Is Coffee A Nightshade? Surprising Facts!

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Learn more.

Nightshade herbs are full of nutrients, but they are not for everyone. Some of us may experience health problems from eating them. As a coffee lover, you might wonder?

Is coffee a nightshade? No, coffee is not a nightshade because it is not a member of the Solanaceae family. At the same time, coffee contains some alkaloids such as caffeine and trigonelline. Like nightshade plants, coffee is not a good choice for people with autoimmune diseases. Coffee can increases stress hormone levels and may even cause insomnia for some.

What is a Nightshade?

Nightshade vegetables
Image credit: iStock

Nightshades are part of the family of plants called Solanaceae.

Plants in the Solanaceae can take the form of:

  • Herbs
  • Shrubs
  • Vines
  • Lianas
  • Trees
  • and sometimes epiphytes.

These plants contain alkaloids, which are organic compounds with at least one nitrogen atom. Some Solanaceae species are highly toxic, so their consumption can be fatal.

Still, we regularly consume some edible solanaceous plants. Some of the most popular are:

  • Eggplant
  • Tomato
  • White and red potatoes
  • Paprika
  • Bell pepper
  • Chili pepper
  • Tobacco
  • Goji berries

Why is Coffee Not a Nightshade?

Coffee is not a nightshade because it is not a member of the nightshade family.

Coffee belongs to the Rubiaceae family and the genus Coffea. There are over 100 species of coffee plants, of which Arabica and Robusta are the most important.

For some reason, people doubt that coffee is a deadly plant. In the next section, we will see how coffee compares to nightshade plants.

Coffee Compared with Nightshades

The main reason why people are wary of nightshades is because of the presence of alkaloids in them.

Like nightshades, coffee contains large amounts of alkaloids in the form of caffeine. You can also find trigonelline, another type of alkaloid. Although coffee is not an evergreen plant, it is not very suitable for people with autoimmune diseases.

This is mainly because coffee contains caffeine, which can increase stress levels and disrupt sleep.

Are Nightshades Safe For Consumption?

Leafy greens are generally safe to eat. They are rich in nutrients such as vitamins, fiber, and carbohydrates.

Leafy vegetables have their own nutrients. Tomatoes, for example, are rich in vitamins A and C and the antioxidant lycopene. White potatoes, another example, are a rich source of carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin B6 and other nutrients. Black peppers contain vitamin C and capsaicin.

The presence of alkaloid compounds in nightshade vegetables is why many people consider them harmful for consumption by a particular group of people. In most countries, nightshade vegetables are staple foods without any problems.

People with autoimmune diseases should avoid nightshade vegetables because they can cause health problems. You may even have a sensitivity and be allergic to some of the most common nightshade vegetables.

If this applies to you, you should not consume any nightshade vegetables until you have consulted a doctor.

The Bottom Line: Is Coffee a Nightshade?

No, coffee is not a member of the nightshade family, which includes the perfectly edible Eggplant and Tomato. At the same time, coffee contains alkaloids that can trigger harmful immune responses or allergic responses in people with diseases or allergies related to the nightshade family.

If you feel nervous or jittery after drinking coffee, you are likely among the minority of people who are sensitive to it. But, if you do not experience these feelings, you can continue enjoying your everyday coffee.