The No Nightshade Kitchen is a resource for people who have problems eating nightshades, and for the people who dine with and cook for them.
Nightshades—primarily potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant—are integral parts of almost every culinary tradition. Some people don’t tolerate nightshades well. This is not strictly allergy, but food sensitivity or intolerance. Some of the reported symptoms of nightshade intolerance are swelling and joint soreness, cough, anxiety, migraines, a sour stomach, and even intestinal bleeding.
These are very general symptoms, and can actually suggest a wide variety of very different medical problems. Unfortunately there are no quick and easy scientific tests that a doctor can prescribe to determine if you have a nightshade sensitivity. People with nightshade sensitivity have typically performed their own experiments, discovering through trial and error that their bodies feel better—sometimes much better—when they don’t eat nightshades.
We can make some good guesses about what’s happening, but nobody is certain why nightshades cause problems. It seems to be rare as a severe sensitivity; others appear to be able to reduce their intake, indulging occasionally, and they’re fine. While this low grade problem is great for the people who suffer from it, it makes it an even more complicated problem to study.
We sincerely hope that you don’t have problems with nightshades. It’s not trendy, it’s not fun, and it’s not easy.
But it’s also a bad idea to ignore your body. And it’s also a bad idea to abandon the joys of culinary discovery. The No Nightshade Kitchen is here to help you navigate the challenges. We’ll try to help you decipher the science of food sensitivity, help you figure out how it relates to your body, and inspire you to tackle the challenges in your own kitchen.
Fair warning: If you want to figure it out, you must be prepared to ask questions. You’re going to have to put some time and effort into it. You should be prepared to cook—or to be very nice and helpful to the people who cook for you.