Benefits of Consuming Nightshade Vegetables You Never Knew
What are nightshade Vegetables
Nightshade vegetables are the edible parts of flowering plants that belong to the Solanaceae family. The origin of the name “nightshades” is unclear, but could be related to their dark and mystical past. Some nightshades are rumored to have been formerly used as narcotics and hallucinogens.
The nightshade family contains over 2,000 varieties of plants, but very few of them are actually eaten as food. Some, such as belladonna, are even poisonous.
However, nightshades also include vegetables that have been the staple foods of many societies for hundreds of years.
Here is a list of some of the most commonly consumed nightshade vegetables:
- Eggplants: Also known as aubergines.
- Peppers: Including sweet, bell, chili and others.
- Potatoes: All varieties except sweet potatoes and yams.
- Tobacco: Typically dried and smoked in several forms.
- Tomatillos: A green, tomato-like veggie common in Mexican cuisine.
- Tomatoes: All varieties and tomato products.
Multiple herbs and spices are also derived from these vegetables, including cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, chili powder and paprika. Black and white pepper are derived from peppercorns, which are not in the nightshade family.
Additionally, several condiments and other common food items contain nightshade vegetables as ingredients, such as hot sauce, ketchup, marinara sauce and salsa. Note that although they are generally referred to as vegetables, many nightshades are botanically considered fruits, such as tomatoes, eggplants and peppers.
Nightshades Are Rich Sources of Nutrients
Many health professionals encourage you to eat nightshade vegetables because of their high nutrient density.
This means they pack a lot of nutrients in a small number of calories.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are good sources of vitamins A and C. They also contain an antioxidant called lycopene. These nutrients may reduce markers of inflammation and lower the risk of several chronic diseases
Peppers: Peppers contain incredible amounts of vitamin C, which can provide many health benefits, including helping enhance iron absorption.
Chili peppers: Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which gives the peppers their heat. Capsaicin has been found to help alleviate heartburn symptoms and may benefit weight loss efforts by helping reduce calorie intake.