Written by John Immel,
Ever since the Spaniards brought tomatoes to Europe, nightshades have been subject of controversial debate. Southern Europe said yes, embracing the tomato, which would fundamentally change Mediterranean and especially Italian cuisine. Northern Europe said no, calling the tomato 'wolf peach' instead because they belong to the often poisonous nightshade family. In the East, the controversy continues - Chinese medicine says yes, they clear summer heat. Ayurveda says no, they stimulate heat and desire, and cause toxic build-up. Whatever your personal philosophy on tomatoes, they are a near ubiquitous addition to world cuisine.
Members of the nightshade family have a certain "other-worldly" funkiness to them - a residue that ultimately irritates the body, especially the joints. Crush a tomato leaf and sniff; you will experience the funkiness of nightshades first-hand. Exercise caution with nightshades if you have arthritis, are easily irritated, or have an aggressive, hot-blooded temperament. Individuals with sensitive digestions should also avoid them.
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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