Not all food is healthy! In fact, some foods can even be fatal if you eat them improperly prepared or have the misfortune to eat a bad part of your food. So here are 10 foods that can be toxic and that you may eat on a daily basis.
1. Red beans
Uncooked red beans are toxic. They contain lectin, a glycoprotein that causes nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. This toxin is present in other beans, but red beans have the highest concentration. To avoid red bean poisoning, you must cook these foods thoroughly.
The biggest culprits in red bean poisoning are slow cookers, so soak them in water and cook them thoroughly before eating them. And don’t eat raw beans.
Tomatoes are also on the list of toxic foods we like. Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family with eggplants, potatoes, and belladonna. Parts of all plants contain solanine, an alkaloid that, at sufficiently high doses, can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, hallucinations, paralysis, and death.
Do not eat the leaves and stems of tomatoes, potatoes or eggplants. Some people sensitive to solanine should avoid eating products from the nightshade family. Green potatoes contain high levels of solanine, so avoid them.
3. Bitter almonds
There are two different types of almond trees. The sweet almond is where we get our almonds. The bitter almond is a very beautiful tree with poisonous nuts. The nuts of the bitter almond are filled with cyanide, a deadly poison.
It is illegal to buy raw and unprocessed bitter almonds in the United States. But because they grow wild in some states and look very similar, make sure you know what almonds you are picking and eating!
Nutmeg is sprinkled on almost everything between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It gives a slightly sweet taste to pies, coffee, and hot spicy cider. It is even useful to relieve muscle and dental pain.
If you eat too much, you can develop hallucinations or muscle psychosis. You will also feel restless. It takes two to three teaspoons of nutmeg to experience these effects, so accidental overdose is rare.
Most people know not to eat wild mushrooms. Even experts can confuse good mushrooms with deadly ones, so stick to groceries. Toxic fungi contain toxins such as orellanine, gyromitrin, and alpha-amanitine.
Basically, if you get a toxic fungus, cooked or uncooked, you can die of liver failure. If you survive, you may need a new liver.
Cassava is not common in the Americas, but it is a staple food in tropical countries. It is also called yucca, manioc or Brazilian marten. It is a very common brown root in grocery stores.
The cooked root is delicious, but the raw root contains several different types of cyanide. If cassava is poorly prepared, it is very toxic.
Rhubarb has beautiful red stems and huge green leaves. Rhubarb is used in pies, jams and is appreciated raw for its tangy taste. It is full of nutrients and most people grow it easily. However, some parts of the rhubarb are toxic.
The leaves contain oxalates and anthraquinone glycoside. Oxalates can reduce mineral absorption and cause kidney problems. Anthraquinone is both a laxative and a purgative.
8. Apple and cherry seeds, apricot and peach stones
Apple seeds are a little easier to eat than cherry, apricot or peach stones, but eating too much can be toxic. These seeds contain tonsil. If you digest them, especially if they are chewed, the tonsil becomes hydrogen cyanide. It’s very toxic.
You would probably need to eat a lot of seeds – the equivalent of two cups of seeds – to get sick, so you don’t have to worry if you swallow one or two apple seeds.
9. Castor oil
Castor oil is commonly used as a remedy for stomach aches. It is also found in food flavors and colors. Certainly, castor oil is extremely toxic. A castor seed can kill a child.
Castor seeds contain castor oil, which is much more toxic than cyanide. There is no cure for castor poisoning. Castor oil plants can grow in some parts of the United States and it is a beautiful and exotic plant.
Most of us will probably never eat fugu. This pufferfish is a delicacy in Japan and aficionados say it is the most delicious of all fish. The liver, ovaries, and skin of pufferfish contain tetrodotoxin.
If the fish is not well prepared, it is very toxic and its consumption can be fatal.