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Is Zucchini A Nightshade? Should You Avoid It?

Wondering if the trailing Zucchini has the toxin of nightshade? You are not alone, as many gardeners have been raising the question.

Generally, nightshade vegetables and fruits are members of the Solanaceae family containing alkaloids lacking in Zucchini. Moreover, Zucchini is not a nightshade but a cucurbit like Squash, Pumpkin, and Gourd.

Follow along to learn more about the nightshades and Zucchini in detail.

What Are Nightshade Vegetables?

Nightshade is a group of flowering plants (fruit and vegetables) belonging to the Solanaceae family. 

These plants naturally produce alkaloids called solanine, which supposedly leads to digestive issues and skin problems.

Majorly the disrepute of nightshade plants is due to their association with inflammatory conditions like arthritis.

However, there is not much scientific proof of the ill effect of nightshade on humans. Some of them, like Tomatoes, Potatoes, and Peppers, are staples in many households. 

That said, Tobacco, Jimson Weed, and Belladonna contain alkaloids like nicotine and atropine that causes hallucination and detrimental health effects.

And you should avoid having these nightshade plants in your surrounding.

Nightshade vegetables
Some nightshade vegetables are parts of the kitchen in everyday life.

Here is a list of 10 nightshade vegetables and fruits that are edible.

  • Tomato
  • Potatoes (excluding Sweet Potatoes)
  • Peppers (Bell Peppers, Chilli, Jalapenos, etc.)
  • Eggplant
  • Goji Berries
  • Tomatillos
  • Paprika
  • Pepino Melon
  • Ground Cherries
  • Ashwagandha (only for medical purposes)

Is Zucchini A Nightshade Food?

Many of us confuse the trailing Zucchini plant for being nightshade. Well, it is not one. 

Belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, Zucchini (aka Courgette) has no nightshade characteristics.

While the nightshades have typical broad, alternate leaves, Zucchini has palmately lobed leaves with long trails.

Most importantly, Zucchini and fellow cucurbits do not contain nightshade alkaloid solanine. So, neither Courgette nor Green Squash or Cucumber is a nightshade. 
A Zucchini plant with blooms and fruit growing.
The Zucchini fruit is the swollen ovary of the female flower.

However, Zucchini produces a natural toxin called cucurbitacin, which induces the bitter taste in cucurbits.

The minimum amount of toxin is a response to safeguard the plant from environmental stress and pest attack.

But if your garden Zucchini is extremely bitter, do not consume it, as a couple of grams of the toxin can cause diarrhea and stomach ache.

Should You Avoid Zucchini In The Garden?

Nutritionally, Zucchini is a fiber-rich vegetable, often making its place in a healthy diet chart and no threat to your garden. 

These trailing plants are fast growers and produce abundant harvests within 50-60 days from planting under full sunlight and warm temperature of 70-90°F.

But, you may have to avoid growing Zucchini with other trailing plants like Cucumber and Pumpkins since they may struggle for their share of space, water, and nutrients.

Since most cucurbits grow over 2 feet in height and 3-4 feet in spread, they tend to obstruct each other’s vigor.

Also, growing Zucchini could overshadow other small plants if you have a tiny garden space, especially for light and nutrients.

From Editorial Team 

Source Out Authentic Zucchini Seeds!

Randomly grown Zucchini may be cross-pollinated with other Squash and have different tastes, textures, and characteristics.

Obtain the Zucchini from a reliable source like a farmer’s market or grocery store to avoid the hazard of the wild variety.