Foods To Avoid With Rheumatoid Arthritis – Nightshades

Foods To Avoid With Rheumatoid Arthritis – Nightshades

Is there a natural remedy for Rheumatoid arthritis? I would like to say that there is not just one remedy, there is a bunch of little things that you can do that might help you achieve a pain free life without inflammation and symptoms.

Today I would like to discuss the subject of Nightshades and the correlation between nightshade vegetables and rheumatoid arthritis, Why nightshades are bad for you and why you should not eat nightshades with rheumatoid arthritis. I will also provide you with a list of nightshades vegetables – the most common ones.

What Are Nightshades

Nightshades belong to the family of Solanceae – this is a plant that flowers. It comes in a variety of forms such as Vegetables but also tobacco and trees, amongst other plants. There are over 2000 different plants all in the Solanceae family and the majority of them are highly poisonous and toxic for our bodies. Some nightshades poison is so strong that it has actually been used for poisoning people, leading to their death.

Nightshade Vegetables And Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are several common symptoms of nightshade intolerance such as :

Rashes, nausea and vomiting and something that people with R.A. are very familiar with, achy muscles and joint pains as well as  inflammation. The later symptoms is far to familiar for people with R.A.

All people are not intolerant to nightshades but if you already have an underlying issue with Rheumatoid Arthritis or any other auto immune disease, adding to fuel to the fire might not be the best route to take.

You might not even realize that you are intolerant to the poison from the plants because you always have pain and swelling anyway.

If you do suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis removing nightshades from your diet can be a very good way to start.

By keeping it out of your food for a designated time you can then determine if you experience any significant difference or not. When you then start eating it again you might be able to feel changes happening in your joints, such as getting more aches.

To me, keeping nightshades out of diet is logical. The nightshade family is known for the poison it carries and to be fair you would probably not go and eat the tobacco plant as you do know that it is poisonous, just like smoking.

The vegetables in the nightshade family are related to the tobacco plant. If your doctor has never told you to give up smoking as it can worsen your Rheumatoid Arthritis, then something is wrong with your doctor. Every one know that smoking is bad for you and causes a variety of health issues, well nightshades are tobaccos younger and more hip baby brother.

If you ask researchers and doctors if there is a correlation between R.A. and Nightshades they will more than likely say no. Perhaps if we all knew that nightshade plants were poisonous, sales would drop and they would start to lose money, not just from farming the plants but also medications to help with symptoms caused from R.A. This is however only speculations.

A List Of Nightshade Vegetables – Our Day To Day Food

  • Capsicum / Peppers/ Pimento
  • Potatoes ( Not sweet potato)
  • Physalis
  • Eggplant
  • Goji Berries
  • Chilies
  • Pepino
  • Tamarillo
  • Tomatoes

These are the basics to stay away from but there are thousands of them. A lot of these vegetables have also been mixed into regular spices and sauces. For example – Capsicums are often dried and mixed into BBQ sauces etc.

So there is a lot of product labels to be read.

Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis – Staying Away From Nightshades

It is almost impossible to stay away from all nightshades, unless you make everything from scratch, including sauces etc.

I started with excluding all the basic nightshades that I would usually eat and the things I knew were just nightshades for example Ketchup / Tomato Sauce.

I just stopped eating it all together. I was still using some spices and sauces, even though I would love to make everything from scratch at home. I am a realist and there was no way for me to do so, when working 2 jobs and studying full time.

I was keeping away from nightshades and I actually noticed a difference but I did not notice the difference until I started eating nightshades again. Why you might wonder. See I thought that it did not do anything, Nothing happened, I still had some pain and aches in my joints, so I started eating potatoes again. I believe I actually went out and a restaurant meal that included a nice steak with potatoes and ketchup. The next day my fingers were so painful. The stiffness was back and the soreness and that warmth you can get from your joints due to the inflammation was back.

This is when I realized that perhaps there is something more to this and it is not all baloney.


No one ever said that it was going to be easy. I am not saying it is going to be easy because that would be a lie.

If you are content and happy on the treatment you are on then I am so happy for you.

In my case the treatment did not do much at all, I was in to the hospital every few months for cortisone injections even though I had both tablets and injectable medications in my treatment plan. Nothing ever really worked until this.

I have been slacking of my diet and my ways and I do pay the price that follows this. I am not saying never enjoy a tomato of never have capsicum. I still have it, however I do not have it on a daily basis and I try not to mix it all together in the same meal and then I prepare myself for the pain I am going to endure the following day. Sometimes that is a price I am willing to pay as the craving for potato wedges and ketchup can be pretty serious at times. Other times I do not give in to it.

When you change your diet it is not about never having it again. It is about finding a balance were you are healthy and pain free but also are able to enjoy life and the food you love, but perhaps not everyday.

You will be able to find your own balance and what works for you. Perhaps after trying you will never have nightshades again, perhaps you will have it every other week, perhaps you limit yourself to one time a week. This is all individual and it will be determined by your body.

For me, having it once a week has worked pretty well, however I do supplement with a lot of anti-inflammatory foods and spices to assist my body with the potential inflammation that can occure.

When I went nightshade free I cooked everything I loved but in different ways, it was not always easy but I love experimenting, if you need some help along the way to get started that is ok too.

I hope you have enjoyed the reading, if you have any questions or comments please drop them down below and I will get back to you.

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. This is great information!
    I am glad i read your article. First of, i didn`t know they are called nightshades.
    And secondly, which is so important, is that people with arthritis should try to avoid these nightshades!
    Thank you so much for sharing this post!

    1. Thank you so much. I am glad that I could help.

  2. Hi Alexandra,
    Your site is very informational and seeing as how my mother is going into her senior years this may be something we could look at together. People in my family have always suffered with arthritis, so the information you provide here is very insightful. Thanks for you post.

    1. It is so important to feed your body the right nutrition especially especially when you suffer from an auto immune disease. Giving your body the right foods to battle the illness is the best thing you can do. Thank you so much for reading and I hope that this will help your mother.

  3. What an interesting article! It was well written and very informative. I have a horticulture degree and know all about nightshades and how to grow them well. I did not know about how destructive they can be to those who have RA. Thank you!

    1. Thank you. Yes they can be very bad for people with R.A. Not a lot of people are aware of this and how it might contribute to their pain.

  4. I had no idea that some of the food you mentioned could cause inflammation. I was sorry to see peppers, tomatoes and ketchup on the list. I love these foods. I sure do appreciate the information that you provided. I agree that we are all different and our bodies respond differently. I do not have arthritis but I do know some close friends that struggle with it. I will mention this article to them and perhaps they can adjust some of their eating habits. I will remember the information you shared in case I develop arthritis…’s always good to be informed.Thanks again and have an awesome day!

    1. Thank you for reading. If the arthritis is bad then it is definitely worth a try to exclude these vegetables from your diet. As you might be happily surprised.
      Same to you

  5. Firstly I would like to say a very well written article.

    I thoroughly agree with all you opinions especially where you say doctors would not know if the nightshades are good for arthritis.

    While doctors, granted, have the qualifications and the like but I have found that in most cases either they would be clueless about some health issues but also they do tend to promote their own agenda.
    This is the reason I was able to unclog my arteries naturally by myself and I am glad you are doing the same with your health problem too.

    I will bookmark this site because it forms an inspiration of a person who has or is in the same boat as me and I will refer anyone to who has arthritis to this page.

    Thank you God bless

    1. Thank you for your comment and input. A lot of the time they are not trained in “food” but they are trained in how to hide your symptoms. I wanted more than just to hide them, I wanted to get rid of them.
      Like you say, you can do amazing things with your body as long as you are on the right foods.
      That is so good that you managed to do that.
      Thank you again for your kind comment.

  6. Hi Alexandra, I am really glad I have the opportunity to read this article. You see, I admit that almost all of the nightshade list you mentioned is already part of our daily lives and it’s really hard or shall I say impossible to do away with that considering I grew eating all of those and I know someday it will get back at me. Honestly, I can’t live without hot peppers. But knowing the bad effects on our health as we aged, I think I’ll have to reconsider, experiment and modify my diet/ meals.
    I totally agree with your idea in trying not to take it on a daily basis and simply avoid mixing it altogether in one meal. In that way, I can still enjoy my food without my conscience bothering me about risking my health.
    Thank you for sharing this article. It’s a good reminder.

    1. Hi Jocelyn,
      It it very hard, since they are included in almost everything.
      I am a big fan of hot peppers myself, I still have hot peppers, capsicum etc but since doing the elimination diet I know what my limit is with them and I also know that my body works best without them. I do not have hot peppers everyday but I might have a couple in a two week period.
      Thank you for reading and I hope that it helps.

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