It is good to note that more and more people are becoming more conscious about their health. One apparent change is that they are now choosy on what they eat. But let’s face it. The only foods that most people know as dangerous to their health are excessive intake of fats, carbs, fried and processed foods, and fast foods. Little do they know that there can be more food items in their kitchen that are more toxic to their health than the foods mentioned. These food items are said to be more toxic because their adverse impact on our health can be immediate and more severe.
Here are 9 of the most toxic foods you probably consume not knowing that they are toxic to your health:
You can be assured that the almonds that we buy from grocery stores are safe to eat because they must be from domesticated almond trees. The danger lies when you go and pick the almonds from some forests. Wild almonds can be very dangerous to eat. They contain cyanide that eating 50 almonds can be fatal to an adult. Moreover, only a few almonds can be life-threatening to young children. If you come with bitter almonds, throw them away. They might be wild almonds.
One spice that may be present in your kitchen is nutmeg, as it can give a distinct flavor to dishes and desserts. But do you know that this spice can kill? You should always be wary to use nutmeg in small amounts. If you mistakenly put more than one teaspoon of it on your food, you can have hallucinations, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and irregular heartbeat. If larger amounts are taken in, organ failure can occur which can lead to death if no medical intervention is done.
Keep your nutmeg away from the reach of your children to be sure.
Some meat and plant-based foods contain the natural protein, lectin. Lectin can be useful as it is a protein but when taken in large quantities, this natural protein can be very toxic. Fresh and undercooked kidney beans are packed with lectin. Consumption of undercooked kidney beans can result in food poisoning which can manifest with vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
To get rid of lectin, you should soak the kidney beans for 4-5 hours. Throw away the soaking water and use new water when boiling. Cook with high heat to ensure that the toxins are destroyed.
You may wonder why this delicious and healthy food is included in the list. But not all honey is the same. Toxins can be found in honey because the flowers where bees get the nectar to convert to honey have toxic ingredients. Another reason is that the honey may not have undergone pasteurization.
Pregnant women and young children are susceptible to the ill effects of unpasteurized honey. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, headaches, and even death. Going for reputable honey brands can be the best solution.
We have always been encouraged to eat cherries as much as we could because of their rich vitamin C and antioxidant contents. But when eating cherries, be careful not to chew any of the cherry pits, they are fully packed with cyanide. If you accidentally swallow a cherry pit or two, you need not worry because it will not be crushed by your stomach or intestine and release the cyanide. It will only pass through your digestive tract. You should teach your children about the danger of crunching the cherry pits, or better yet, remove the pits before giving cherries to young children.
Potatoes contain solanine and chaconine which are toxic to the body. But these compounds are highly concentrated in the leaves, flowers, and stems of the potato. Safe levels are found on the white body of the potato. But if you see that the skin of the tuber has turned green and has spouts on it, it means that the tuber has more solanine and chaconine. Removing the green part of the potato can get rid of some of the toxic elements, or better still, dump them into your garbage can than risk yourself of abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
This delicious vegetable is commonly used in sweet applications for its contrasting sour taste. But do you know that the leaves are toxic enough that can kill? The leaves of this vegetable have a high concentration of oxalic acid that can cause instant kidney failure. Although you may have to take lots of the leaves to feel the consequence, it is best to use this vegetable sparingly.
It may be tempting to pick a cashew nut from the fruit and have a crunch. But you should never do this as fresh cashew nuts have the same toxic elements that make poison ivy so irritable on the skin. You should expect much worse when you eat it.
Some mushrooms may contain gyromitrin which can cause gastrointestinal toxicity, neurotoxicity, and damage to red blood cells. This makes it much safer to buy in supermarkets than to be looking for mushrooms in the forest. Some toxic mushrooms may be difficult to differentiate from the safe ones.
Although we are always told that plant-based foods are safer and healthier, it is not always the case. Some can be really toxic that can even cause instant death. Being careful and knowing which plants have toxic elements can be the best way to prevent food poisoning caused by plant-based foods.