuss the differences between what he remembers from home and what we have in front of us right now, I have to remind him that America is using different standards in food production, safety, quality. His normal retort is “then America sucks!” Of course he doesn’t really mean that, for all you trolls out there, but I have to agree. It’s embarrassing. We have friends who visit from Italy and I take most of our visit to explain what not to eat and to seek out farm stands for quality food. They all want to go into our groceries and when we emerge, the ride home in the car is a lot of “Holy Crap”ping about the garbage they just laid eyes on. And I never hear the end of how fat the people are here. It’s shock and awe for our visitors, people. The way the United States’ powers that be dictate what is acceptable for consumption and what other countries would allow to pass the mouth of a prison inmate are two different worlds. I really feel like Deborah would do well to learn from these commentaries and then take what she learned in Europe, (which is a throw back to ancestral ways brought to the US in the last 400+ years) and use that to make healthy, whole-food meals for weary travelers, people who want to eat out for a REAL treat (just like the old days when you ate at home but for a very special occasion, you may decide to go out…) and customize her menu to the new American normal which is diseased people looking for some comfort and the odd opportunity to enjoy a little social time in a safe QUALITY establishment. It’s not enough to put your personal pride button on because you recycle and support the adoption of abandoned puppies. Just so you know, Deborah, there are very few quality paleo restaurants out there and it would be the biggest gift from this thread to help you get your head on straight and go where the need is. That big attitude of yours would work best if you’d harness it to some altruistic intent like helping others? That means help those who need help, not those who need their palate tickled. Besides, no matter how good the food is, if it’s full of what makes this country sick, you are contributing to the problem. Turn the beat around, sister.

Sorry, I know this is about nightshades but the remark by Ms. Deborah were more revealing than her ignorance of the problems with nightshades. Just had to comment on the bigger picture of the disconnect we encounter with our neighbors. Oh, and if I had been really on the ball, I would have invited Deborah to turn the BEET around. Dang it!

I am not a huge fan of any of these foods so I’m not sure eliminating them will make a big difference in my life but by golly I’m going to do it. I have inflammatory arthritis and it sucks! I have been taking meds for about 5 years but I still have horrible pain every day. I am now taking an infusion. This is no way for us humans to live. Some days I don’t want to anymore. I take lots of pills and I am nauseous every single day. I have lost over 90 pounds which is good cause I am overweight anyway. I could lose about 60 more. But I am taking morphine now and it doesn’t work. Does anyone have any advice? This chronic pain is not good!

So sad that there rare actually people out there that believe autoimmune diseases don’t exist; that this is all in the heads of those who have them. The fact that you, Deborah or any other non believer, don’t show any symptoms of allergies/autoimmune diseases/sensitivities doesn’t mean others don’t. You may not have a vision problem but someone else you know does and must wear glasses. Does that make them inferior to you, less human, or a hypochondriac? No. It simply means they have a part of them that doesn’t work as well as yours does. People with autoimmune diseases don’t ask for them. People with allergies or sensitivities don’t ask for them anymore than someone with vision troubles or a child with Down’s Syndrome. No one asks for this stuff to happen to them. No one wants to feel discomfort. The fact of the matter is, everyone is different and all of us will suffer from one affliction or another (even you non believers). Just because you don’t understand the illness doesn’t mean that the person(s) is making it up. As a restaurant owner, you should be aware of those allergy issues and be prepared for them and not be ignorant about them. Yes, there are millions out there without a problem, but there are also millions out there with problems…none of them will ever step foot in the Black Cat Bistro however, for fear your food will kill them. Please don’t shoot the blind man because he is different than your perfect self. Maybe next time you can educate yourself before spilling your judgmental ignorance all over the web.

I just want to point out an error – the term spices on the label will never encompass paprika, at least in the United States. FDA and USDA regulated products cannot declare paprika as a spice (by law) since it is commonly used as a colorant. However, the term “spices” for FDA products or “flavoring” for USDA products in an ingredient declaration can include Capsicum plants (hot peppers) that are considered nightshades.

I am glad that you have been able to find resolution for your digestive symptoms but I only hope that advocates like you rely on scientific or credible resources as you share advice to the public.

I have recently discovered that I am allergic to nightshades. Has anyone here tried NAET to reduce or eliminate your allergy?

I am not sure why some of you have to be so mean and cruel to one another with your comments. It does nothing but hurt one another. This should be a friendly helpful discussion – Lets help each other and not put each other down!

Am I the only one who believes these sudden food allergies are just another form of an eating disorder? I’m not talking about medically diagnosed diseases such as celiac, I’m talking about the self diagnosed ones. I worry it’s another form of control, and a socially exceptable at that! Frightening. In all honesty, I think that was the point “Deborah Scarborough” was trying to make, even if it came out a bit harsh. The reaction on this page shows how emotionally charged this topic has become. Like the old saying goes “when you repress, you obsess”

I wish all of you nothing but hope, health and happiness!

I was diagnosed with IBS and lived with it for years, never having heard of lactose intolerance. I stuck to the diet I was given, avoiding all the foods on the forbidden list but still had serious problems. Then one day there was an ad on TV for a lactose free milk. I decided to give it a try as it couldn’t hurt. Lo and behold, I no longer had a serious problem. I was given a wrong diagnosis by a Doctor! and a correct diagnosis by my body, which has never attended medical school. It only goes to show doctors are not always correct, being human, and we should listen to our bodies. After all it’s where we live.

Yes, people in the European Union get the luxury of eating everything that is available to them because their government has very strict controls on what is legal. They do not allow GMO’s for examples, so yes they can eat a little bit of everything that they can find. When I visited Europe for several months nothing bothered me. I mean NOTHING because everything is fresh and very little of their food is processed (including what is served in their restaurants). When I returned to the US my autoimmune condition, alopecia areata, flared like never before and I lost over 90% of the hair on my head in 4 months WITH topical steroid treatments. I was happy and healthy my entire visit there and my hair grew THREE INCHES for the first time in 10 years. All of that was taken away when I returned the US. And what is truly disrespectful are people like you Debrah, who make assumptions and judgements about who uses information like this. There are over 200,000 people in the US who are diagnosed with alopecia areata every year. I have finally seen re-growth by starting a paleo diet without nightshades. SO thank you for your useless, judge-mental and HURTFUL comments. I’ll think about you everyday when I put on my wig (I am only 20 years old by the way) and decide to love myself regardless of ignorant people such as yourself. Maybe we could all decide to just live happily in our ways if people like you would just be silent when it comes to things you do not understand. Love to know where you are cooking now so I can make sure I never support you.

I have (obviously) not been able to read every single reply in this discussion and I am choosing to just share my experience over the last year with all of you and with Deborah.

I am a 65 year young cancer survivor (12+ years with an incurable cancer [someone needs to bring up the average survival statistics!]). I have been active (20+ half marathons and 2 full marathons since my cancer treatment; extensive hiking and biking, just generally active!).

Last February/March my right knee “blew up”. I couldn’t flex it beyond 90 degrees, I could not extend it fully, and there was fluid accumulation around my patella/knee cap and within my knee joint as well. I went to my (very capable) primary care physician and we, of course, “ran tests”. The test profile included tests for rheumatoid and for lupus but covered a wide and very complete gamut. All, and I mean ALL were negative or within “normal limits”. Good news, right?

So I went to an orthopedic surgeon–very well respected in the regions and someone I know personally. Radiographs showed…a beautiful arthritis free knee!! This is good as well.

But!! I have a blown up right knee. AND, it is now joined by a blown up left knee. Swollen with fluid, puffy, decreased range of motion, and (perhaps I did not mention this before) severe constant pain.

I could knock the pain back with high doses of ibuprofen (800mg four times a day) and even the swelling would go down, but as soon as I quit taking it, boom, swelling and pain returned.

On my own I went “sugar free” and gluten free. For a while I was pretty casual about the gluten, thinking that I could eat a little here and there. I finally got the memo and went truly free. The result–big improvement. (by the way, I was on supplements galore). Next I started using “Golden Paste”, a home made turmeric with black pepper combination that is safer than commercial preps as well as cheaper and is much more effective. I got another big step forward and actually got myself off of the ibuprofen. But I still had swelling and pain, it was just somewhat manageable.

That is the background, where I was at, eating a very healthy balanced diet without added sugar and without gluten. I was angry. I couldn’t walk without pain, I couldn’t get up off a couch without help, I couldn’t get off a toilet without help, and I couldn’t sleep more than a couple hours without waking up because of pain. I had a ritual of topical ointments at bedtime, castor oil wraps, and the list went on.

In mid-November I visited a naturopath. She took me off nightshades, corn, and peanut butter. I didn’t take this all quite as seriously as I could have, especially with the holidays, but then I decided that I either needed to do it right or not bother. So I did it right (mistakes happen, but not by intent). I am going to sum this up with one statement: I went for a short run last week.

