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Is Your Food Trying To Harm You?

Is Your Food Trying To Harm You?


The fact that food is harvested from the soil, the sea, inland waters, or is derived from poisonous land animals, which are subject to the unpredictable forces of nature, makes the safety of food unreliable, whether it is dizziness caused due to consuming mushrooms or abdominal cramps due to consumption of undercooked pulses, mankind has suffered from many diseases due to food. The harm can be due to the trace amounts of anti-nutrients or toxic components naturally present in them or due to pesticides, additives, and other external substances added to the food, 

 

Undercooked legumes like kidney beans

kidney beans

Lectins are present in raw or uncooked black beans, soybeans, lima beans, kidney beans, peas, and lentils also in whole grains and nuts. It can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach upset. bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Lectins can also interfere with the absorption of important nutrients such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc in our bodies. But the good news is that several cooking techniques such as boiling, stewing, or soaking in water for several hours can inactivate lectins and render these pulses safe for our consumption. So, next time make sure your legumes are cooked enough to render them harmless!

Seeds of fruits

apple seed

It is present in seeds of apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, quinces, and also in bitter almonds, cassava, etc and when you chew on these, they break down to form hydrogen cyanide which is toxic. Symptoms can include vomiting, stomach ache, diarrhea, and convulsion.

Green/ Sprouted Potatoes

green potatoes

Consuming potatoes that show signs of physical damage such as sprouting, greening, bruising can be dangerous. Improper storage such as exposure to light can also increase the amount of glycoalkaloids.  Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, stomach and abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. To prevent this, it is advised to peel the skin and to remove the parts of the tuber that show damage or sprouting.

Shellfish poisoning

shellfish poisoning

The list of possible toxic agents present in shellfish is long and worrisome. Some can cause diarrhea, paralysis, dizziness, profuse sweating, numbness of lips, tongue and ultimately death in severe cases. Eating raw shellfish will always involve an element of risk and so it should be avoided.

Mushroom poisoning

mushroom poisoning

It is very important to identify edible mushrooms and make sure that they are safe for consumption. Usually, mushroom poisoning may not show symptoms for hours or even days after consuming it although the toxins may have begun to attack the liver and other organs. Certain species can cause symptoms like hallucinations, dizziness, drowsiness, dilated pupils, or muscle spasms. Other species cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, and sharp abdominal pain. 

Fried /Grilled foods

grilled food

Acrylamide is formed in foods with certain sugars and amino acids such as potato chips, fried potatoes, cornflakes or bread, etc at temperatures above 120 degrees Celsius. Having large quantities of acrylamide regularly can cause nerve damage and also increase the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer.

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