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The nightshade family includes more than 200 species of plants, and most of them are inedible, which means they do not harm the body. However, they also include such popular vegetables in our diet as tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes and all types of peppers, except black (also tobacco, but you already know everything about its dangers). It's hard to believe now, but for many centuries these products were considered poisonous and were not eaten at all. We will tell you why there is some truth in this opinion.
Why are nightshades bad for the body?
All plants of the nightshade family contain the alkaloid solanine. He is able to have a negative impact on the course of a number of processes in the body. First of all, an excess of solanine in the body will affect the state of the digestive system. Solanin can disrupt intestinal function and adversely affect the acidity level of the stomach, thereby provoking inflammation in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract.
In addition, solanine can block the production of certain neurotransmitters, which can lead to nervous dysfunction and disturbances in the functioning of the parasympathetic nervous system. This substance directly affects the work of the heart muscle, and can provoke arrhythmia and tachycardia. Moreover, solanine affects the functioning of the thyroid gland, which can subsequently lead to increased levels of anxiety and increase the risk of depression.
In addition to solanine, nightshades contain calcitriol, which increases the absorption of calcium by the body. If there is too much calcium, it begins to accumulate in soft tissues, joints, and blood vessel walls. This leads to a number of unpleasant consequences: chronic joint pain, muscle pain, decreased strength of blood vessels and their calcification.
How to replace nightshades?
Despite all of the above, it is not necessary to completely eliminate potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants from your diet - just reconsider the frequency of their use. Don't eat nightshade foods every day. To make mashed potatoes, instead of regular potatoes, use sweet potatoes or cauliflower - this is no less tasty, and the benefits for the body are many times greater. If you love eggplants, replace them with courgettes. With external and taste similarity to eggplant, zucchini is not nightshade, but pumpkin, and will not harm the body. For chili, use black pepper or dry mustard instead.