Saturday, December 21, 2013


It’s the holiday season, and we all know what that means… stuffing our faces with delicious delicious food.  With that in mind, remember that moderation is key.

Ariel Williams, of Quora, helps us remember that too much of a good thing can be bad.

  • The Cinnamon challenge is a challenge to eat a heaping tablespoon of cinnamon almost no one can do it. You will cough gag and burn your mouth and throat first. You could choke and inhale the cinnamon and asphyxiate yourself.
  • Doing the same thing with Nutmeg will likely kill you due to natural toxins in Nutmeg in small quantities.  Eating just 0.2 ounces of it can leave you convulsing and eating 0.3 ounces will lead to hallucinations. Feeling brave? Or maybe you have a death wish? Eating a whole one will leave you in a state of “nutmeg psychosis” and with the sense of an impeding doom.
  • Too much salt mixed in anything will cause instant vomiting.
  • Each bitter (unheated) almond contains 4-9 mg of hydrogen cyanide. If not heated properly in cooking then the danger still looms. The severity of their risk is enough for the USA to limit the sale of their raw variety. Unroasted (bitter) almonds mixed in anything unheated can kill you.
  • Tomatoes Despite the extreme popularity of tomatoes and many countries, it is true that they are poisonous. Though the fruit itself doesn’t contain poison, the stem as well as the leaves contain a chemical known as glycoalkaloid. Higher levels are said to be found in wild tomatoes, but those grown domestically still contain glycoalkaloid. This chemical is known to cause upset stomachs and nervousness. This chemical is so powerful that it is actually used as a way to control pests.
  • Cherries are definitely one of the most versatile fruits. You can eat them raw, cook them, bake them, and get them tart or sweet. Cherries can even be used in certain types of liquor. Despite their overall red goodness, cherries are toxic. If you’ve ever eaten a cherry and without thought chewed on the pip or left it in your mouth, you more than likely introduced hydrogen cyanide into your body. If a cherry pip is chewed, crushed, or somehow damaged, it automatically produces hydrogen cyanide. Symptoms of mild poisoning include headache, dizziness, confusion, anxiety, and vomiting. Larger doses can lead to difficulty breathing, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and kidney failure. Reactions can include coma, convulsions, and death from respiratory arrest.
  • Potatoes. Potatoes contain glycoalkaloids (solanine and chaconine), toxic compounds which are more prevalent in the wild potato varieties. Cooking at high temperatures mostly removes the toxin, although headaches, diarrhea, and cramps—and in severe cases, coma and death—can occur in rare cases. Ever wonder why we’re told to keep potatoes away from light? It’s to prevent higher concentrations of solanine. So don’t eat potatoes after they have turned green.
  • Apricot Stones (Seeds). Actually, many fruits of the rose family contain cyanogenetic glycosides, which upon ingestion release hydrogen cyanide gas. These include seeds from cherries, apples, plums, almonds, and peaches. Although it would take a mega-dose to do you in, keep this in mind the next time you go on an apricot seed binge. There have been reported deaths in Turkey, a large apricot grower, for this very reason.
  • Chocolate. Chocolate contains the alkaloid theobromine, which in unusually high doses can be toxic to humans. However, it would take an unholy amount of chocolate to achieve this. But other species react much worse: dogs, parrots, horses, and cats can be killed by ingesting chocolate
  • Tapioca. Tapioca, if not processed properly, can be toxic. It contains a natural source of cyanide, whose precursor, linamarin, is rendered harmless if properly dried, soaked, and baked.
  • The Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica and features in its cuisine. When picked before it is fully ripe, the fruit contains a chemical that limits the body’s ability to release the backup supply of glucose that is stored in the liver. That supply is essential because once the body uses up the sugar immediately available in the bloodstream, an event that usually occurs several hours after eating, it depends on this glucose to keep blood sugar levels normal until the next meal. Without it, blood sugar plunges dangerously. Enough people have died from eating unripened ackee to make it illegal to bring the raw fruit into the U.S although that restriction doesn’t apply to canned and properly processed ackee.
  • Hot Dogs They’re much more than a tailgating staple. In a new paper, the American Academy of Pediatrics says hot dogs are also a choking hazard to children and should come with a warning label. About 17% of food-related asphyxiations in those younger than 10 are caused by hot dogs, according to a 41-state study cited in the paper. The Academy even recommended that hot dogs be redesigned to make it less likely that they will get lodged in the throats of the young.
  • Water! Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning, is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside of safe limits (e.g., hyponatremia) by overhydration, i.e., over-consumption of water. 


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