We all try our best to keep dangerous substances out of reach from our kids, but you might not know that some common foods in your pantry could be posing dangers to you and your children.
1. Fruit seeds
Watch out for the pits of cherries, plums, apricots, and peaches. All of these fruits contain a type of hydrogen cyanide called prussic acid. So when eating any of these fruits, don’t suck or chew on the seed.
Apple seeds also contain cyanide, but in smaller doses. You’d need to consume a high amount to get sick, but it’s still important to be mindful of the danger.
Ever wondered why we don’t eat the leaves and stems of tomatoes? They contain the glycoalkaloids, which cause extreme anxiety and an upset stomach. You can still use tomato stems and leaves for flavor, but should be removed before eating.
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The leaves, stems, and sprouts of potatoes can contain glycoalkaloids, which lead to cramping, diarrhea, headaches, confusion, coma, and even death. It can also build up in potatoes that have been left too long, especially in light. If you observe a greenish tinge in your potatoes, throw them away. Just 3 to 6 mg per kilo of body weight can be fatal.
4. Kidney beans
The toxin phytohemagglutinin can be found in kidney beans, which is why beans should be boiled for at least 10 minutes before cooking. NEVER just add them to a stew without boiling them first. A better alternative is using canned kidney beans. If you ingest just a few poorly prepared kidney beans can make you very sick. In some rare cases, they have even caused death.
Nutmeg contains myristicine, a hallucinogenic. Eating just 0.2 oz of nutmeg can lead to convulsions, while 0.3 oz can lead to seizures. Consuming the equivalent of one whole nutmeg can bring on “nutmeg psychosis,” an acute psychiatric disorder that includes symptoms like agitation, hallucination, and a sense of impending death.
Almonds are not actually nuts, but are seeds that are more related to cherries. There are two kinds of almonds: sweet and bitter. Bitter almonds contain hydrogen cyanide, which is why they need to be processed before consumption. Eating just 7-10 raw bitter almonds can make adults very sick, and can kill children.
Tuna fish contains relatively high amounts of mercury, which is harmful for your brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, and immune system when consumed in large amounts. This is why children and pregnant women are recommended to not consume tuna at all. Though it’s unlikely that a meal of tuna can harm you, you should monitor how much you eat in a week.
Cassava is the third most consumed starchy food in the world. However, it contains cyanide, and unless processed, can kill. There are two kinds of cassava: sweet cassava, and bitter cassava. The bitter has more cyanide; one pound of bitter unprocessed cassava can kill a cow, and even humans.