5 Foods You Didn’t Know Are Toxic

toxic

While most foods in your kitchen are perfectly safe to eat and will probably contribute to a healthy and balanced diet, there are some foods that it may surprise you to learn are toxic. Before you panic, this usually refers to a specific part of an ingredient or requires a huge consumption before it will do you any harm at all. Here are five foods that you may not know are toxic.

1. Cashew Nuts

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When you buy raw cashew nuts, they are not actually raw as they have gone through a steaming process. This is to remove a chemical called urushiol that is also found in poison ivy. At high levels, this can prove fatal.

2. Bitter Almonds

almonds

It is usually the sweet almond variety of almonds that you can buy in the shops. The other variety, bitter almonds, are potentially dangerous as they contain hydrogen cyanide. Eating as few as ten of these can cause significant health problems or even death.

3. Some Fruit Seeds and Pits

cherries

Some fruit seeds contain hydrogen cyanide. Apple seeds and cherry pits are just two examples of fruits containing this toxin. Others include apricots and peaches. It is highly unlikely that you would be able to eat the pits of some of these fruits, but some are available in ground forms and you should avoid eating large quantities of these.

4. Nutmeg

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Nutmeg is a delicious spice that many people keep in their kitchen to flavour their foods. When it is eaten in small quantities, it will do you no harm at all. However, nutmeg contains a substance that acts as a hallucinogenic. If eaten in large quantities, it can cause hallucinations and convulsions. People who have eaten a whole nutmeg have experienced a condition called nutmeg psychosis. One of the symptoms of which is a sense of impending doom.

5. Rhubarb

rhubarb

The main red stem of the rhubarb is fine to eat, so there is no need to panic if rhubarb crumble is one of your favourite dishes. It is the leaves that are potentially dangerous as they contain a substance called oxalic acid. This can cause kidney stones and eating extreme quantities can prove to be fatal.

Written in response to the Daily Prompt ‘TOXIC’ on The Daily Post

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