What is a Nightshade Sensitivity?

Food sensitivities differ from food allergies in that they do not produce severe, immediate reactions, but rather unfavorable reactions that can take up to 72 hours to manifest after a specific food has been consumed.

Many people are unaware that food sensitivities can have a negative impact on our health as well as our mood.

Food sensitivities often go misdiagnosed for the most part, and the things we eat on a daily basis or crave are usually the culprits.

One common and most often overlooked group of foods that cause many people discomfort are nightshades, which include a variety of common vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, white potatoes, eggplant and even paprika.

Having a nightshade sensitivity means that some of these foods are not digested properly causing a range of symptoms. In this article we unpack what are nightshades, symptoms, and how you can go about identifying if these foods which are the cause to your discomfort.

What are Nightshades?

Nightshades are derived from a family of flowering plants called Solanaceae which consist of around 3000 species. Many of these are not edible and some even poisonous such as the infamous belladonna, which is also known as the ‘deadly nightshade’, is fatal if consumed. While there are those that should not be consumed, there are many which are highly nutritious and eaten by many on a daily basis.

Some of the most common nightshades eaten daily include:

  • Tomatoes
  • White potatoes
  • Chilies
  • Eggplant
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Curry spice

What is a Nightshade sensitivity?

As mentioned, a food sensitivity tends to be less severe than a food allergy and, in most cases, often affect the digestive system. Those who tend to have a sensitivity to nightshades lack enzymes which are needed to digest these foods properly.

Some of the most common symptoms of a nightshade sensitivity include:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas
  • Skin rashes or itching

How do you identify a Nightshades sensitivity?

If you suspect you may have a sensitivity to nightshades it is suggested to keep a food dairy. Record when nightshades are consumed as well as if there are any symptoms experienced. Another option is to take a food sensitivity test, this is a test which is done by administering a quick finger prick that will provide a blood sample. This sample is then analyzed by a laboratory providing a color-coded tailor-made report giving you the answer of whether it has been that beloved aubergine you ate or the tuna you have eaten earlier that week causing you discomfort.

The Optiway Food Sensitivity Test tests a full menu of 222 different types of food, including nightshade foods, helping you optimise your eating plan by eliminating foods that initiates symptoms causing a negative influence on your quality of life.

For more information, visit www.optiway.co.za or contact info@optiway.co.za


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