Healthy Foods That Can Cause Poisoning Or Death

Health conscious consumers often walk through the aisles of their favorite grocery stores keeping an eye out for healthy foods with high nutritious value. By doing so, they are comforted in knowing that they have made wise choices as these foods promise several health benefits. Well, there are a few more things that consumers need to pay attention to. Did you know that some healthy foods can actually cause poisoning and even death? Let’s take a look at five of these.

1. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are edible fungi of several varieties, which are enjoyed in sumptuous dishes by many people. This delicacy has been found to have good amounts of proteins, vitamins and minerals. They contain antioxidants that help with the elimination of free radicals that can cause certain cancers. Consumers need to be careful and ensure mushrooms are fresh, packaged and stored appropriately to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause botulism. Botulism affects the nervous system and causes difficulty in breathing, muscle paralysis and death.

2. Potatoes

Potatoes are a staple on the menus of many. They are usually safe to eat but consumers should be mindful of those potatoes that have a tinge of green. This is a warning sign that is often overlooked and is passed off as just possible chlorophyll. Well, this color is indicative of high levels of a neurotoxin called solanine. This occurs when the vegetable is exposed to light. The solanine in the green potatoes causes them to be bitter. Consuming large amounts of green potatoes can lead to solanine poisoning which causes fever, headache, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. So be picky when selecting potatoes at the grocery store.

3. Red Kidney Beans

Red kidney beans are well liked and can be served in main or side dishes. Kidney beans in their natural state contain a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin which is also called kidney bean lectin. While this is found in many raw legumes, red kidney beans contain the highest levels. Consuming as little as 5 of these raw beans can be poisonous with symptoms such as severe nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and gastrointestinal symptoms. So the next time you think of preparing red kidney beans, be sure to have them soak overnight and cook them thoroughly to ensure that the toxin is destroyed.       

4. Cassava

Cassava, also called manioc, is a starchy root tuber which in addition to carbohydrates, is a good source of vitamins and minerals. It is used to prepare many sumptuous dishes and products such as bread, flour and beverages. When raw, cassava contains a chemical called linamarine which the body converts to cyanide which is a deadly poison. Cyanide is used in pesticides and fumigants. Linamarine is not found in cassava that is properly cooked.

5. Nutmeg

If you love making eggnog or adding spices to your dishes, then you’ve probably used nutmeg. Many people enjoy the flavor it adds to desserts, beverages and meats. Nutmeg is known for its medicinal purposes as well. Users must bear in mind that nutmeg contains myristicin, which is a narcotic with harmful side effects if consumed in large amounts. It can cause things such as hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and miscarriages in pregnant women. If nutmeg is mixed with other substances it can be damaging to the liver. 



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