The World Health Organization states that some naturally occurring poisons are created in foods as a defense mechanism to protect plants from being eaten by animals. Acute poisoning is just one of the numerous negative health impacts caused by these naturally occurring toxins, which can pose serious risks to the health of humans and livestock alike.
Acute poisoning symptoms can include an allergic reaction, severe stomach pain and diarrhea, and even death. Their chronic impacts can include cell mutations that lead to cancer and impairments in immunological, reproductive, and neurological systems. Therefore, while these natural toxins are harmless to the plants themselves, they can be dangerous to other organisms, including people, if they are ingested.
Natural poisons are present in some, if not all, of the foods we eat on a regular basis, and this poses a risk to our health. According to WebMD, here are the following foods that are high in natural toxins or poisons.
The First Thing You Need to Know About Apple Seeds
One apple a day keeps the doctor away is a common saying since apples are one of the healthiest foods available. Despite the fruit’s seemingly remarkable nutritional profile, apple seeds are not as healthy as the fruit itself due to the presence of cyanide, a strong toxin that can cause fast breathing, convulsions, and even death in large enough concentrations. If you mistakenly eat an apple seed, don’t worry—they’re coated with a cyanide-resistant compound.
One of the best methods to give basic baked goods a pleasant nutty flavor is to use nutmeg. WebMD warns that excessive consumption of this substance can have serious health consequences. This is due to the presence of myristicin, an oil associated with a wide range of negative side effects in humans, including hallucinations, lethargy, disorientation, and even convulsions.
3. Green potatoes
Potatoes are often regarded as a nutritious food that may be found in a variety of dishes. However, the leaves, sprouts, and underground stems (tubers) of some potatoes are toxic due to the presence of a chemical called glycoalkaloid, therefore not all potatoes are useful in this regard. When potatoes are exposed to this poisonous material, they oxidize, turn green, and eventually rot. Nausea, diarrhea, confusion, migraines, and even death can result from eating potatoes that are high in glycoalkaloid content.
4. Raw kidney beans
In order to get all the minerals and vitamins your body needs, eating kidney beans is a great idea. Care must be used when working with them, especially in their unprocessed state. Raw red kidney beans, as noted by WebMD’s Christine Mikstas, contain the highest concentration of lectins, a toxin that can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These side effects can occur after consuming as few as four or five raw kidney beans, hence cooking them is recommended.
5, Rhubarb leaves
The rhubarb plant is safe to consume in its stalk form, but the leaves are toxic due to the presence of oxalic acid, a natural toxin that prevents the body from absorbing calcium. You run the danger of developing kidney stones, blood clotting issues, vomiting, diarrhoea, and coma because your bones aren’t able to develop normally.
6. Bitter almonds
Both bitter and sweet almonds contain amygdalin, a molecule that can be converted into cyanide, however the quantities of amygdalin in bitter almonds are thought to be higher. Thus, while eating sweet almonds has no negative consequences, eating bitter almonds might lead to stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea.
7. Raw cashews
Among nuts, cashews have one of the best nutritional profiles. Raw cashew nuts contain a natural toxin called urushiol, which is eliminated during preparation but may have negative health effects if consumed in large quantities. Allergies to the urushiol toxin, which is present in both poison ivy and oak, can be life-threatening.
Mushrooms, despite being a rather healthy food, should nevertheless be monitored. Some common types of wild mushrooms are regarded extremely lethal. These are the destroying angel and the death cap (Amanita phalloides) (Amanita virosa). Healthline warns that this particular wild mushroom species, when consumed, can cause severe stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, extreme thirst, liver failure, coma, and even death.
According to Christine Mikstas of WebMD, urushiol, a natural toxin also found in poison ivy and raw cashews, is present in mango skin, bark, and leaves. Swelling, a rash, and even difficulty breathing are all possible outcomes of an allergic reaction to the toxin.