Potatoes, friend or foe for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Potatoes have been the basic food for millions of people around the world for generations. Science is now suggesting that they may not be good for everyone.
If you have any sort of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) then it may be a good idea for you NOT to eat potatoes. Here's why.
A few weeks ago I wrote a couple of articles about the alkaloids in plants. These protect the plants against fungal disease, parasite attack and bacteria.
Catch up here for the background and here.
Now scientists have found that there is a connection between people with IBD and potatoes, especially fried potatoes. Scientists are like detectives. They keep looking for signs, symptoms and details, and look at lots of statistics before they come to their conclusions.
If you have any connection to a garden and your grandparents grew potatoes as many did, you may know that the stems and leaves of the potato plant are poisonous. Well the same poison is present also in the skin of the potato and in the outer layer of the potato near the skin. This is why it is always a good idea to peel your potatoes.
Glygoalkaloids are the little culprits that irritate the bowel of sensitive people with Crohn's disease or Ulcerative colitis. You will see in my previous articles that I talk about the connection between potatoes and inflammation. Well it is also inflammation in the bowel.
Therefore it is a good idea for anyone with any sort of Inflammatory bowel disease to avoid potatoes and any of their relatives. This includes tomatoes and eggplant. When you are thinking what to eat, you have to be your own detective. Potatoes also includes hot potato chips from a fish and chip shop, and potato crisps from the supermatket. It also includes mashed potatoes and potatoes in a pot of mashed vegetables.
It especially includes fried potatoes. Fried potatoes are especially bad for anyone with IBD as the toxic alkaloids are concentrated.
So store your potatoes in a cool dark place to the slow the build up of alkaloids
Don't eat the skins of potatoes
Don't eat fried potatoes
Don't eat old potatoes as the alkaloids build up in them. If you have IBD and decide to eat potatoes, eat young, freshly grown potatoes.
Alkaloids in Potatoes and Tomatoes
Last time I wrote about alkaloids in certain members of the vegetable family that may affect people with arthritis. Catch up here.
Cooking Alters Alkaloids
Now here is the good news. If you cook these vegetables - potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant or peppers, then this destroys 40-50% of the alkaloids. So my Mum was able to get away a little bit with eating the tomatoes in her soup as they had been cooked. Raw tomatoes would have been much worse for her.
An easy way to tell if the potatoes in your cupboard are likely to have excess alkaloid in them is to check if they are green or sprouting. Always remove sprouted areas before cooking and if there are lots of sprouts on a potato then throw it away or plant it in your garden. This way you can grow your own fresh potatoes for the rest of your family in six months.
Tobacco, although not a nightshade, has alkaloids in it. Remember that the next time you light up a cigarette, especially if you have arthritis.
There is a substance in the Solanaceae family of plants that blocks activity in an enzyme in nerve cells. This can affect the nervous system control of muscle movement and you can get twitching, trembling and paralysed breathing or convulsions.
Inflammation and Arthritis
The joints can become inflamed after eating potatoes and/or tomatoes or capsicum and is recommended to eliminate any member of this family group of plants from your diet if you suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or other joint problems like gout.
Some nervous system problems are Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Diabetes, Depression and Anxiety.
Sweet potato does not belong to the same family as potatoes so you may be able to substitute this for potatoes. If you are affected by tomatoes, then think of all the things tomatoes are in – tomato sauce, pizza sauce, tomato paste, tomato soup.
I am a trained Natural Therapist, Teacher, published Author and Artist who lives on the south eastern coast of Australia.
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The topics on this site are the opinion of the author and as such are only for research and educational purposes. Any products used or statements made are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Always use your own best judgment and consult a medical professional when making important health care choices.