If you have changed your lifestyle and you have started eating healthy foods, and more fruits and vegetables, you have made a great decision. Eating fruits and vegetables is healthy and wonderful. However, there are certain things you should be aware of, particularly in case you like to grow-your-own food or if you're a start-from-scratch cook: well, some of the healthiest vegetables have relatives that could actually kill you.
So, have a look at these veggies and make sure you are not adding them to your daily meals:
- Rhubarb Leaves
In case you are an adventurous gardener, be aware that rhubarb leaves are not the healthy bitter green you may have believed they were. There is a reason that rhubarb sold in your grocery store is sold without its leaves. Rhubarb leaves contain dangerously high levels of oxalic acid which can cause serious kidney damage potentially leading to death. Even though a 140 pound person would need to eat about 10 pounds of rhubarb leaves to die, a small amount still has the ability to make a person sick. So, make sure to stay away of rhubarb leaves and never use them in your salad.
- Seeds, Pits & Kernels
The unsavory seeds, pits, and kernels of some of our favorite fruits and vegetables contain a naturally occurring substance called amygdalin that in large amounts can be fatal since amygdaline can turn into hydrogen cyanide. Apples, pears, mangoes, peaches, and apricots, all contain this chemical; however there’s no need to worry because accidental swallowing or the occasional ingestion is not dangerous since the amount needed to induce a reaction is very high.
- "Green" Potatoes
Solanine, a natural glycoalkaloid, can occur when potatoes are exposed to too much light. The green color just under the skin strongly suggests that toxic build-up may have occurred. So, in case you notice a slight green layer just under the potato skin, cut away the green portions of the potato skin before cooking and eating - the non-green portion is safe to eat. It is recommended not to eat the potatoes with a bright green layer just under the potato’s skin as it may cause headache, nausea, fatigue and GI issues. You can simply avoid this problem by storing potatoes in a dark, cool, dry place.
- Raw Red Kidney Beans
Raw, uncooked, obviously almost impossible to eat, and certainly not very tasty, red kidney beans, contain a natural toxins called lectins. With many Americans converting to a more unprocessed or "raw" diet, it's essential for the home cook to soak red kidney beans in water for at least five hours before cooking. Eating as few as four or five raw beans can cause symptoms that are generally marked by extreme nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach.
- Raw Cassava
One of the most consumed carbohydrates in the world, cassava, contains naturally occurring cyanogenic glycosides. Also known as yucca, this starchy tuber must always be dried, soaked, and cooked properly. In Africa, improperly processed cassava is a major problem and is associated with a number health disorders, especially among people who are already malnourished. The toxin is mainly found in the leaves that protects it from being eaten by insects or animals, however the roots still contain a significant amount of natural poison and long-term exposure to this raw food can lead to deadly consequences.
- "Wild" Mushrooms
People are generally aware that many varieties of mushrooms are toxic. Obviously this does not include cultivated wild mushrooms that you find at the grocery store. The problem is that there is no easy way to distinguish a poisonous from nonpoisonous wild mushroom. Besides, you can't make toxic mushrooms nontoxic by cooking, canning, freezing, or any other means of processing. So, basically, the only way to avoid mushroom poisoning is to not eat wild mushrooms.
Did you know about these facts regarding these healthy foods? Do you know any other healthy foods that should be avoided? Please share with us in the comments section below.