Those that follow my teaching know
about my passion for educating my
patients and readers why they must
avoid all foods in the Nightshade
genre because of their known
contribution to inflammation.
Keep in mind that inflammation is inflammation;
in your mouth, joints, ligaments, soft tissue and
Scientists estimate that by 2025, the number of
Americans with an inflammatory disorder/disease
will reach 50 million. Arthritis, fibromyalgia and
joint disease affect 43 million people in the United
States, almost 20 percent of the population. This
number is expected to surpass 60 million by 2020.
Most of these inflammatory disorders can be
either eradicated or significantly reduced simply by
proper nutrition—understanding that we are what
Mechanisms Of Inflammation
Inflammation is the body's protective response
to injury and/or infection; it is a complex process
involving many cell types, as well as different
components of blood. The inflammatory process
works quickly to destroy and eliminate foreign
and damaged cells, and to isolate the infected
or injured tissues from the rest of the body.
Inflammatory disorders arise when inflammation
becomes uncontrolled—causing destruction of
healthy tissue. There are dozens of inflammatory
disorders. Many occur when the immune system
mistakenly triggers inflammation in the absence
of infection, such as inflammation of the joints
in Rheumatoid Arthritis or inflammation of soft
tissues and tendons as in Fibromyalgia. Others
result from a response to tissue injury or trauma
but affect the entire body.
Inflammation Induced From Nightshades
There are many ways by which normal cells and
tissues can be damaged, leading to inflammation.
One important way is consuming Nightshade
foods because they contain a substance known
to accelerate inflammation—Solanaceae or
Solanine—alkaloid chemicals that can be highly
Cholinesterase, an enzyme, originates in
the brain and is responsible for flexibility of
muscle movement. Solanine/Solanaceae, alkaloid
chemicals in nightshades, is a powerful inhibitor of
cholinesterase and therefore interferes with muscle
movement—leading to stiffness, inflammation,
pain and lack of tendon mobility, and pain that can
last for weeks after consuming nightshade foods.
One important mechanism of inflammation is
by assembly of a complex of proteins that forms
holes on the surface of a cell, where it causes
damage and can potentially kill the cell. This
complex is called a Membrane Attack Complex or
MAC. The Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation and
its research team is working to understand how
MAC contributes to a number of inflammation-associated
disorders, including the complications
of diabetes, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
Understanding how MAC assembles will provide
insights into the design of natural substances to
prevent inflammatory damage to cells.
Inflammation is also an important secondary
component of many diseases. An example of this
is atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries,
where inflammation can cause more damage to
arteries in a failed attempt to heal the artery wall.
There is also an important link between obesity and inflammation, because substances that promote inflammation are released from fat cells, as well as from other cells embedded in fat tissue. The Institute's
scientists are leading the way in understanding these new
and exciting areas of inflammation research.
In this new year I'll provide you with more of my tasty
healthy nightshade substitutes, as in this recipe. You don't
have to give up taste to eat healthy. Weekly my team and I
test recipes to present to you so that you can all achieve,
"Health thru Education™".
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (white sweet potato, parsnip, or orange/purple sweet variety)—none of these contain inflammation-inducing chemicals.
- 2 apples, sliced—my team preferred granny smith
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided—I prefer softened coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
- Pink Himalayan Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, OR chicken breast with skin-on
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3–4 Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. natural brown sugar, known in South America as Panela
- 1 Tbsp. grainy mustard
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 3 rosemary sprigs, for skillet
- Preheat oven to 425°
- In a medium bowl, add sweet potatoes, apples, chopped rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive or softened coconut oil and toss until combined—set aside.
- In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive/coconut oil. Add chicken and sear, skin side down, until a rich deep golden color, about 3–4 minutes. Remove chicken from heat while you make the glaze—set aside.
- To the same skillet, add apple cider vinegar, honey/panela and grainy mustard. Bring mixture to a rapid simmer and cook until mixture has reduced slightly then whisk in the butter. Taste to reach your desired intensity of sweet/sour and adjust accordingly.
- Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up, and scatter the sweet potato mixture and rosemary sprigs around the chicken. Turn off the heat and transfer the entire skillet to the oven.
- Bake until sweet potatoes are tender, and the chicken is cooked through, about 20–30 minutes. (If potatoes need longer to cook, transfer chicken to a cutting board to rest and continue cooking until tender). At high altitudes, as in the Andes where our research and test kitchen is located, we need to cook it for about 45–50 minutes—adjust as needed.
- Serve chicken and sweet potatoes with pan drippings—that's the tastiest part.