There are a number of common foods that can be toxic if eaten in large quantities or if not prepared properly. Some of the most common toxic foods include:
- Apples: Apple seeds contain a small amount of cyanide, which is a poison. It is unlikely that eating a few apple seeds will cause any harm, but eating a large number of seeds can be dangerous.
- Almonds: Bitter almonds contain amygdalin, a compound that can convert to cyanide in the body. Sweet almonds are safe to eat, but bitter almonds should be avoided.
- Cashews: Raw cashews contain urushiol, a toxin that can cause skin irritation and other allergic reactions. Cashews must be roasted before eating to destroy the urushiol.
- Cherries: Cherry pits contain amygdalin, a compound that can convert to cyanide in the body. It is unlikely that eating a few cherry pits will cause any harm, but eating a large number of pits can be dangerous.
- Elderberries: Raw elderberries contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can convert to cyanide in the body. Elderberries must be cooked before eating to destroy the cyanogenic glycosides.
- Kidney beans: Raw kidney beans contain phytohaemagglutinin, a toxin that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Kidney beans must be cooked thoroughly before eating to destroy the phytohaemagglutinin.
- Mushrooms: There are a number of poisonous mushrooms that can cause serious illness or even death. It is important to be able to identify edible mushrooms before eating them.
- Potatoes: Green potatoes contain solanine, a toxin that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is important to avoid eating green potatoes or potatoes that have sprouted.
- Rhubarb: Rhubarb leaves contain oxalates, which can be poisonous if eaten in large quantities. Only the stalks of rhubarb are safe to eat.
- Star fruit: Star fruit can be toxic to people with kidney disease. Star fruit contains oxalates, which can crystallize in the kidneys and cause kidney failure.
It is important to note that the toxicity of these foods can vary depending on the amount eaten and the individual’s sensitivity. If you are concerned about the toxicity of a particular food, it is best to avoid eating it or to talk to your doctor.
Here are some tips for avoiding food poisoning:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling food.
- Cook food thoroughly to destroy harmful bacteria.
- Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from other foods.
- Refrigerate food promptly and properly.
- Avoid eating food that is past its expiration date.
If you think you may have food poisoning, it is important to see a doctor right away.