Are Nightshade Plants Paleo?

Cut out the gluten, the dairy, the white sugar and all should be well, right? While that is a huge step in the right direction, it’s only a step. For anyone with an autoimmune condition, you’ve got to be a little more focused both on making sure to stay true to Paleo and not have slip ups now and then as they’ll cause a much more noticeable reaction compared to someone who is not dealing with the same challenges. Not only that, you’ve also got to eliminate a few more foods: eggs, nuts and seeds and nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, all peppers and eggplants). Finally, you’ve also got to be extra cautious you’re getting mega rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids (bring on the wild salmon!), iodine (seaweed, anyone?)  and a literal ton of all the local, colorful, seasonal veggies you can find. (Incidentally, all of use should be doing the above three steps…just saying.) Interestingly, some of the very nightshades that those with auto immune conditions need to avoid are the very same ones that are indicated for promoting women’s health, which coincidentally falls in line with one of the recommendations of TCM suggesting we eat foods that are deeply colored in rich reds and purples and shaped somewhat like our organs. My recommendation is always such that you approach it with a short term goal.  If you love nuts, eggs, seeds and nightshades and cannot imagine how you’ll live without ever eating them again, give it a month. See how your body changes, how inflammation decreases and how your doctor may even have a convo about perhaps tapering off potent anti inflammatory meds, which I’ve seen happen many a time. One client in particular had taken methotrexate for years for her RA.  She wanted to have a baby so found a functional medicine doc who was able to guide her safely off while I helped her with her AI Paleo protocol. Not only was she able to conceive and have a baby without having to take any meds, she felt leaps and bounds better than she’d felt in years. Somehow not having nightshades or eggs didn’t matter that much in the end.