Nightshades

Some say nightshades make their pain worse, for me personally that has never been the case.

Nightshades have in my opinion gotten a bad reputation.

They are known as as bad actors in a variety of chronic conditions, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and IBS.

But what do we really know about how these foods affect our health?

So what is a night shade anyway.

Nightshades are plants in the Solanaceae family.

There are more than 3000 varieties, a handful of which are staple fruits, vegetables and herbs in our diet.

Common nightshade foods include:

• Tomatoes

• Peppers (capsicums — all varieties)

• Eggplant (aubergine)

• Potatoes (all varieties except for sweet potatoes)

• Tomatillos

• Husk cherries

• Huckleberries

• Pimento

• Paprika

• Cayenne pepper

• Chilis

• Chili powder

Nightshades are also used in many sauces and seasoning blends, including ketchup, hot sauce, steak sauce, curry seasoning and garam masala.

That said, many believe they cause inflammation or toxicity.

Most arguments are based on certain chemicals found in nightshades, although these are also present in many other healthy foods.

These chemicals include:

Alkaloids and glycoalkaloids, which are naturally occurring pesticides. Those of greatest significance in the diet are solanine, capsaicin and nicotine.

Lectins, which are proteins that bind carbohydrates together. They’re found in all living creatures, including humans and plants.

Calcitriol, which is the active form of vitamin D in the blood. It plays an important role in calcium absorption and bone development.

Saponins, which are thought to protect plants from being eaten by animals.

White vs Purple Eggplant

Eggplant belongs to the nightshade family. The eggplant is an edible fruits that comes in varying colours. The eggplant is more seen in whit and purple colours. However, when one hears the name of eggplant, it is purple colour that comes to the mind of all. Purple eggplant has wide popularity than the white eggplant.

Eggplant can be called as a berry, which has its origin in India and Sri Lanka. When talking of white and purple eggplant, they are not the same. The colour itself differentiates them

Eggplants made their first appearance in Europe in the 14th century, and Thomas Jefferson first introduced them to 18th century America. Florida, California, and Georgia are leaders in U.S. eggplant production.

When choosing an eggplant, it should be firm and not too large. The length of a cucumber and the general circumference of a large pear should be about right. Smaller eggplants are less likely to be bitter (a bit of salt can help with this) and have fewer seeds, although these are edible.

The above nutrition chart is for raw eggplant, but it’s a tad bland in its raw form. It’s usually served baked rather than raw or boiling, which some cultures do, although it makes the white flesh inside a little mushy. Grilled is a more healthful way to prepare this vegetable to retain the most natural goodness. Culinary creativity can bring out the best features of this veggie.

While eggplants don’t have an overwhelming supply of any one nutrient, they do contain an impressive array across the board of many vitamins and minerals, such as excellent amounts of fiber, folate, potassium and manganese, as well as vitamins C, K, and B6, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, and pantothenic acid.

Studies indicate that eggplant has a number of health benefits from all these ingredients, as well as traditional uses. Sometimes, the leaves and roots are juiced or boiled to make a tonic for throat and stomach troubles, asthma, skin diseases, rheumatism, inflammation, intestinal hemorrhages, foot pain, coughs, anorexia, toothache, or as a general stimulant.

Modern-day scientists found that the Black Magic variety of eggplant contains nearly three times the amount of antioxidant phenolics they found in other eggplant types. Phenols are known to be one of the most powerful free radical scavengers, which can prevent cancer development and heart disease, but it’s these very attributes that give eggplants a slight bitter taste.

Another study found that anthocyanin phytonutrients in the skin of eggplants, called nasunin, is a potent antioxidant that zaps free radicals and protects the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes from damage.

One interesting aspect of eggplant is its shady connections, since it’s a member of the nightshade family of plants with tomatoes, potatoes, and bell peppers, as well as chili peppers, habeneros, jalapenos, and paprika. Many nutritionists caution that too many servings of eggplant might cause problems. In fact, ancient Mediterranean people reportedly nicknamed it “mad apple,” believing that eating eggplant every day for a month would cause insanity.

India recently charged Monsanto with biopiracy for alleged attempts to genetically modify indigenous eggplants.

I really wish they would GMOs I mean why can’t we just eat the way our grandparents did.

GMOs to me I feel are part of the problem with our food today.

It’s Franken food and I do my best to never buy GMOs.

Studies Done on Eggplants

Eggplants, potatoes, and tomatoes (all nightshades) were tested and found to have antiproliferative activities against human colon and liver cancer cells.In another study, eggplant extract was found to have an inhibitory effect on human fibrosarcoma (soft tissue-related) cell invasion.

Delphinidin, a natural compound in the eggplant extract, was found to be the component responsible for inhibiting the activity of the fibrocarcinoma’s secretions degrading healthy cells as part of the invasive process.

Maybe I will try to eliminate them for say a month-just to see see what if any thing happens.

But not today.

I just bought the most beautiful eggplant at Molnar Farms

(my local farmers market)

White longs, purple longs and small tear drop.

Stay tuned recipes coming up

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