Nightshade vegetables are the worst, but I miss them so very much. I miss them so bad my mouth begins salivating at the sight of a bowl of pico de gallo. Mmmmmm, burritos!
Let’s face it, being a truly clean, gluten free, nightshade free, sugar free, processed food free vegan is hard. Not because only eating vegetables is hard, but because as a survivor of an autoimmune disease that keeps me on my toes, I have to be careful of even the plant-based foods I eat. That includes nightshades.
Now I know what you’re thinking, what the hell is a nightshade, and why does it sound like something out of a Harry Potter book? Simply put, nightshades are a group of plant species that are rich in three biochemical compounds, capsaicin, linolcin, and ferminconte. Although these compounds are found in many foods we eat, it is possible that the high levels in nightshades can lead to all sorts of problems for those with autoimmune diseases, including unsightly skin. Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant are some of the more common nightshades found in global cuisine. The vast majority of nightshades are inedible. Less than 20 out of 3,000 species can be consumed safely by humans to be exact.
You can imagine how my face looked when I found out about this. All of the vegetables mentioned above were literally my favorites growing up. I used to eat tomatoes like apples and crush them in any savory dish. As a kid my grandmother would have a fit because I would apply so much hot sauce to my food it would look like it was bleeding.
And like every other red blooded American, I ate potatoes in every form you can imagine. Mmmm french fries!
However, after many years of putting off eliminating them from my diet in my quest to manage my skin disease hidradenitis suppurativa, I broke down and finally decided to be brave and do it. I figured that if I cleaned up my diet EVEN MORE, coupled with the awesome products I’d created, it might help with managing the disease better.
And yup, you guessed it! I can honestly say that it has helped! Although sometimes I slip and eat the forbidden fruit on occasion (The results aren’t always pretty when I do), I have noticed that my skin has fewer problems when I maintain my discipline. I am not a doctor, and do not proclaim that ridding nightshades from your diet will heal you, but do believe that doing your own research and knowing what you put into your body is just as important as using the best in natural skincare.