There are some foods from the nightshade family that can trigger migraine attacks. Popular and widely consumed vegetables like potatoes, eggplant, sweet peepers, tomatoes, paprika, hot peppers, and cayenne pepper are all part of the nightshade family of vegetables. Actually, more than 2,780 species of plants belong to this group. Many believe that migraine patients should try to avoid this group of vegetables altogether as nightshade vegetables are rich in neurotoxic alkaloids that can easily trigger an attack. They can also impair joint and muscle function if taken in large quantity.
You may have enjoyed wide variety foods from different cultures, and would have definitely relished paprika and eggplant. People these days use Cayenne pepper as a spice of choice when preparing food. Unfortunately, you may have to remove all of these nightshades, since most of them can be significant migraine triggers. Some migraine patients have highly sensitive digestive system and they can eliminate nightshades through the process of elimination. Maybe, you may find that potatoes and tomatoes may not act as migraine triggers for you. The best way to go is to keep a food journal in order to find the nightshades that should be completely removed from your diet until the main reason for your migraine attacks becomes clear.
Is Quantity Important?
While some feel you can eat nightshades in small quantities, but experts disagree. All migraine sufferers have different thresholds that govern when their migraine would strike. As some of the trigger foods are consumed, this threshold will become lower and lower. So a stage may come when even small amount will trip the threshold, even if your migraine occurs one or two days later. The best approach is to maintain a significantly higher threshold. This means, you need to completely remove the offending nightshade and then carefully reintroduce it back on rotational basis as you begin modifying your diet.
Can Boiling Help With These Nightshades?
Yes, it’s possible to reduce the level of toxic alkaloids in nightshades by half, by boiling them. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to remove all toxic substances with the help of high heat. While people without migraines can rely on this method, it won’t work if you suffer from migraine. As migraine is a neurological disorder, neurotoxic alkaloids have a wider impact on people suffering from migraines, even if they consume them in very small amounts. Therefore, best approach is to completely remove them from your diet.
Don’t Pay Much Attention To Experts And Pay Attention To Your Own Body
Some of you may find that widely popular nightshade may be a trigger in your case. For instance, you may be using cayenne pepper to season many different meals, so it is not easy to isolate it. It’s worth mentioning here that not all nightshades need to be removed from your diet. You get many essential vitamins from some nightshades. So do your research by skillfully removing and then reintroducing a specific nightshade paying close attention to how your body responds to each one of them.
Source: www.whfoods.com, “What are nightshades and in which foods are they found?”,