Does foods belonging to the nightshade family increase stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis?


I have rheumatoid arthritis and I have found that by eliminating foods belonging to the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, and chili) I no longer have the morning stiffness that I found quite painful. Apparently, it is the solanine in these foods which caused the morning stiffness (for me anyway). However, these foods are some of my favorites and as I also have a gluten intolerance, I am struggling to find foods to eat.

Is the solanine in a particular part of the vegetable or all through it? I have read that in potatoes, the solanine is found in the skin or if the potato has started to root, where the tuber is growing. New food labels require peanut and soy ingredients to be listed with an allergy warning on the label. So perhaps by carefully skinning the potato, I can still eat it? Do you know where the solanine is in tomatoes, eggplants etc., could it be in the seeds or the skin of these vegetables, too?

Many thanks for your help.

Also, include tobacco and red peppers in your nightshade list. The green peel, sometimes found on potatoes grown too close to the surface of the ground, contain higher amounts of solanine. Throw away potatoes with any green skin. Other vegetables seem to have solanine throughout. Solanine inhibits nerve impulses.

I have not found any medical research to support your connection between arthritis and eating foods high in solanine or foods belonging to the nightshade family. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine cautions against eliminating foods as there is no evidence that any food causes or treats arthritis. My concern is that you are eliminating vegetables with nutrients that contribute significantly to your health. You should include a variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains in your eating plan.

With a gluten intolerance, none of the foods with solanine have gluten. For specific suggestions based on your eating history, please see the gluten topic and contact a Registered Dietitian.