I don’t usually eat white potatoes, but these organic fingerlings were beckoning to me at the farmer’s market this week. Once in a great while I might eat white potatoes. Even if you don’t tolerate them, your guests may really love them!
These fingerlings fall into the category of night shade vegetables, which may be a problem for certain people. This group is composed of tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers and the spices from these plants.
Nightshades contain chemicals called saponins with a subset called glycoalkaloids. While some saponins are beneficial – some have been found to prevent cancer and aid in mineral absorption – most saponins are powerful disruptors of the cell membranes of the enterocytes (intestinal cells). This results in cell death and leaky gut.
Glycoalkaloids are contained in the fruit, flowers and leaves of nightshade plants. Studies have shown that the glycoalkaloids can increase intestinal permeability and kill intestinal cells. It has also been shown that when saponins enter the bloodstream they can destroy the membrane of the red blood cell. Glycoalkaloids also inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which is needed for nerve impulse conduction.
The members of the nightshade family include: tomatoes, tomatillos, tamarillos, potatoes (not sweet potato), bell peppers, pimento and hot peppers and any spices made from them, such as, paprika, cayenne and chili pepper. Also eggplant, ashwagandha (an herb), cape gooseberries (also known as ground cherries – not regular cherries), garden huckleberries and gogi berries. Tobacco is also a nightshade plant.
For some people, staying away from any source of saponins and glycoalkaloids helps them avoid painful, inflammatory flareups. If you have allergies and autoimmunity I recommend you stay away from this group of foods until you are well enough to be willing to test each one separately.
However, all that said, many people have no problem with nightshades and they could enjoy this recipe!
Inspire Your Real Food Healing Journey with my FREE Grain-Free Meals e-Cookbook and Getting Started email series!