What are nightshade vegetables:
How are they related? The nightshade plants produce fruits that have the same little green elfish hat.
You’d think that these vegetables would have some health benefits and they do; they reduce inflammation, kill bacteria and viruses and have anti-cancer properties. But...the health risks are; they destroy cell membranes, causes birth defects (in lab rats) and can cause mental health problems.
Tomatoes toxicity is less than a potato and even less once it ripens. If you’re not going to eat 15,000 tomatoes in one sitting than I think the one tomato you have in your salad is not going to kill you. Peppers also have a very small amount of the compound that causes the toxicity to humans.
On the other hand, legumes (black beans) that have a large amount of lectins can cause; nausea, diarrhea, cramps, leaky gut syndrome, brain fog and tiredness, just to name a few if not properly cooked. However, making corn grain into hominy destroys any lectin in the corn because the procedure requires soaking and cooking the hard grain in a diluted solution of lye and then washed. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it? Onions are lectin-free, but my stomach still has a hard time if they are raw.
I do want to point out the health benefits of black beans. They are a good source of fiber, protein and folate. One cup of cooked black beans contains roughly 227 calories. The biggest benefit is their ability to reduce a spike in blood sugar after a meal, which helps those with diabetes and obesity.
*The best way to reduce lectins in beans is to soak them at least 12 hours before cooking, frequently changing the water. Adding baking soda or lemon juice will boost the neutralization of the lectins even further. Then rinse and cook on high heat for at least 10 minutes. This is especially needed if you are using a crockpot/slow cooker, because cooking your meal on low for 6-8 hours will not reduce the lectins. Serves 6 Total Time: 15 minutes
1 15 oz can of black beans, *see above
1 15 oz can of hominy, rinsed and drained
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small yellow pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 medium jalapeño, seeded, minced (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl combine the beans, hominy, tomatoes, peppers, onion, cilantro and jalapeños, if using.
In another bowl add the lime juice, oil, cumin and salt. Pour over bean mixture and toss well to coat. Yum Yum!