I am out of shape, my knees are still swollen (although that is greatly reduced). My abdomen is no longer bloated. I sleep the night. I can get off the couch, off the toilet, out of my car. The list goes on and I am in the early stages of this phase of my recovery. Do I hope that as my gut heals that I will be able to eventually eat some of the foods I used to enjoy? Of course, but if I can’t, well, that’s the way it goes. If I can hike with my family, go for a run with my wife, enjoy going for a walk along the river, I am really good with that. If I can do the 50 miler I had set my sights on, well that’s gravy.

That is all I can say. I ate better than probably 90% of the population. I had nothing to “just get over”. I was just a guy thinking it would be fun to do an ultra who found himself wondering if he would end up in a wheel chair, and who is now wondering if the ultra is possible. Ignorant people are a dime a dozen, rude people are even more common, and close minded individuals are perhaps the most common. When you combine them, well, we don’t need to get offended. The discussion that was generated has been excellent–informational and inspirational. Good luck everyone. Seriously. I hope we all have our best days ahead of us.

You people have to understand that USA is killing their own people. GMO, chemtrails, toxic chemicals on foods, water, the air you bread, clothes you wear ….
GMO grown ….
This land has become a dark experiment on humans …. millions living in this country ….
So easy to attack a big part of the population on this planet that lives on this country alone.
Europe … very advanced, sophisticated, educated …. don’t allow GMO and majority of bad things that are allowed in this country.
That is why people there don’t have allergies and health problems like USA.
You want a better life ….. healthier life …. move out of this country … which has become a dark country to live in and raise your children.

My only comment is why does someone who obviously thinks people who try to improve their quality of life through diet come to these websites in the first place. I think they are suffering from the same things but are not willing to make whatever sacrifices are needed to feel better. They are wanting a magic pill to make their pain go away. Hey, lady, there is no magic pill. She owns a restaurant but can’t stand when people ask for a special way to prepare. Eat it the way it comes or don’t come to my restaurant at all. So she’s also lazy. This is why I rarely go to a restaurant, and prepare all my food myself.
I just reluctantly gave up nightshades and what a world of difference. I’m thankful for sites like these so that we can better educate ourselves with real people’s experiences. The world will not want to accommodate, so we are on our own. I have contacted many companies in regards to ingredients, and most are helpful. It takes a little work, but it is worth it. Do not let people like Deborah Scarborough discourage you in your quest to have a better quality life. Life is not what you eat, it’s what you do and how you feel as you live it. #WeAreInThisTogether

Its ok for people without debilitating illnesses to say get a life and stop being fussy eaters. My story is I had a large open wound appear on my body for no apparent reason and it wouldn’t heal. It took the hospital 4 months to diagnose it as hidradenitis supprativa which is a lifelong incurable disease. They told me I had it and to live with it and when I’m in an ‘active’ phase to be under the dermatologist with steroids and immunosuppresants which for obvious reasons I don’t want to do. I researched online to help myself and found nightshades play an active role in bringing on a flare up with its inflammatory action so I immediately gave them up…. the large open wound showing no signs of clearing up for over 4 months and was around 6inches in size and over 1 inch deep has now thankfully gone into remission phase =D … I’m going to continue helping myself with dietary controls as I’m not as lucky as Deborah to just get on with it when I had very very painful large open wound.

Regarding the comment on this article by Deborah Scarborough expressing anger and resentment toward people who have food allergies and intolerances, and telling them that they need to change their attitude…

After a little bit of research, I found that Deborah Scarborough had to sell her restaurant in the early part of 2015, right around the time she wrote that post. The newspaper article I got that information from (“Black Cat Bistro on Cambria’s Main Street Changes Hands,” by Kathe Turner, 1/14/15, The Cambrian) said the following, “With a ‘wonderful new opportunity’ before her — which Scarborough declined to discuss Tuesday — she opened escrow Jan. 9 on a bulk sale of the business and transfer of the alcoholic-beverage license to husband and wife ….”

It sounds like she really had no other opportunities, and that she had to sell the business very cheaply, as evidenced by “The San Luis Obispo Tribune stated that ‘the amount of the purchase price or consideration in connection with the transfer of the license and business, including the estimated inventory, is the sum of $75,000.'”

Anyone can see that this was a very bad situation for her, and that she was probably selling under duress. So, please, go easy on her. She’s probably still a mess over this. I feel badly for her, actually. Also, please don’t blame the restaurant — The Black Cat Bistro of California — it changed hands. Hopefully the new owners are knowledgeable, food-industry professionals who understand customers and clients have differing needs, and that that is a very major part of being in the restaurant business. I also hope they don’t go trolling specialty websites, lashing out and looking to start fights with people who are sharing information and trying to educate themselves about their own and their families’ health.

