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June 2013 Issue

Nightshade Vegetables and Mulberry Leaf

Nightshades, plants in the Solanaceae family, include white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and sweet and hot peppers. While nightshade foods are rich in healthy antioxidants, they contain an alkaloid called solanine, a natural insect defense mechanism that’s concentrated mostly in leaves and stems. Given that humans are bigger than bugs, it would take a lot of tomato and eggplant leaves (we usually eat the vegetable part, which has lower levels) to cause solanine toxicity. Yet, if you eat enough of the leaves you’ll have an upset tummy.

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