Q: Are nightshade vegetables bad for your gut?

Nightshade vegetables contain an alkaloid called solanine, which is toxic in high concentrations. Some of these vegetables are peppers, tomatoes, white potatoes, and eggplants. The sprouted and green potatoes also have increased level of solanine.

[Nightshade vegetables: what are they and should you avoid them?]

Solanine is part of the natural defense system in this family of plants which makes these vegetables "harmful". Solanine is poorly absorbed by the human body and rapidly excreted. Solanine is not destroyed by cooking. Some people can be sensitive to these vegetables and these can cause gut discomfort, nausea, indigestion.

These vegetables also irritate the immune system and increase inflammation. If you are having major gut issues like inflammatory bowel disease, Chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis, super sensitive gut, constant general gut discomfort or an auto-immune disorder, avoid these vegetables for a month and see if the symptoms continue to flare up or are more settled.

This sensitivity varies widely from person to person. Only by eliminating a food from your diet and reintroducing it can you determine whether a food is messing with your system.

Another way to find out if these veggies don’t agree with you is a food sensitivity blood test. This is useful and can pinpoint trouble areas, but it is not 100 per cent accurate.

Most of us would not have any problem with these veggies, but if your gut is a bit compromised it’s better to avoid these and observe how you feel.

If you eliminate any vegetables from your diet, make sure to replace them with other nutrient-rich vegetables.

Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.