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The 8 Most Nutritious Nightshade Plants

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  • What Are Nightshade Vegetables?

    What Are Nightshade Vegetables?

    Nightshade vegetables are a broad group of plants from the Solanum and Capsicum families. Nightshade plants contain a poison called solanine. While it can be fatal, the fruits and foods of these plants — many of which you’ll find at your local grocery store — are safe to eat. This is because the amount of this toxic compound is lowered to nontoxic levels once they’ve matured. 

  • Tomatoes


    Tomatoes are a staple of many diets for numerous reasons. In addition to how easy they are to grow, they’re packed with nutrition. This no-fat fruit is high in vitamins A and C, and is also a good source of potassium, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber. 

    Try this fresh-from-the-garden tomato soup to warm up your bones on a cold day.

  • Potatoes


    Potatoes are one of the most abundantly grown foods used in the Western world. They’re also perennial nightshades that can be mildly poisonous when eaten before they’re ripe (i.e. while the skin is still green).

    It’s a great source of vitamin C. It also contains enough potassium, vitamin B6, and fiber to make it a healthier staple than you may realize.

    Potatoes aren’t as healthy when they’re prepared with high amounts of fats, salts, and oils, like french fries. Since nothing beats a homestyle staple, try this take on roast potatoes. 

  • Blueberries


    Blueberries are often touted as a “super food” because many believe they contain cancer-preventing ingredients. While delicious and nutritious, there’s no proof that the phytochemicals found in blueberries or supplements made from concentrated blueberry skins can prevent or cure cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. 

    A cup of blueberries provides a quarter of your daily vitamin C needs, as well as providing some needed dietary fiber. The fiber, when combined with the probiotics in yogurt, can keep your gastrointestinal tract in good working order. 

    Put some blueberries in your blender to make a smoothie

  • Bell Peppers

    Bell Peppers

    If you need a boost of vitamin C, bell peppers are a great choice. One green pepper contains twice as much vitamin C as an orange.

    Bell peppers are one of the tastiest snacks in the nightshade family. You can slice them up and dip them in hummus, add them to a stir fry, or your can try making this bell pepper farro salad

  • Hot Peppers

    Hot Peppers

    Hot peppers may be nightshades, but they can bring some heat. And if your tongue can endure the burn, there are good nutrients contained in those fiery devils.

    Common hot peppers — like jalapenos, serrano peppers, and red or green chilies—are good sources of vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium.

    Capsacian, what helps give spicy peppers their kick, has shown to decrease inflammation, which can help people withy joint disorders walk with less pain. 

    If you want something sweet with your spice, try making these chili chocolate-dipped cherries

  • Eggplant


    Eggplant is a good source of manganese, a mineral important for development and metabolism. Because of their meaty texture when cooked, they’re popular among vegetarians — think eggplant Parmesan — as well as vegans.

    Whip together an eggplant and okra fry to try something with a bit of Mediterranean flair.

  • Tomatillos


    The tomatillo — the tomato’s Mexican cousin — is a nightshade that grows in a husk. Common in Central and South America, it’s a staple of Mexican green sauces and can be boiled, fried, or steamed.

    While not as nutritiously plentiful as your garden-variety red tomato, they can help you sneak some extra fiber into your diet without adding in too many extra calories. 

  • Goji Berries

    Goji Berries

    To find fresh goji berries, you’ll have to visit a Chinese plantation. But they’re also typically found at specialty food stores in dried form, sometimes labeled wolfberries.

    More research needs to be done to back up health claims. But at the very least, we know that gojis contain protein and numerous healthy amino acids.

    To get more nightshades into your diet, try adding goji berries into this double berry cobbler