Why are nightshades on the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol List to avoid?
It may seem a little funny that tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, sweet & hot pepper (black peppers are okay), Goji Berries & the like and chili-based spices can cause such a problem for the autoimmune crowd. These tasty nightshade fruits and vegetables which can be good for some but can wreak havoc on those with autoimmune diseases for a few reasons…
Reason number one:
Nightshades contain saponins…now, what on earth is that? Within the nightshade plant, whether it is foliage, fruit or flower it contains a type of saponin called glycoalkaloids and steroidal substances. Bottom-line, sopanin can aggravate leaky gut and stimulates an exaggerated response from the immune system both of which clearly do not jive for the autoimmune paleo crowd. If you’d like the seriously scientific and stupendous explanation we encourage you to check out Paleo Mom’s website, what else would you expect from a mom?! They often fulfill the adage of knowing everything…shout out to my mom! J
Reason number two:
There is a lot of lectin in nightshades. Not all lectin is bad but those within the nightshade category cause ample doubt for concern. Truth be told, no complete analysis has been conducted to determine the physiological breakdown and effects these plants have on those with autoimmune diseases so this information is more hypotheses and theory than actual law. However, the conclusion can be drawn that the lectin contained in the nightshades can increase intestinal permeability and resistance to digestion. They also have the ability to interact with the proteins in the cells of membranes…kind of sounds like the similar issues eggs can cause, huh? All of these attributes contribute to leaky gut.
Reason number three:
Some of the nightshades like peppers contain capsaicin which is the substance that lights up your world when you consume them. This is what keeps your salsa hot but also trigger acid reflux in many and causes leaky gut for others. The more frequent one experiences leaky gut the more likely they are to develop food allergies and autoimmunity.
These are some of the primary reasons why nightshade plants aren’t included on the autoimmune paleo protocol. Overall all of these reasons contribute to leaky gut. The Paleo Perfection Protein adheres to this rule very strictly and includes only vegetables that are beneficial to every family member. We hope that this information was helpful to you and your family and will further aid you in future nutritional decisions!