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 elsewhere.
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 we eat!
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 toxic.
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.
Gloria Gilbere, DAHom, PhD
Dr. Gloria Gilbère (CDP, DA Hom, ND, PhD, DSC, EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist, Certified HTMA Practitioner) is Founder/CEO of the Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation – after 22 years of owning/operating two health clinics in Idaho she relocated her Health Sciences/Research/Cooking Institute division to Cotacachi, Ecuador, S.A.
Her worldwide consulting via phone and Skype continues as does the Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation in Idaho. Visit her website at www.gloriagilbere.com or call (888.352.8175) to schedule a consultation or register for her post-graduate courses.
NEWS FLASH: Ready to learn more about simple recipes that can give you what I call the Anti-Inflammation Advantage? Download your free 40+ page cookbook The Anti-Inflammation Recipe Sampler at drgloriaskitchen.com/totalhealth/