Typically, when we think of the word toxic, the first things that come to mind are harmful chemicals and cartoonish poisons. In association with food, the word toxic is usually linked with harmful fast food and sugary sodas. While those double cheeseburgers are still pretty awful for you, many of the foods you consume every day are just as, if not more so, toxic in certain amounts and states of preparedness. The foods on this list are familiar, and often thought of as completely harmless, read on to find out why they aren’t.
(Hydrogen) Cyanide – Almonds and Cherries
Aside from being thought of as generally healthy, almonds, cherries, and apples have another super important thing in common. Cyanide. More specifically, hydrogen cyanide. This toxin, which can cause vomiting, general sickness, and even death when ingested by children, is present in things like bitter almonds, cherry pits, and apple seeds. Most people know to stay away from apple seeds and cherry pits, and bitter almonds are increasingly difficult to come by, but when ingested, especially unknowingly and on accident, they can cause serious complications in humans and household pets.
Solanine – Potatoes
Solanine is a natural poison that is found in the skin of potatoes. While ingesting enough solanine to actually kill you is very, very hard, it is possible to ingest enough to make yourself very sick. While the toxin typically presents itself in gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea, enough of the poison can be fatal. The good news is that solanine can be destroyed, and cooked out of potatoes by heat and with proper cooking techniques.
Myristicin – Nutmeg
While nutmeg is an amazing flavor addition to tasty desserts and holiday treats, the rich spice is also a pretty powerful hallucinogenic. Before you start raiding your spice cupboard in search of a “safe” legal trip, you should also know that it can be very toxic. Consuming as little as 2 tablespoons of raw nutmeg can lead to convulsions while only a little bit more than that will lead to seizures. Only 5 grams of nutmeg constitutes as an overdose, one that can cause an extreme psychosis, and even bring about a miscarriage.
Mercury – Tuna
Most people know that tuna fish is filled with mercury. The delicious little fish absorb tons of mercury in the ocean, mercury which is typically passed through your kidneys when you eat it but can be extremely harmful in large amounts. Poisoning from the mercury in tuna fish can cause reproductive issues and nervous system disorders. Pregnant women and children are often advised to stay away from tuna altogether to prevent any sort of complications due to the mercury.