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Do you like cherries or almonds? Well, not to alarm you, but you should know that they – along with a number of other foods – can literally kill you. Many just don’t know about pits that are poisonous, leaves that can make you sick, and naturally occurring chemicals that can be fatally toxic to some people. This of course is not to say you should stop eating certain foods all together. But the following list of foods you may want to be careful around, and if you’re going to eat them, watch how you prepare and cook them so they don’t become the death of you.
Rhubarb is a vegetable commonly found in pies or jams. And if you plan on using it for your next pie, know that you can only eat the stalks. The leaves on the other hand, contain a chemical called oxalic acid, which is actually used to remove bleach – and if swallowed – will also take out parts of your stomach.
Surprising to see these on the list, many people don’t know that cherry pits can actually be fatal. They contain cyanogenic compounds that turn into cyanide when broken down and crushed. Swallow one and you should be ok. It’s only the broken ones you really need to avoid.
Also known as blowfish or fugu, this fish is as dangerous as it looks. It contains a toxin called tetrodotoxin that paralyzes muscles, and cause asphyxiation – causing you to choke to death. Only a specially trained chef (typically of Japanese descent) can prepare this fish for you by removing certain organs that contain the toxic so you don’t die.
A rather unusual fruit native to Jamaica, this is a fruit that can only be ingested once it ripens. Before that, toxins are active in it that can kill you. Just like it killed 23 Jamaicans back in 2011.
Often used as a topical oil to treat a variety of skin conditions, castor oil – if ingested – can be fatal. It’s actually the beans of which it’s derived that contain ricin, a powerful poison. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that just one single bean has enough ricin to kill over 1,000 people!
This one’s expected to be on the list. Peanuts is perhaps the world’s most common – and fatal – food allergy. In fact, each year over 3 million people in the U.S alone report being allergic to them. And, it’s an allergy that can be formed at any stage in life, not just at childhood like many think. If your mouth starts to itch after eating a peanut – watch out.
Like peanuts, shellfish is one of the top food allergens. Each year it sends tens of thousands of people to the emergency room. Should you notice your mouth starting to itch, or you break out in hives – call 911 immediately.
Just as you were taught as a kid, these are wild berries you’re best to leave alone on the trees. Elderberries contain glycosides that turn into cyanide when they’re ingested. Thankfully, cooking them breaks down this dangerous compound, which makes it great for jams.
You might not know this but wild almonds are seeds – not nuts. You might not also know that wild almonds are loaded with cyanide. But you can be at ease knowing that the ones you buy in the store are not the wild ones you’re being warned about here.
Nutmeg, when consumed in large doses, will cause myristicin poisoning, which is deadly. Symptoms of this poisoning are headaches, nausea, dizziness, and even hallucinations. So if you’re going to use nutmeg, make sure it’s not more than one tablespoon at a time.