Better Nutrition

What You Should Know About Nightshades

Q: I’ve heard the term “nightshade foods,” but I don’t know what foods those are. I’ve also heard that some people avoid them. Why?

—Maria G., Yuma, Ariz.

a: Nightshades are the common name for flowering plants that belong to the botanical family Solanaceae, which contains more than 2,000 different species. Many nightshades are poisonous and should never be eaten, including belladonna, also known as deadly nightshade.

Many nightshades, however, are very popular foods—tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, all types of

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