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What are Nightshade Vegetables

Nightshade vegetables are slightly different from other vegetables. They both can be quite healthy, however, the normal type grows well with plenty of sunlight while the other one requires good shade. It could be said that the nightshade type grows better in well shaded areas and sometimes even flower at night.

Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and even chili peppers are known to be members of this group of vegetables. They belong to a certain family of plants called Solanaceae. These plants produce certain chemicals to keep the insects away.

The solanine is a natural occurring substance in some plants of the solanaceae family and is used to protect them from any immediate threat. This chemical can appear in any part of the plant including leaves and fruits. It can be poisonous if a high concentration of the substance is consumed. The symptoms commonly associated to a high intake of solanine include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, irregular heartbeat and stomach cramps. In extreme cases it might cause paralysis and fever.

Only green potatoes contain solanine in dangerous amounts, which is why green potatoes should not be eaten and consequently that is why some people are against consuming these vegetables.

Many vegetables in the nightshade family taste good, are nutritious and are also consumed frequently worldwide, like potatoes and tomatoes.

Russet potatoes and fresh tomatoes

There are other substances present in the nightshade vegetables, some of them can be quite helpful in the prevention of certain conditions.

- One of them for example is lycopene. 

This substance is commonly found in the tomatoes. It is a very powerful antioxidant which can reduce the chances of suffering heart conditions.

- Another vegetable often overlooked is the potato.

This nutritious tuber contains a good number of vitamins and minerals. It is also the source of many flavonoids which can help to reduce the chances of experiencing Parkinson, Alzheimer, atherosclerosis and even cancer. Potatoes can also be used as a part of a weight reducing program due to its high satiety index.

- Chili peppers are great too. 

As part of the nightshade vegetables it contains a very healthy substance known as capsaicin. The chemical is known to help in clearing the nasal passages from sinus congestion. It also helps in decreasing the intensity of headaches thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties plus is a great source of vitamin C.

As you can see these vegetables can be healthy for you; so keep that in mind the next time you are shopping for food.

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