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Foods that can kill or make you sick

Tingloy and Brazil nuts
Tingloy and Brazil nuts

FOOD is life, we say. We eat to live. However, there are foods (fruits or vegetables) which look edible can be poisonous or make you sick.

Honey

Honey, a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees, can be the best alternative to table sugar. However, unpasteurized honey may contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) if the bees were gathering nectar or pollen from the wrong plants. The PAs can lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer. The PAs are eliminated by pasteurization.

Children under twelve months should never be fed honey or honey products. Heating honey won’t help either.

Celery

A popular vegetable that can be used in juicing and cooking, celery is perfect for people trying to lose weight. Though healthy to eat, scientists found more than 64 different chemicals on and in celery.

They said that as celery grows, it takes in a lot of water from the ground and that water contains a large variety of pesticides. You may opt to by organic celery or wash the celery very well before you eat them.

In addition, celery is among a small group of foods (headed by peanuts) that appear to provoke the most severe allergic reactions. For people with celery allergy, exposure can cause potentially fatal anaphylactic shock. The allergen does not appear to be destroyed at cooking temperatures.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg adds a warm, sweet taste and goody smell to food especially during Christmas.

It is also a hallucinogenic. A teaspoon of raw nutmeg brings on an elevated heart rate, nausea, dry mouth and vomiting. Hint: most of the nutmeg in your spice rack isn’t raw. It is rarely fatal, but you might wish you could die because symptoms will last a few days.

Mushrooms

Not all mushrooms are safe to eat. Mushrooms can be incredibly toxic and even experts have mistaken a bad mushroom for a good one.

Not all poisonous mushrooms are brightly colored, either. Symptoms include kidney damage, nausea, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea. You are generally safe buying mushrooms from a grocery store.

Ackee

Known as “Tingloy”, ackee is a national fruit of Jamaica and related to lychee. Unripe or too ripe Ackee can cause the so-called “Jamaican Vomiting Sickness”.

Ackee is rich in healthy fatty acids, a variety of vitamins and fairly low in calories. The taste is described a buttery and similar to hearts of palm.

The problem is that the seeds, and unripe and overripe flesh are poisonous. The side effects of eating improperly prepared fruit can cause seizures and fatal hypoglycemia.

The fruit arils are renowned as “delicious” when ripe, prepared properly, and cooked. Tingloy pods should be allowed to ripen on the tree before picking. Prior to cooking, the ackee arils are cleaned and washed. The arils are then boiled for approximately five minutes and the water discarded. The dried seeds, fruit, bark, and leaves are used medicinally.

Brazil nuts

These nuts are rich in selenium, a trace element that your body needs. Selenium is may prevent certain cancers and heart disease, improve mental function and supports the thyroid.

However, too much selenium can lead to a variety of conditions from garlic breath to nausea to heart failure. Because brazil nuts are so high in selenium, limit your intake to two nuts a day.

Kidney Beans

Who knew kidney beans could actually be toxic? Turns out they are contain a glycoprotein called lectin. This protein kills the cells in your stomach, leading to could cause extreme nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

To avoid kidney bean poisoning, soak them in water for at least five hours, if you are using dried beans. This is especially important if you are cooking kidney beans in a slow cooker.