Sunday, January 24, 2010

Here it is! The First Person Anti-Arthritis By Not Eating Nightshade Vegetables Report

So, you asked me to write to you how my diet is working for me.  I started a couple of months ago.  We had a house guest for Shabbat and N mentioned that she'd heard staying away from nightshade vegetables sometimes helped with arthritis pain.  I decided, on the spur of the moment, to try it out, starting with the very next meal.  She said that it took about 6 weeks to see results if I was going to be one of the ones helped.

To be honest, it was just a whim to prove it WOULDN'T work.  I figured that I'd do this for the 6 weeks, see no real change, and go back to eating "normally".  HA!  By Tuesday I saw a significant difference.  The weather changed, and my joints hadn't forewarned me.  It was truly shocking to be caught unawares by rain!

And truly, it has to be a really significant difference for me to stick with this.  I have not been one for potatoes much, but I lived off eggplant, charif (hot spice,) and tomatoes!  Especially here in Israel, with the Mediterranean diet, it is a tough haul.  I went through a month or so of feeling that there was no food I was allowed to eat, mostly because there was so little food that I was used to eating that I could still eat with impunity.  Eating out is a nightmare.  Even when I tell hosts what I can't eat, they frequently don't get it.  Peppers includes not only bell peppers, but also paprika, which is ubiquitous, and the hot peppers.  Eating in restaurants is dicey.  While I can see most ingredients and at least eat around them, so many things have paprika.  We can't use any more prepared foods.  I have been to simchas (joyous occasions like weddings, parties etc) where there was not a single solitary thing that I could eat served.  And once, my girlfriend very carefully left the tomatoes out of the salad so that I could have some, and the other woman at the table reached over and cut some into it before I had a chance to take any!

But I have seen 3 important changes in my health:
     1) I have so much less pain and stiffness now that I can't believe the difference
     2) I don't even have to know that I ate something from the nightshade family, to feel the arthritis come back (almost immediately, in as little as 20-30 minutes!)
     3) I lost a kilo (2.2 lbs) the first month of doing this and I think it is mostly because I can move more easily (the arthritis is in my knees, hips, wrists and elbow, not my  hands).  That first month I practically lived off noodles and cottage cheese from feeling "deprived", so it can't be that I was eating less -- I was eating much worse.

H recommended that I look upon it as a food allergy, and that has been an important step in accommodating the changes I have needed to maintain.

Remember that following this diet isn't easy if you can't control your food intake or cooking.  Restaurant and processed foods don't get labeled as nightshade inclusive or not.  I'd be very interested in additional reports and recommendations.  Thank you

1 comment:

Unknown said...

From what I've read, a few rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients (1-2%) say they feel better if they eliminate these nightshade foods from their diet. You seem to be in that lucky group.

Nightshade plants contain solanine. Solanine can be avoided by simply paring away the "eyes" and green skin of potatoes and by avoiding the other plants when they are unripe