It's Garden Season!
If you or your neighbors garden, you likely already know that it's tomato season here in the U.S. This can mean an overflowing of tomatoes on a good year, and even more so this year with so many unplanned gardens starting during lock-down.
All in the Family
Tomatoes are part of a larger family of produce called nightshades or sonanaceae. This family includes potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers, and some other plants and flowers.
Do They Cause Inflammation?
Some athletes and natural medicine providers swear by an anti-inflammatory diet without nightshades, but this family is also very nutritions. Any food that you don't digest well can cause inflammation in your body, but the alkaloids in nightshades do trigger inflammation in some people.
If you have an underlying condition that can be easily irritated, and you have increased pain levels this time of year, then it's worth considering decreasing this family of foods.
What to do About it
It is often easier to focus on foods to add than foods to avoid, and according to the Arthritis Foundation it's important to include some of that Mediterranean goodness like Omega fatty acids. Ask your natural medicine provider for a high quality fish oil or a supplement with bio-available turmeric, as these can help decrease systemic inflammation. If you have questions about your own healing journey though pain and inflammation, make sure to consult your trusted healthcare provider.
Acupuncture has been shown to decrease inflammation, and Naturopaths can suggest additional lab testing or therapies that can support your body's natural ability to regulate the inflammatory process. You may also want to consider a certified nutritionalist to help you with your dietary choices. Eliminating food allergies and eating a healthy diet are a great place to start.
About the Author
Kat Powers L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist recognized by the Oregon State Medical Board and the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She is passionate about patient advocacy and helping her patients understand alternative options. In her free time she enjoys bullet journaling and walks with her greyhound.