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9 poisonous foods that you eat every day

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When traveling, it is not uncommon to come across dishes and ingredients that you are unfamiliar with.

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Take the traditional raw chicken eaten in Japan, for example, or pufferfish, which has organs that contain a neurotoxin stronger than cyanide. Considered a delicacy, they must be properly cleaned before being consumed.

However, going abroad is not the only time you will find the usual foods, which are also quite toxic. A surprising number of commodities on the food list, from fruits and vegetables to legumes and nuts, contain dangerous, if not deadly, compounds. Here are nine surprisingly common foods that you probably didn’t realize could hurt you.

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9. Almonds

Readers of mystery novels know that cyanide, a common poison, smells of bitter almonds. This is because unprocessed almonds contain hydrocyanic acid, which can be fatal. Eating only 10 raw bitter almonds can be fatal for a child. The almonds we buy for snacking are sweet almonds, but bitter almond oil is regularly used to make extracts and liqueurs.

8. Nutmeg

Nutmeg is an indispensable spice and a popular addition to both desserts and main salads. It can also make you hallucinate. Nutmeg contains a psychoactive compound called myristin which, when consumed in large quantities, has a greater effect than a few glasses of egg smog. Other side effects include headache, nausea and delirium. The jury still doesn’t know how much nutmeg is considered toxic, but it is generally believed that the symptoms start after about two tablespoons.

7. Beans

Maybe beans or rice are great products for every person’s wallet. However, we recommend that you stick to canned beans. Uncooked beans should be soaked in water for several hours and boiled for 30 minutes to get rid of a toxin called phytohemagglutinin or lectin before it can be safely consumed. Consumption of only a small portion of raw beans can lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Red beans have the highest concentration of this toxin.

6. Honey

There is a myth that honey becomes toxic when heated. This is not the case, but what can be dangerous for children and pregnant women is to eat unpasteurized honey. Pasteurization is a process in which food is treated on low heat to kill pathogens, eliminating toxins called alkaloids pyrrolizidine in honey. Drinking more than a teaspoon of unpasteurized honey can lead to nausea, dizziness, headaches or even death in children or pregnant women. But don’t worry: healthy adults can continue to add a tablespoon of raw honey to their hot tea.

5. Cherries

Well, cherry seeds. Cherry kernels contain a chemical compound called amygdalin, which becomes cyanide after ingestion. Cyanide poisoning has been documented in people who have eaten broken cherry seeds. Don’t worry if you’ve ever accidentally swallowed a whole kernel, but symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, lethargy, and insomnia may occur. Apple seeds and other fruit seeds, such as peaches and plums, contain similar cyanogenic compounds.

4. Potatoes

Potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant belong to the plant family called solanaceae, which contains a poison called solanine. To avoid solanine poisoning, watch out for green or sprouted potatoes. The whole plant stores the toxin, so you should not eat the leaves or flowers, but the tuber itself can be dangerous when it is ready to start or has already begun to sprout. Before sprouting, a potato may turn green, indicating the presence of chlorophyll as well as solanine. Keep potatoes away from the sun to avoid excessive exposure to light and chlorophyll.

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3. Rhubarb

Rhubarb is delicious in a tart, a perfect addition to both sweet and savory dishes. Rhubarb leaves, on the other hand, contain oxalic acid, which can cause irritation to the mouth and throat, shortness of breath, kidney stones or even death if ingested – of course, a healthy adult should eat about 10 kilograms or more to be fatal

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2. Caju

Raw cashews contain urushiol, a chemical found in poison ivy. Cashew shells are coated with an oil containing cashew acid, a close relative of urushiol, which can cause a rash on contact. The cashew nuts we buy from the supermarket are usually steamed or fried to remove urushiol, which can be deadly if consumed in large quantities.

1. Mushrooms

Edible mushrooms are tasty, versatile delicacies, whether you add a handful of pork to the risotto or swap a beef bun with a portobello burger. However, other fungi are dangerous to ingest, such as the so-called dead-headed mushroom. It can be almost impossible for an ordinary person to tell the difference between edible and poisonous mushrooms in the wild, and fatal accidents occur every year. So, while you are safe when you buy mushrooms from the store, do yourself a favor and stick to the supermarket’s mushroom supply.

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