Inflammation.  It’s the cause of all chronic disease.  Per the CDC, chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States.  Chronic diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity,  arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.

It’s not new information that chronic conditions can often be managed through lifestyle changes especially nutrition and exercise.  Most know the basic guidelines; eat a healthy balanced diet of vegetables, fruit, and healthy proteins and exercise daily.   But are there any specific vegetables that can promote inflammation even if they are non-GMO, pesticide free, organic vegetables?

Naturopathic Medicine, Inflammation, Arthritis

Vegetables that are part of the nightshade family are inflammatory to your body and can cause your arthritis to become worse

Yes!  Especially if you already have a chronic disease and are prone to inflammation.  A perfect example is individuals with arthritis.  Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States.  The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which affects more than 30 million US adults.  So besides eating healthy and staying active what vegetables may be increasing your inflammation even though they are considered healthy?

You want to avoid vegetables that are members of the nightshade family if you are prone to inflammation.  The foods to avoid in the nightshade family are tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplant, and all peppers.  Also, consider the spices made from peppers such as paprika, cayenne, and red pepper flakes.



What you want to focus on is eating mostly lower carbohydrate vegetables in the 3% to 6% category. 

Here’s the breakdown: 3%- Asparagus, bean sprouts, greens, broccoli, red and green cabbage, cauliflower, celery, swiss chard, cucumber, endive, lettuce (green, red romaine, mixed greens), mustard and dandelion greens, radishes, spinach, and watercress

                                 6%- String beans, beets, bok choy, brussel sprouts, chives, collards, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, onion, parsley, pumpkin, rutabagas, turnips, and zucchini

                                15%- Artichoke, parsnip, green peas, squash, and carrots

                                +20% – Yams and sweet potatoes

Remember, there are other seemingly healthy foods that can promote inflammation, especially if you are prone to it.  Arthritis is a great example.  Vegetables from the nightshade family only touch the surface of inflammation causing foods. 

How do you know if you are prone to inflammation or have an inflammatory disease?  If you have been diagnosed with any chronic disease from diabetes to arthritis or have an acute injury, such as a sprained ankle you are prone to inflammation. Even with an acute injury, more inflammation will slow your healing process.  The above-mentioned vegetables have a very high potential to add inflammation present in your body. 

If you would like to learn more feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to help you with your wellness journey!

In Health,

Cynthia Schmeck, ND, MSc, NASM-CPT

3 Dimensional Health & Wellness: