Top 5 natural toxins in our food

Health Tips

Natural foods are considered the most useful for the daily diet of every person. However, many of them are far from safe. Instead of extending your life with fresh food, you can say goodbye to it very quickly if you are not attentive at the table.

“The problem of food has always been one of the most important problems facing human society. Everything except oxygen, a person receives for his life from food and water.

Proper nutrition requires knowledge, at least in the most general form, of the chemical composition of food raw materials and finished food products, ideas about how they are obtained, about the transformations that occur when they are obtained and during the culinary processing of food,” says Goodshapetips expert Elena Viktorovna Goncharova, dietitian of the Medical Center CLINIC +31, member of the National Association of Dietitians and Nutritionists.

Elena Viktorovna Goncharova

What are they – Top 5 natural toxins contained in natural products and dangerous to our health, analyzes Goodshapetips.

Don’t Overeat Spinach and Rhubarb

With the onset of spring, on the shelves of the vegetable departments of supermarkets appears rhubarb. A little later, rhubarb ripens in our summer cottages, where grandmothers are trying with might and main to feed their grandchildren with the necessary vitamins. However rhubarb contains oxalic acid, which is harmful to health, and in large doses becomes a poison.

Oxalic acid creates chemical compounds with calcium that we eat or that is already in our body. As a result, calcium oxalate is formed, which is not absorbed by our body, due to which the amount of calcium in our body decreases.

For children whose bones and teeth are growing, it is especially dangerous lack of calcium in the body. Nutritionists recommend minimizing the consumption of rhubarb or cooking it to destroy oxalic acid. Better yet, replace the rhubarb with sorrel, which also contains oxalic acid, but is rich in vitamin C. Sorrel soup is seasoned with sour cream and contains egg white, which compensates for the potential loss of calcium.

A much greater danger to the modern buyer is spinach. It is available at any time of the year and has a reputation for being a very useful product. In fact, spinach also contains oxalic acid.

Of course, it is also a source of vitamins C and B, carotene (provitamin A) and chlorophyll, so you should not completely exclude it from your diet. However, try to cook spinach with calcium-rich milk instead of making it your favorite daily meal.

Elena Goncharova’s comment:

“All nutrients are useful to a healthy body in optimal quantities and optimal ratio. But there are always microcomponents in food, which in relatively high amounts cause an adverse effect.

These include, firstly, the so-called toxicants – natural biologically active substances inherent in this type of product that can cause a toxic effect under certain conditions of consumption, and secondly, “pollutants” – toxic substances that enter food from the environment due to violations of growing technology (feeding – for animals), production or storage of products or other reasons.

Carefully select sprouted potatoes

Green tomatoes that have been stored for a long time or have gone bad, as well as sprouted potatoes, contain the most solanine. It is a glycoside that can cause irritation of the digestive tract. Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in breathing or circulation – this is what poisoning with this toxin will lead to. In addition, you should never eat potatoes covered with green spots.

The highest risk of solanine poisoning occurs in the spring, when last year’s potatoes begin to sprout and the toxin content rises. The longer the potatoes are stored, the more carefully they need to be selected, which will reduce the amount of toxic compounds. When all the potatoes start to sprout, it is better to replace them with other vegetables or buy a young one. potato.

Expert Elena Goncharova comments:

“The highest concentration of solanine is found just under the skin of the potato in green areas. If you cut off a thicker layer during cleansing, you can avoid ingesting large amounts of solanine. Steaming vegetables or in boiling water reduces the level of solanine in them by 40%.

Solanine can cause stomach upsets, as well as problems associated with the functioning of the respiratory organs. Experiments on animals awaiting offspring have shown that solanine in most cases leads to miscarriages, so pregnant women should be as careful as possible about the ingestion of this harmful toxin. Often from potato berries arise poisoning in children.

Symptoms of acute solanine poisoning are manifested as follows: a sore throat, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, trembling in the hands, an increased heart rate, blood pressure decreases, shortness of breath appears, and in severe cases, convulsions and loss of consciousness.

Some other fruits of plants in the nightshade family, including eggplant and tomatoes, are also characterized by known or suspected toxicity due to the presence of this group of glycoalkaloids. Some alkaloids have the ability to be neurotoxic to the central nervous system, causing hallucinations or stupor. Basically, these compounds are found in the seeds of Datura and nutmeg.

What is the danger of cashews, seeds and damaged apples

Don’t burn cashews

The cashew nut is originally from Portugal, however, it can be found in other parts of the world – Tanzania, Brazil or India. Usually they only talk about the beneficial properties of this nut, besides, it is the only one among other nuts that does not cause allergies.

