What You Should Know about Nightshades, Inflammation, & Pain

Ask The Nutritionist

Q: I’ve heard the term “nightshade foods,” but I don’t know what foods those are. I’ve also heard that some people avoid them. Why? —Maria G., Yuma, Ariz.

A: Nightshades are the common name for flowering plants that belong to the botanical family Solanaceae, which contains more than 2,000 different species. Many nightshades are poisonous and should never be eaten, including belladonna, also known as deadly nightshade.

Several nightshades, however, are very popular foods—tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, all types of sweet and hot peppers, cayenne, chili powder, paprika, pimentos, tomatillos, chilies, goji berries, and ashwagandha (an adaptogenic herb used in Ayurvedic medicine). In fact, in the U.S., we consume almost 230 pounds of nightshades per person per year.
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Catch the GMO Trilogy Movie Series
at Natural Grocers This Summer

Going Against GMOs author and holistic nutritionist Melissa Diane Smith and Natural Grocers Nutritional Health Coach Kariman Pierce are teaming up to present the GMO Trilogy Movie Series this summer at Natural Grocers, 5600 E. River Road, in Tucson. The series of short films will run from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every other Saturday starting on July 29, 2017.

Each movie will include a post-film Q&A, information on local action taking place, and tips on how you can avoid Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in food. 100% Organic, Non-GMO snacks will be served, and copies of Going Against GMOs will be available for purchase.

Beat the heat and educate yourself about the pressing health and environmental issues connected to GMOs in our food supply. The movies in the documentary series are:

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Too Much Sodium Hiding in Your Diet?

To protect against high blood pressure, avoid processed and prepared foods, and emphasize whole foods that are naturally rich in potassium.

Ask the Nutritionist

 Q:I have recently been diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure). My doctor advised me to reduce the amount of sodium in my diet, yet I hardly ever add salt to my food. How can I cut down on sodium in my diet if I rarely use salt? -Mike S., Cleveland

A: The dangers of sodium are very clear: Too much can raise blood pressure, and high blood pressure is the leading cause of death from heart disease and stroke in the United States, contributing to more than 1,000 deaths every day. Unfortunately, the average American adult consumes 3,400 mg of sodium daily, nearly 50 percent more than the 2,300 the federal government recommends. So we should hide all the salt shakers, right? Not so fast.

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Dietary Solutions for Menstrual Cramps

Anti-inflammatory diet strategies can help alleviate the pain that most women experience during that time of the month

Ask The Nutritionist

by Melissa Diane Smith

Q: I experience such severe cramps during my period that I usually end up doubled over in pain and out of commission for at least two days. Can changing what I eat help? —Ciara S., Milwaukee, Wis.

A: Painful menstrual cramps are the most common gynecological condition among women of reproductive age. More than half of women report some pain from period cramps for a day or two each month, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Unfortunately, many women don’t seek treatment because they consider pain to be a normal part of the menstrual cycle. But it doesn’t have to be.

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Don’t Miss These Special Non-GMO Events in Tucson May 18-20!

by Melissa Diane Smith, author of Going Against GMOs

The spring film, education, and action series I’ve been doing in Tucson and Pima County for the last month with GMO Free Arizona and Toxin-Free Pima County Coalition culminates this week! During May 18-20, you can:

  • Tune into a half-hour radio program to learn more about GMOs, pesticides, and Monsanto, and local action taking place on these issues;
  • Attend a non-GMO dinner with farm-to-table selections; and
  • Watch a highly rated movie about the miraculous action of seeds that we use to grow food, the threat that Monsanto and other biotech companies pose to them, and what we can do to protect them.

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Don’t Miss Our “Say No to Monsanto” Dinner/Mixer at The Tasteful Kitchen This Friday, May 19th!

Kick off March Against Monsanto weekend in Tucson by attending a special “Say No to Monsanto” Meal/Mixer hosted by GMO Free Arizona and the Toxin-Free Pima County Coalition at The Tasteful Kitchen, 722 North Stone Avenue.

Not only will you will be able to order from a special menu of non-GMO appetizers, entrees, or seasonal farm-to-table meals, but you can mix and mingle with other people who want to resist GMOs, pesticides, and Monsanto’s presence in Pima County! You also can help us celebrate the launch of our yard sign campaign to make Pima County toxin free! We’ll have two different yard signs available by donation at the event, and we’d love for you to celebrate with us and be one of the first people to get a yard sign and send a powerful message out to others in the community!

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Catch The Future of Food Movie Series in Pima County Libraries May 6-20

The Future of Food series of movies will be shown in three different Pima County Public Libraries at 2 p.m. on consecutive Saturdays from May 6 to May 20, 2017. The free film and education series is presented in partnership by the Pima County Public Library, the Pima County Library Seed Library, Food Conspiracy Co-op, Toxin-Free Pima County Coalition, and GMO Free Arizona. Each movie will include a post-film discussion.

The first movie in the series is The Future of Food, which will be shown this Saturday, May 6, at the Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. Library in Marana. A post-film discussion will take place with Going Against GMOs author Melissa Diane Smith, farmer Anne Loftfield of High Energy Agriculture, and Nurse Janay Young.

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