Avoiding Too Many Nightshades

Mon 3rd Feb 2014
Living to Be Happy 

Have you ever really thought about the fact that tobacco, although usually smoked, is a plant? - and that makes it a food! It is actually a member of the nightshade family along with potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and aubergine (eggplant).

It is true that the single greatest cause of preventable death globally is the consumption of tobacco. Stopping smoking reduces the risk of cancer, circulatory problems, and heart and lung disease. It positively affects fertility levels and encourages healthy pregnancies; it also improves sense of taste, skin and teeth, and means you won't stink!

Even the fashionable new additive-free tobacco still causes inflammation in the lungs and arteries, upsets the natural blood sugar levels, and stresses the heart and adrenals.Your adrenal glands are super important for a healthy immune system. They are necessary for proper thyroid function, balancing your hormones, stabilising your emotions, and regulating stress.

However, ALL members of the nightshade family contain nicotine, which is why when they are eaten regularly, they are so very more-ish! Can you imagine never eating a potato or tomato again? Maybe you are addicted!

Nicotine consumed in small doses acts as a pleasant stimulant, but the reason to keep an eye on our intake is because it is also a very common irritant to the digestive system and a typical cause of stomach upsets. Furthermore, in large doses nicotine has some very negative effects on the mind and body – it is a depressant - and it is known to trigger symptoms in arthritis sufferers, too.

With my stomach's sensitivity, smoking has always caused me belly ache, as has eating too many tomatoes or aubergines, and I have never been particularly excited by peppers, so keeping the consumption of these down to a minimum has never been difficult for me. However, I have always been a mega potato fan. I absolutely love potatoes! – yum yum.

So instead of eating potatoes once or more every day, from now on I am going to eat potatoes no more than one meal a day and no two days in a row - in other words, a maximum of one meal every two days. The rest of the time I will eat rice or corn (out here in Latin America it is not genetically modified). Wheat should be avoided, but amaranth, millet and buckwheat are also great for a varied diet.

I will apply the same rule for all nightshades - I will consume tomatoes, aubergines and peppers in no more than one meal every two days. This is to get into the habit of eating nightshades in healthy and nutritious amounts; for it is not that we need to avoid eating nightshades completely, but we are eating too many! 

For example, eating one nice big tomato or one baked potato as a snack a few times a week will be very nutritious, but eating tomatoes or potatoes every single day is not keeping their consumption from becoming an irritant, particularly for the digestive tract.

Everything is about balance, including food. Having nightshades under control can elevate your mood! - especially if you are eating these foods several times a day, so we should definitely keep an eye on the amount of nicotine we consume!

So the next time you form an opinion about someone smoking, first ask yourself the question – how nicotine free are you?! ;-)

Be inspired ♥


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