HomeScienceEveryday Foods You Didn't Know Could Kill You

Everyday Foods You Didn’t Know Could Kill You

On a day-to-day basis, we consume all kinds of foods and liquids. These are essential in our lives and they influence our mood and health. Some types of foods or drinks are very dangerous for us without even realizing it, and some foods in any amount if combined can harm you.

The things we consume every day can make us sick if we don’t know how to prepare them or we don’t realize how much is too much, so if you’re afraid, there are some foods you should avoid. Any type of food requires a way to be prepared. Even if some fruits or vegetables are not washed properly they can cause serious health problems.

Fugu

The pufferfish, fugu in Japanese, is a fish that contains enough poison to almost kill a man. It’s a Japanese delicacy that can only be prepared by trained chefs. In order to be consumed, every toxic part needs to be extracted carefully. The name of the poison is tetrodotoxin and it can paralyze you or cause respiratory arrest. This type of dish kills people because it’s not cooked well or by unlicensed/inexperienced chefs.

Ackee fruit

A Jamaican fruit, ackee, is a delicious but dangerous snack. It contains hypoglycin, a poison found in unripened or inedible fruit. Eating ackee unripped can lead to severe vomiting, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and in severe cases, coma and death.

Ackee should open itself and be cooked properly so that it can be enjoyed as a delicacy. The fruit is shaped like a pear and it turns from green to a red-orangey color, it should split and reveal three big seeds when it’s ripe.

Sannakji

A Korean restaurant’s special meal is Sannakji, made from a small octopus species called ‘nakji’. The way it’s eaten is the thing that makes it dangerous. The ‘baby octopus’ are not eaten alive but when they have killed, the nerve activity in the tentacles makes them move on the plate and it’s a risk of choking with them. Rarely, they are eaten alive.

Raw cashews

It’s very surprising to find cashews on this list. In their unprocessed state, cashews have poison in them. The poison in them is the same poison that is found in poison ivy. The cashews from the supermarket are safe, well-prepared, and good to eat.

To make raw cashews safe for consumption, they are typically roasted or steamed before being sold as a snack food. This process helps to remove the urushiol oil and make the nuts safe to handle and eat.

Apples

The apple seeds have hydrogen cyanide and in big amounts can cause breathing problems and dizziness sensation.

When chewed or digested, this compound can release small amounts of hydrogen cyanide, a toxic chemical. The amount of cyanide in apple seeds is not enough to cause harm to a healthy adult who may accidentally ingest a few seeds while eating an apple.

It would take a considerable number of apple seeds to cause any serious harm. To put things in perspective, an adult would need to eat about 150-200 apple seeds to consume a fatal dose of cyanide.

Cherries

Cherries, like many other fruits, have a small amount of cyanide in the form of a compound called cyanogenic glycosides.

The most common way for someone to be poisoned by cherries is by eating the leaves, stems, or twigs of the cherry tree, the ones listed have higher levels of cyanogenic glycosides.

Eating these parts can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, stomach discomfort, dizziness, and in severe cases, coma and death.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb, which is a vegetable commonly used in pies and jams, is not poisonous when the stalks are cooked and consumed.

But, the leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid, which can be toxic if consumed in large quantities.

The oxalic acid in rhubarb leaves can cause symptoms such as burning in the mouth and throat, difficulty swallowing, and in severe cases, kidney stones, and even kidney failure if consumed in large quantities.

Red Kidney Beans

Red kidney beans are not poisonous to humans when cooked properly. However, they do contain a naturally occurring toxin named lectin, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea if consumed in large quantities or when they are not cooked properly.

To make red kidney beans safe to eat, they should be soaked overnight and then boiled for at least 10 minutes at a rolling boil.

Potatoes

Potatoes are not dangerous to consume when they are grown and stored properly. However, potatoes that have been exposed to light or have begun to sprout can contain a toxin called solanine, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and even death if consumed in large quantities.

Solanine is a glycoalkaloid that is produced by the potato plant as a biological defense mechanism against pests. The leaves, stem, and sprouts of a potato plant contain higher levels of solanine.

Honey

Honey is not dangerous to most people when consumed in moderation (we’re not talking about the people who are harvesting the honey.

Infants under the age of 1 should not be given honey as their immune systems are not fully developed and they are at a higher risk of botulism, a rare but serious illness caused by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, which can grow in the gut of infants and produce a toxin that can cause muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, and even death.

People who have a bee or pollen allergy may also have an allergic reaction to honey, which can cause symptoms such as hives, itching, and difficulty breathing.

Tuna

Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that can be found in some types of fish, including tuna. Eating fish that contain high levels of mercury can lead to mercury poisoning, which can cause symptoms such as tremors, memory problems, and in severe cases, kidney damage and neurological damage.

The amount of mercury in tuna varies depending on the species and the location where the fish is caught. Tuna that are higher in the food chain, such as albacore and yellowfin, tend to have higher levels of mercury than smaller species like skipjack. Tuna that are caught in certain regions, such as near industrial areas or in the Pacific Ocean, may also have higher levels of mercury.

Tuna, like many other fish, contain mercury because they live and feed in waters that have been contaminated with heavy metals.

Ghost pepper

The Ghost pepper (also known as Bhut Jolokia) is one of the hottest peppers in the world and is known for its intense spiciness. This is one of the hottest peppers in the world, with a Scoville Heat Unit rating of around 855,000 to 1,041,427 SHU.

The heat in the pepper comes from capsaicin, which can cause irritation and inflammation in the throat and lungs, leading to difficulty breathing.

It’s important to note that the Scoville scale is based on the concentration of capsaicin, the compound responsible for the heat in peppers.

Read more: Common Drinks You Should Only Consume in Moderation

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