The hateful troll with the restaurant (who then lost the restaurant, says one commenter) who apparently wants us all to suffer:



The person above who said it is her soul who suffers is correct (“her illness in in her soul and ours is only in our bodies” … thank you, daire kia). At least we do not have to be Deborah. She is her own punishment.

Thank you for sharing this. I have leaky gut (per labs showing dysbiosis), many other digestive sensitivities Thanks for Glyphosphate and GMOs added to our food crops in the 90s without the public’s approval or vote. Anyway, I have had chronic fatigue for many years now and my labs show positive Rheumatoid Arthritis factor. So, obviously that gene has been turned ON. I have been reading on/off for a few years about nightshades. I tried just eating them all, based on the philosophy that they are still in the “world’s healthiest foods” category. But, i do now notice a reaction when i eat them. So it’s time to eliminate them and see if i feel better. I read another article an MD posted how his RA patient (who was on steroids & other pharmaceuticals) came back to followup saying she cured her RA and was no longer in pain — by eliminating NIGHTSHADE foods. For those with autoimmune GENES and GENE MUTATIONS, our body pathways are getting overloaded with pesticides, processed food chemicals, even restaurants using cooked GMO industrial SEED OILS (Canola, Soy, Safflower, Sunflower oils etc.) which are also toxic creating more oxidation in the body.

Easy to flag psychosomatic personalities. As a 56 year practicing physician I acknowledge that their are autoimmune and sensitive patients. Several diagnoses fall in this cat…as chronic fatigue syn old and new tick related dz frequently over done!, and thyroid disorders, etc. careful observations and histories are required to adequately arrive at reasonable diagnoses. Inflammation and arthridies are complex as is most of medicine. No one can know it all. Generally be skeptical peace/ hal

Well after 10 years of a poly something arthritis and osteoarthritis diagnosis with extreme general inflammatory decease as well as every possible treatment which did not cure me and had horrible side effects within 6 months of changing my diet completely to avoid all night shade veggies and following a clean organic diet I am completely symptom free. I have regained the use of my hands, no longer have gut problems and my mood and energy is is back to normal and only continues to get better. No more fatigue!!! I no longer take any inflammatory drugs which used to eat my stomach up. I come from a family of physicians, father, daughter , sister, nephew, brother in law and 9 uncles and aunts so I have heard their opinions when i decided to get off the meds that were killing me. Any comments to this from the 56 year physican?

I have been taking ASHWAGANDHA as suggested by my holistic practitioner. I think it is a ‘normal’ adrenal support. But today I read in this post that it is a nightshade. Does anyone know if the root is also a no? One can have the berries or the root, and I take the root.

Your article fascinated me! I have autoimmune disease, specifically Sjögren’s syndrome and had never been told by any physician I’ve seen to avoid nightshade vegetables and fruits. For several years I’ve noted that two things are sure triggers for my migraine headaches: hot peppers and oddly, when I have any type of lilies in my home– stargazer lilies, Easter lilies…you name it. I about fell off my chair when I saw lilies in the artistic rendering of nightshade plants accompanying your article. It’s all beginning to make sense! I’ve told several deeoctors whom I’ve seen regarding migraines, about hot peepers being a trigger and they consistently deny that as a cause, explaining that capsaicin is used as a pain RELIEVER. After reading your info I feel absolutely vindicated!!! It’s such a shame that our health care system is dominated by specialists who are experts only in their own fields, and lack the ability or interest in seeing the “bigger picture”.

I am very confused about this topic. I have always loved tomatoes, potatoes, etc. and was taking Ashwagandha since last year. Ashwagandha had provided me with many benefits, including LESS migraines. A couple months ago, I had a rotavirus-like flu. Since then I had stiffening and spasming lower legs, aches and pains in many places, mild itching and sinus-like congestion, at times. The worst was with my legs, and finally figured out tomatoes was a cause. If I don’t eat, I am fine. I forgot about the nightshade list and potato flour in something reminded me with leg stiffness and sinus problems. I had stopped the Ashwagandha last week, but understand it is not exactly a nightshade item? Anyways, that flu definitely changed what I can now eat. I hate the thought of not having tomatoes and potatoes, and “spices” in everything, which I can no longer trust to eat. I am confused about what’s on the list, such as Ashwagandha, and will just have to wait awhile and try to add back. A doctor will think I’m crazy, because I can’t eat many things such as gluten, and food additives, which give me migraines, which the Ashwagandha helped with. Science and doctors need a better understanding of food intolerances. Gastroenterologists had little knowledge about gluten issues until recent years. Everybody is behind on this all.

