10 foods that are harmful to the body

We all have that one friend who will eat anything they can get their hands on. These risky eaters are willing to sample various kinds of strange and unique cuisines. However, even these adventurous eaters refuse to cross certain lines. This article brings you some of the deadliest foods out there and how to eat them safely. Bon appetit!

1. Elderberries

These berries are delicious but are only safe to consume when fully ripe or completely cooked. However, their seeds, leaves and stems contain traces of cyanide-inducing glycoside. Eating a large quantity of these cyanide-inducing glycosides can cause a toxic buildup of cyanide in the body and make you very ill. Eating unripe or uncooked berries can lead to severe diarrhoea and seizures.

2. Starfruit

Although this fruit looks pretty and is rich in vitamin C, it is not completely safe to eat. For people with bad or weak kidneys, a 100 ml of the juice is dangerous as it contains neurotoxins which damage the nervous system (brain and nerves).

3. Cashews

The cashew nuts we know and love are steamed to make them safe to eat. Raw cashews contain a deadly chemical, urushiol which is also found in poison ivy. High levels of urushiol can be fatal so make sure you never eat raw cashews.

4. Fesikh

This is an Egyptian traditional dish which is eaten on Shem-al-Nessim; the local spring festival. It is made with a fermented mullet fish that must be dried in the sun and salted for at least a year before it can be eaten safely.

5. Fugu (Pufferfish)

Fugu is a delicacy in Japan and contains a neurotoxin, tetrodotoxin, in its internal organs. If not prepared correctly, it can paralyze and asphyxiate a human. Chef’s in Japan must undergo years of training before they are allowed to prepare the dish, making it pretty safe to eat in restaurants.

6. Blood clams

Clams from China’s waters are much more dangerous than their other counterparts. This is because they live in low oxygen environments and so ingest more bacteria and viruses. These include hepatitis A, hepatitis E, dysentery and typhoid, which they ingest in order to get the nutrients they need.

7. Giant Bullfrog

The giant bullfrog is generally consumed whole in Namibia, where it is a popular savoury dish. It can be only eaten during specific times during the year and only when the frog has matured completely matured. This is because young frogs which haven’t started to mate contain a toxin that can cause kidney failure.

8. Ackee

The national fruit of Jamaica is a risky treat to try. It has hypoglycin, a poison that can cause vomiting. It can only be eaten if it is fully ripe and picked before it has opened to reveal its toxic black seeds.

9. Monkey brains

This strange dish is commonly eaten in many parts in Asia. Monkey brains can be eaten raw, cooked or baked. Brain consumption can cause Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease an incurable and degenerative neurological disorder. Simply speaking, this disease causes brain tissue to deteriorate.

10. Cassava

This food item is a root vegetable commonly eaten in many parts of Africa. It is also called tapioca and is used to make pudding, juices, and chips. However, its roots and leaves are full of cyanide; a lethal poison. It must be cooked completely as it is deadly if eaten raw.

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