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Nightshades and Ayurveda

Why are nightshades avoided in Ayurveda?

Many of our clients ask us this question and are confused which foods are considered nightshades. The list includes white potatoes, tomatoes 🍅 peppers 🌶 eggplants 🍆 bell peppers 🫑 cayenne pepper, paprika, goji berries, jalapeños and pimentos. Yes, Goji berries are considered nightshades! From an Ayurvedic perspective, why should you avoid these?

Nightshades possess inflammatory properties which can generate excess heat 🔥 and acidity in the body. They are particularly aggravating for both Vata and Pitta doshas. Individuals diagnosed with gout, rheumatoid arthritis, high levels of inflammation and autoimmune diseases should avoid inflammatory producing foods such as nightshades.

The rajasic nature of nightshades encourage increased states of mental stress and anxiety due to their stimulating qualities. As we work to approach life in a more Sattvic manner, Ayurveda recommends eating more light and easy to digest foods, freshly cooked meals, seasonal fruits 🫐 and 🥕vegetables.
If you find yourself struggling to cut nightshades out of your diet, try a few of the replacements below.
– Sweet potatoes 🍠 instead of white 🥔 or red potatoes.
– Beetroot instead of 🍅 tomato.
– Okra or zucchini instead of 🍆 eggplant.
– Turmeric, black pepper, Pippali, ginger and other spices instead of 🌶 chili.
If you continue to cook with nightshades, using appropriate digestive spices and fats can help to reduce the acidity and inflammatory response within the body. We suggest speaking with one of our practitioners to create an individualised nutrition program for you. Booking is available through or website or calling us at 0406 810 547.
Wishing you a great start to your weekend!
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