You’re right. It’s unfortunate that doctors in general aren’t more knowledgable about gluten sensitivity and other food intolerances. I think the best thing you can do is remove all nightshades (of which ashwagandha is one) for at least 30 days or as long as it takes for you to notice a relief in your symptoms and then systematically reintroduce different foods you’d like to test one at a time. Sarah has a great guide on reintroduction here. -Kiersten

This info is very helpful. Thank You!!! I am sensitive to dairy and gluten. I avoid both. The last time I ate eggplant, I got little sores on my tongue that disappeared overnight. Now I have been diagnosed with spongiotic eczema. Prescription lotions and Prednisone have not worked. I’m exploring my options. Could the eczema be related to diet?

Eczema is typically related to poor gut health, which absolutely can stem from poor diet. A Paleo diet is a great place to start, but if that doesn’t resolve the issues, an autoimmune protocol type of diet can be incredibly healing. -Kiersten

Could my girlfriend’s farts be related to nightshades? Every time I get a whiff my tongue starts swelling and I get a headache. Thanks so much for the help!!

I have zero food intolerances or allergies, so ignore me if I’m wrong (since I’m far from an expert) but some of these comments are very “extra”…. I can’t help but think you’re a bit of a hypochondriac if you go into “painful swelling” for “days” after eating an eggplant or tomato….. but maybe I’m just lucky enough to not be affected by nightshades. Either way good luck to anyone that’s actually suffering from it, and I’m deeply sorry you can’t eat nightshades :'( but some of you might just need to see an actual doctor or nutritionist and calm down with the self-diagnosis.

Rose, I work very closely with my allergist/immunologist who agrees that nightshades can cause painful swelling and other symptoms for days after consuming the allergen. Before my allergies, I may not have believed it either, but it is true.

Thank you for writing this article. My chiropractor put me on an Ashwagandha supplement for my energy and I haven’t been able to figure out why I have been so sick lately. I had no idea it was a nightshade.

Found your blog after googling “nightshades”. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis and am going to eliminate nightshades from my diet for awhile to see if it helps.

My question: is tobacco a nightshade? I see it on others lists but not yours. If so does that mean coffee and red wine should be avoided?

Tobacco is a nightshade. Coffee and wine aren’t nightshades, but they’re typically best avoided (at least at first) for those healing from autoimmune diseases. -Kiersten

I’m curious to know if All Nightshades Are Created Equal. It doesn’t seem so. I just put a question out on The Paleo Approach Facebook Group, and it seems that people can tolerate some nightshades but not others. I made a gazpacho recently with homegrown tomatoes and paleo bread, and I was fine. But last week I ate at a friends house and they made a lovely Brasilian fish dish with coconut milk and chilies, and the next day all my joints hurt. Does anyone have any idea as to what’s going on?

Thank you!! I found this nightshade connection in food, spices, herbs affects me too. Only took 40 YEARS to find this out. But still grateful better later than never. I recently ate a couple bags of a well-known band of Jerky (chicken natural free-range bites) had spices with red pepper. I find i do not feel well after eating these either. But I don’t feel bad after eating their Bison jerky bites; i noticed the bison does not have these spices or red peppers. It has been a challenge & getting used to the change & new way of eating, new recipes AND keeping it SIMPLE with LESS Spices is better, but feeling less pain & inflammation feels better. ONE day at a time figuring all this out….. 🙂

between me eating tomatoes this week (high in oxalate & a nightshade) + nightshade spices this week, my hands are hurting to type on computer. If you have joint pain, inflammation, arthritis, RA, Fibro look into a LOW oxalate diet and LOW histamine and NightShade free diet too.

I can’t believe I might actually get to talk with you. Your story is so similar to my little girls (she is 7). She has hypothyroid, SIBO and lichen sclerosis :(. Can u imagine all that for a little innocent girl just trying to be like everyone else (tear). So we have her on the SIBO specific diet from dr Siebecker (combo scd/low fodmap) PLUS the AIP diet. We combine those and eat from the allowed lists. Needless to say this has become my other full-time job. Just wondering if you have any advice on diet or a good naturopath or perhaps insight on causes or trends to help find a cure? Is it the Vagus nerve?

Thank u!

I would definitely recommend working with a practitioner. I see a functional medicine practitioner in Atlanta, but you could use Primal Docs or Paleo Physicians Network (both websites) to find one near you.

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