Arthritis: Do nightshade vegetables ‘inhibit pain’ or cause it to flare up? Expert advice


The UK sees more than 10 million people struggling with the painful diagnosis. The inflammation in the joints, characteristic for arthritis, can cause uncomfortable signs like pain. From stiffness to achy joints, this pain often affects your daily life.

In arthritis diet, nightshade vegetables represent a somewhat grey area, with some experts advising for and some against their intake.

This is because of the vegetables’ composition. In case you’re not aware, nightshades include the likes of aubergine, tomatoes, red bell peppers and potatoes.

While these veggies are considered “disease-fighting powerhouses” able to provide plenty of nutrition, they also contain a questionable chemical.

Ieva Kubiliute, Wellness Psychologist at Olio Lusso, said: “These foods are loaded with an alkaloid called solanine.”

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Labelled as the “culprit” in arthritis pain, this chemical could be causing your pain.

Kubiliute continued: “Self-studies claim that solanine can be toxic, especially when consumed in large quantities.

“This means it can aggravate arthritis pain or encourage inflammation.”

However, the Arthritis Foundation shares that this is a myth.


“There’s no scientific evidence to suggest that nightshades trigger arthritis flares,” the charity states.

Despite this, the expert advised controlling your intake of these vegetables.

She said: “Since no research seems to get the confusion out of the way, as a health and wellness expert, I suggest that you limit nightshades.

“Excruciating arthritis pain is something you may not want near your life.”

If you’re feeling brave, Arthritis Foundation suggests testing it out instead.

This is because some experts think that nightshade vegetables could actually pack “a potent nutrient mix that helps inhibit arthritis pain”.

They add: “However, many people do report symptom relief when they avoid nightshade vegetables.

“So, if you notice that your arthritis pain flares after eating them, consider eliminating all nightshade vegetables from your diet for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference.

“Then slowly add them back into your diet to see if symptoms worsen or stay the same.”

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

As there are different types of arthritis, the symptoms might depend on the exact type you suffer from.

However, the NHS lists these warning signs to look out for:

  • Joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
  • Inflammation in and around the joints
  • Restricted movement of the joints
  • Warm red skin over the affected joint
  • Weakness and muscle wasting.


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