Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lupus: Avoid Nightshade Vegetables?

If you have Lupus, you probably know to avoid alfalfa and garlic, but what about nightshade vegetables?  Nightshade vegetables are white potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. 
Should you avoid all nightshade vegetables, or just be more aware of how they make you feel?  The Johns Hopkins Lupus Center's website states very clearly to avoid all alfalfa and as much garlic as possible, and I believe they are a trusted resource.  However they don't talk about nightshade vegetables.  A few other sites talk more about it.  It's something I've been thinking about lately, because I do believe that diet plays an important role in everyone's health, especially people with Lupus.

The website says there is no solid evidence or reason to avoid them, but they also say to keep an eye on your diet and if you notice a link to a flare up, then avoid it.  It's kind of wishy-washy information if you ask me.  The Smart Living Network says to not only avoid nightshades but to avoid a whole list of other foods too.  What's left to eat?  

I've done quite a bit of research on this, and I've also talked to my doctor.  What I've decided is best for me is following an anti-inflammatory mediterranean diet.  My family is Albanian, so this diet is very similar to the diet I ate growing up, and my great-grandmother lived to be 99 on this diet!  Here are the basics of the anti-inflammatory diet (info from Web MD). 

Specifics vary from diet to diet, but in general anti-inflammatory diets suggest:
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Minimize saturated and trans fats.
  • Eat a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish or fish oil supplements and walnuts.
  • Watch your intake of refined carbohydrates such as pasta and white rice.
  • Eat plenty of whole grains such as brown rice and bulgur wheat.
  • Eat lean protein sources such as chicken; cut back on red meat and full-fat dairy foods.
  • Avoid refined foods and processed foods.
  • Spice it up. Ginger, curry, and other spices can have an anti-inflammatory effect.

I also do my best to switch out white potatoes with sweet potatoes, and thankfully I don't like tomatoes anyway, but I need to get better about using less canned tomato products and sauce.  I LOVE eggplant, but that's an easy one to avoid because it's not a common everyday type of food for me anyway.

I have noticed that one of the BEST things I've done is add more Omega 3 fatty acids to my diet.  The BEST Omega supplement on the market is OmegaPlex by AdvoCare.  
It's endorsed by Dr Oz and has been studied to have a very potent amount of Omega 3's, as opposed to some of the Omega Supplements you buy at the supermarket where you won't know if they are actually as pure and concentrated as they say they are.    If you want to try a great Omega supplement, I highly recommend OmegaPlex.  You can click here to order.  

What have you done to change your diet since being diagnosed with Lupus?  Do you feel like the changes have made a difference?  I love hearing everyone else's stories! 


  1. Hi Nikki,
    Love your blog and love the positive inspirational talks, it's a pleasant change. You look fabulous!! I was diagnosed with Lupus in 1992. I've had some bad years/months but also some very good ones. I am thankful I can still do most things al though I've slowed down quite a bit. I love eating baked fish, especially haddock with a little panko bread crumbs and lemon and fresh ginger. My side includes jasmine rice with fresh spinach. I'm slowly trying to change the jasmine with brown rice or at least mix it. I truly need to loose 50-60 lbs, but sense that is such a big goal I'm going to try for 15-20, then go from there. I love life, I listen to my body and slow down when I need to, I swim in a therapy pool ever morning at 6:30 am.
    Take care and God Bless

  2. I have poor eating habits. I eat fried foods,love white potatoes,season all my food with a lot of garlic powder,drink soda, sweet tea, eat pasta and sweets. I know this needs to change, just need someone to help me get going in the right direction. I'm not sure what to eat and what not to eat, need some help in this area.