Yes, mom once told you not to have too many peanuts in one go, or drink water right after dry fruits, in case you didn’t want an upset stomach. But, we are talking about regular, everyday foods that can actually put you to sleep forever. Have them the wrong way, or the wrong amount, and you’d be asking for a serious amount of trouble.
So, here are 8 everyday food items that could be lethal if you have them wrong.
1. Raw rajma contains traces of cyanide.
Rajma? I know, a ridiculous prospect that one of our most common and staple gravy base of beans are poisonous. None of us are dead. Well, that’s only because we cook them. Raw red kidney beans have a fair amount of cyanide, which if the beans are crushed will react to create hydrogen cyanide – something that is fatal even in the smallest amounts. So, don’t swallow any raw kidney beans, especially if you were planning on chewing them.
2. Apple seeds contain small traces of cyanide.
There goes the ‘an apple a day’ phrase right out the window. Apples seeds, much like the red kidney beans, contain traces of cyanide. Although, in extremely small amounts, the seeds in one apple aren’t enough to kill. Get you feeling nauseated and sick, but not proving to be fatal. But, have enough of them and it is perfectly possible to kill yourself.
3. Potatoes may produce glycoalkaloid.
Although, it is uncommon for someone to fall ill or die from eating potatoes, such cases are not unheard of. Potato leaves and stems – and, potatoes that have been left long enough to turn green – contain a fair amount of a toxic chemical called glycoalkaloid. Cases of poisoning are rare, so you can enjoy your mash. Although, you’d want to leave anything that’s green.
4. Nutmeg has myristicin, which may cause serious problems.
Ingesting small amounts of this holiday spice is known to cause hallucinogenic symptoms (not the fun kind). Not that nutmeg poisoning is very common, but just about 5 grams of it can cause convulsions. 8 grams and you’d be in the middle of some serious seizures. Clearly, this is not a spice to be messed around with.
5. Castor seeds have ricin, which is highly toxic.
Ah, the spoons of this supposedly super healthy oil that you were probably forced to consume on a daily basis as a kid, actually comes from a pretty scary source. While castor oil is fairly common in households, the beans it is extracted from are extremely poisonous. In fact, one bean is enough to kill a human being, and four to kill a horse. All this, because of a chemical called ricin.
6. Cassava contains high amounts of cyanide.
The famous woody shrub, native to South America and a staple part of the diet in Africa, has the edible starchy root from which you get Tapioca. In fact, cassava is popularly steamed or boiled and served as a street snack across Africa. But, the leaves and even the cassava root are surprisingly rich in cyanide. You know what cyanide does to you right?
7. Raw cashews have urushiol, the poison ivy chemical.
Here’s a ‘the more you know’ moment. The raw cashews that we chew down aren’t exactly raw. To be precise, cashew nuts go through a process which cleans them of a chemical called urushiol – something that is also commonly found in poison ivy plants or poison oak. Having raw cashews would then have the equivalent effect that poisoning from the ivy would. And, for those who are allergic, it could prove fatal.
8. Bitter almonds contain high traces of cyanide.
So, there are the sweet almonds that we use commonly, and then there are bitter almonds. Bitter almonds are used to extract oil and in certain recipes where it is cooked. But eat about a handful of them raw, and you’d be in serious trouble. Raw bitter almonds contain extremely high amounts of cyanide, which by now you know is bad news.
Note: Seeds usually are very hard to digest and will pass through the system as they are. So, don’t go into a panic frenzy if you actually swallow any. But if you experience discomfort, you might want to check it out.