Are you eating these common but poisonous foods?
Sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of all the things that are and aren’t good for you. Every other week, there’s a new study that shows us why some of our favourite foods may not be as healthy for us as we thought. While that mostly holds true only if we consume large quantities of that food in one go, it is still necessary to be aware of what could harm us.
So to make things easy, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 foods that are commonly consumed but can prove to be harmful. To be clear, though, you don’t need to stop eating these immediately, rather just keep an eye on them and make sure you don’t eat too much.
Who doesn’t love potato curry, mashed potatoes or anything else this versatile vegetable can be made into? But potato stems and leaves contain glycoalkaloids, which can cause headaches, cramps, diarrhoea, etc. If potatoes are left in the light too long, then they develop a green tinge associated with this chemical. Read more about how to grow potatoes in pot.
Processed almonds that you get in shops are alright but keep an eye out for raw almonds. They contain hydrogen cyanide which can cause kidney failure or even death.
Known as fugu in Japan, the puffer fish, has poison running inside its body as a defence mechanism against those who hunt it. Consuming the skin is alright, but any bit of the internal organs can cause lethal poisoning.
Does an apple a day keep the doctor away? Well, it does as long as you stay away from the seeds. They contain amygdalin, a compound which becomes hydrogen cyanide when it’s eaten. We already know what that chemical does. Read about 5 fruit trees you can grow organically at home.
The leaves and stems of these favourite fruits (or vegetables depending on where you stand) contain glycoalkaloids which cause severe stomach upsets. Half-ripe tomatoes are particularly harmful and should not be consumed.
Another fish that is consumed quite often, tuna can contain high levels of mercury that are not recommended for vulnerable individuals like children or pregnant women.
Quite a common ingredient in vegetable curries, tapioca or cassava contains a relatively high dosage of cyanide which is lethal to us. So, its roots should be peeled meticulously before consumption
Another stone fruit like the apple, it too contains amygdalin which turns into hydrogen cyanide after consumption. Apricots and peaches are said to have the highest levels of amygdalin.
The plants look pretty, and the berries look inviting. But if you eat any of the green parts of the plant by mistake, then you will suffer severe stomach problems because of a chemical called cyanogenic glycoside sambur nigrin. So, tread carefully around the elderberry.
While the castor oil that we consume is relatively harmless, it comes from the incredibly poisonous castor bean. It takes only one such bean to kill a human because the bean contains ricin, an extremely potent poison.
If knowing is half the battle won, then you now have an advantage! Being aware is the first step to being safe, and we should always be safe with what we eat.