#FoodFactsExposed: Debunking the Myths about Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Aubergines! #NightshadeTruthRevealed

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TikTok and Nightshades: Debunking Health Claims

TikTok and Nightshades: Debunking Health Claims


TikTok might be the perfect place to learn the latest viral dance moves, but it is certainly not an oracle when it comes to health advice. While it can be a useful source of fun recipes and food ideas, it is also a hotbed of misinformation about what to eat – and what not to eat.

The latest foods in the line of fire are nightshades – a family of plants that includes potatoes, aubergines, peppers, chillies, goji berries and tomatoes. Despite the widespread popularity of nightshades, some celebrities and influencers recommend we cut them from our diet entirely due to the “toxins” they contain. These self-styled health gurus argue that nightshades could be harmful to our health, but dietitians and nutritionists don’t agree.

“Intolerances and severe allergies to any food can happen, but for most people tomatoes, potatoes, aubergines and other vegetables in the nightshade family form part of a healthy diet,” says Natalie Burrows, a registered nutritional therapist and health coach. “When it comes to nutrition, every person is different. What works for one person might not work for another, so blanket advice about nightshades – or any type of plant food – isn’t helpful.”

What are the claims about nightshades? And is there any truth to them?

They contain toxins

When people talk about the toxins in nightshades, they are often referring to solanine, which is a type of chemical compound called a glycoalkaloid. This is a poison that the plants develop naturally to protect themselves from external threats such as pests.

  • The amount we eat isn’t enough to cause harm
  • The processes that foods go through to be eaten, including ripening, cooking and peeling, also reduce the levels of solanine
  • Cases of solanine poisoning are rare and usually linked to improper storage or preparation of food

They make inflammatory conditions worse

Some older studies have indicated that the glycoalkaloids found in nightshades might cause problems for people with inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, there isn’t enough robust evidence to support this theory.

  • Research shows that plants such as aubergines could even reduce inflammation
  • The typical western diet, which is high in ultraprocessed sweets, snacks and fizzy drinks, is much more likely to negatively affect inflammatory diseases

They can aggravate autoimmune conditions

True intolerances to nightshades are rare. An elimination diet can help determine if someone has any intolerances.

  • Most healthy people can tolerate lectins during the digestive process with no problem
  • If you have been through a period of high stress, eating less fiber than you need, have been unwell or taken a course of antibiotics, all of these things might affect your gut health

They contain histamines

While histamine intolerance is a documented condition, it is rare. People should not self-diagnose and elimination should be temporary where possible.

Are we worrying for no reason?

With so much conflicting advice available online, it is no surprise that we are seeing a rise in the “worried well” – people with no physical symptoms who are overconcerned about their health. Nightshade vegetables contain important nutrients and cutting them out of our diet may not be necessary.

  • Potatoes contain resistant starch, potassium, and vitamin C
  • Tomatoes are a key source of lycopene, which could be beneficial for disease prevention

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