Saturday, 22 March 2014

Is there a Connection between Potatoes and Arthritis?


Picture Potatoes and Arthritis - an Old Wives Tale?

Part 1

Have you ever heard of not eating potatoes or tomatoes if you have arthritis? Is it an old wives tale? Would you stop eating potatoes or tomatoes if they made your arthritis worse?
 Lots of serious questions to ponder.

A Personal Tale of Arthritis

My Mum had very bad arthritis. She had heard this ‘old wives tale’  and looked for a correlation between when she ate tomatoes – she grew her own in a big veggie garden in the backyard – and the pains of her arthritis.

She did find a correlation so very reluctantly decided that she would no longer be able to eat these beautiful, round, red fruit. She went through a long period of grief about this.

It's Only a Little Bit

One day when I was visiting, we had some homemade vegetable soup. Mum always had soup ready to eat. ‘What’s this?’ I said. ‘There’s tomato in this.’

 ‘Oh, only a little bit,’ she said.’ I had to do something with them. I couldn’t waste those lovely tomatoes.’

 ‘But Mum, they’re tomatoes!’ I said. ‘You know they make your pains worse.’ She shut her lips tightly and I knew the subject was closed.

The next day I innocently asked her how her legs and hands had been through the night.

‘Dreadful,’ she replied. ‘The pains in my hands made me cry.’ This was a common answer to my question.

Some days later I talked to her again about how the tomatoes made her arthritis worse. Yes, she could agree with that.
’Well,’ I said, ‘why do you put tomato in your soup?’

 ‘Oh, but you can’t see it’, she said.’ It’s only a little bit.’

The Potato Family

Potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, capsicum, bell peppers (lots of different names for the same thing, depending on where you live), eggplant, paprika and cayenne pepper all belong to the same family of plants.

Alkaloids, Arthritis and Tomatoes and Potatoes

All these plants have a natural chemical in them called an alkaloid. These can have an effect on our nerve/muscle function. Alkaloids are designed by nature to protect the plants that contain them from being eaten by insects.

Very sensitive people are affected by these alkaloids while others with arthritis may not be. Just like with allergies, some people are affected and others are not.

To see if you are affected by this family of vegetables containing alkaloids, eliminate all of them from your diet for a few weeks. Watch the symptoms of your arthritis and see if the pains subside. If they do, then, if you want to find out which specific vegetable affects you the most, introduce your favourite vegetable one at a time. Have it 2 or 3 times in a week. If there is no reaction, try it again the next week.

If there is no reaction, then on the third week you can try out another of this vegetable family. Continue this till you find one that affects you. It goes without saying that if the arthritic pains worsen considerably when you reintroduce one of these vegetables, then stop eating it and wait for the pains to ease.

Continued in the next blog
Other articles about Arthritis

No comments:

Post a Comment