Nightshade Vegetable Sensitivity

Some people react badly to Nightshade Vegetables - meaning they are unable to digest them fully.

These foods are only recently introduced to the Western diet from South America - so  they fall into the category of "Modern Foods". . . those which cause the symptoms of food intolerance.

However - it's wise to first check out the four main food intolerances which might be causing your symptoms: sensitivity to Dairy, Gluten, Yeast or Fructose.

Apart from those - other possible food sensitivities are: Soy Allergy  and Corn Allergy


Which ones are Nightshade Vegetables?

The most commonly eaten nightshade vegetables are:

  • Capsicum family (bell peppers, chili peppers, jalapeno, cayenne pepper etc.)
  • Eggplant (Aubergine)
  • Goji berry
  • Ground cherry
  • Potatoes
  • Tamarillos
  • Tomatoes and concentrated tomato products
  • Tomatillos

These contain substances which don't affect most people: saponins, alkaloids and lectins. But in certain others there can be quite bad reactions.

What are the symptoms of Nightshade Sensitivity?

There can be many symptoms of Nightshade Sensitivity. They overlap with the symptoms of other food intolerances like Gluten intolerance and Dairy intolerance - especially when these latter sensitivities have already caused Leaky Gut.

  • Headaches

To learn more – sign up for the free e-book ‘How To Tell If You have Food Intolerance’


How do Nightshade Vegetables cause Leaky Gut?

How Do Nightshade Vegetables Cause Leaky Gut?

Nightshades contain alkaloids which are poisonous in large amounts. But they also contain saponins. Depending on the quantity eaten, the effect of saponins in these foods can damage the gut - tearing tiny holes in the tissue lining. This leads to a condition called Leaky Gut - and from there to inflammatory disease.

Saponins in these foods have evolved to protect the plant from being decimated by insects. Their action is to dissolve the cell membranes of predatory insects so they die.   

  • Unfortunately this same effect - damage to cell membranes - can also be suffered by mammals (like us!) frequently in the small intestine. The result is a gut lining that develops holes and allows the passage of foreign - often toxic - substances into our bloodstream - making us ill . . . Leaky Gut.

In addition some of this group of vegetables (e.g. potatoes) also contain lectins which cause additional gut damage in large amounts in some people. Remember - the effects of nightshade vegetables depend on the quantity eaten. Overindulgence - as with any 'modern food' may lead to problems.

Why do we get Nightshade Sensitivity?

Nightshade Vegetable Sensitivity - like all food intolerance - is genetic.  You got it from your parents, grandparents and other ancestors - it’s in your genes!

If your cultural heritage is South American your chance of being Nightshade sensitive is low - because Nightshades are native to this continent. However they were only recently added to the Western diet (around 400 years ago - very recently in anthropological terms). That's why many of us do not have the biological equipment to fully digest these plants.

Note: Nightshade Sensitivity is genetic - so if you have children - you may have already passed on those genes to your sons and daughters. So make sure you alert your children possibility. Being well informed allows them to make good choices for their health.

Comments: If you have Nightshade Sensitivity - you will improve dramatically by identifying which vegetable is the problem. You will not be sensitive to all Nightshades.

You receive the Complete Guide to Less Common Sensitivities (including Nightshades) with the Healing Program.


Control Symptoms By Discovering Your Right Foods

The Healing Program Solution

Find out exactly the right foods for you - and take control of your life. Live well, live long. As a once-only purchase - the Healing Program delivers so many benefits:

  • Stop suffering: symptoms subside within days
  • Never have those symptoms or illnesses again - a permanent solution
  • Achieve the weight changes you want - naturally and without effort
  • Notice better skin, hair and nails: look good and feel well
  • Protect your health for the long term - peace of mind
  • It's genetic - so share your findings with the family
  • Instant electronic delivery - with no shipping costs

The Healing Program is the only simple and proven Journal-based system guaranteed to find all your food intolerances. Learn more >














iEaton et al.: Stone Agers in the fast lane: chronic degenerative diseases in evolutionary perspective. Am J Med. 1988 Apr;84(4):739-49 

iiCordain L, Cereal Grains: Humanity's Double Edged Sword. World Review of Nutrition & Dietetics, 1999;84:19-73 



All foodintol® information is based on research from peer-reviewed medical journals