However, if you are lucky enough to visit places where it grows, you will be even more surprised – in addition to the cashew nut itself, the cashew tree gives delicious and juicy “apples”, to which the nut is attached in a green shell. It contains a very caustic juice that can burn the skin.

The composition of the shell and even the nut itself includes the dangerous cardol toxin, so in no case should you try to extract the cashew nut yourself. Cardol is a phenolic resin that causes severe chemical burns. The skin becomes blistered and sore and inflamed in hot climates.

In addition, an allergic reaction may occur, which is then very difficult to remove with antihistamines. And certainly in no case should you eat raw cashew nuts, otherwise you will be severely poisoned.

Don’t chew bones

Healthy fruits and berries often contain toxic substances in seeds and seeds. One of the most common berries containing large seeds is cherry. Long chewing or sucking, and even more so chewing on the pit of a cherry, leads to the immediate production of hydrogen cyanide or hydrocyanic acid. This is a very toxic substance, in high concentrations causing irreparable harm to our health.

Elena Goncharova’s comment:

“Cyanide poisoning is more likely to occur as a result of eating a large number of kernels of peach, apricot, cherry, plum, as well as other plants of the Rosaceae family or tinctures from them, cassava tubers.

Eating even a small amount (about 60-80 g) of peeled bitter apricot kernels or almonds can cause fatal poisoning. Therefore, the use of bitter almonds in the confectionery industry is limited. The infusion of stone fruits in the production of alcoholic beverages is also limited. The clinical picture of cyanide poisoning is as follows: headache, nausea, and in severe cases, damage to the respiratory center, which leads to respiratory paralysis and death.

Most likely, if you bite into one cherry bone, you will not notice a negative effect on the body. But it is necessary to get rid of this habit, because hydrocyanic acid poisoning leads to nausea, vomiting and irritation of the walls of the stomach. Large doses of cyanide contribute to respiratory disorders, accelerated heart rate, and in the worst case, can result in death.

Don’t eat broken apples

When buying apples, try to choose only even, smooth and whole fruits. Despite traditional misconceptions, an overripe or wormy fruit does not mean the most delicious.

If an apple has a broken side, traces of early decay or damage to the fruit are visible – this means that the process of producing a very toxic substance patulin has begun in this fruit. Patulin has a carcinogenic and mutational effect, and undoubtedly makes the fruit inedible.

High temperature when processing stale apples with traces of dents does not reduce the content of the toxin. Therefore, it is very important for making jams, brewing jams or preparing juices only whole fruits were selected. Cutting off the damaged side will also not reduce the amount of patulin in the apple. Patulin produce molds that grow outward and take over the entire fruit. Mold is not visible to the naked eye, but its harmful effects are not reduced.

Patulin is also found in many other stale fruits – pears, grapes, apricots and peaches. It is especially important to protect children from accidentally eating overripe broken fruit. For them, the content of a toxic substance in the fruits is many times more dangerous than for an adult. The body weight of a child is several times less than the body weight of an adult, and, accordingly, the concentration of the toxin in the body will be maximum.

Elena Goncharova’s comment:

“Often, naturally occurring levels of toxins in fruits and vegetables are much higher than those found in man-made foods. These natural toxins can cause cancer and birth defects. If you want to protect yourself and your family from unnecessary health problems, then you should avoid eating large amounts of some of the usual foods.

Toxins and their content in foods

There are also many foods that are good for our health on their own, but their combination leads to the production of toxic substances, poisons and poisoning of the body. Most often, it happens that trace elements contained in one product weaken or cancel the effect of nutrients in another product. Therefore, it is important to know what we eat and with what.

For example, red meat (beef, lamb) is often served with red wine. The mixture of these tastes is very pleasant for our taste buds, however, from the point of view of benefits for the body, such a culinary tradition is not very correct. Red wine contains a lot of tannin, which blocks the absorption of iron from meat. If you often eat such a dinner, then you can “earn” anemia.

The refrigerator is prepared on kefir or yogurt with the addition of vegetables and chard, or beet tops. Beet tops contain oxalate, salts of oxalic acid, dairy products – calcium. The combination of one with the other gives rise to calcium oxalate, which is deposited in the kidneys and leads to the formation of stones. In addition, in such a compound, calcium is not absorbed by our body, which leads to osteoporosis.

But the mushroom snack to alcohol brings the greatest harm to the body. Any amount of even the weakest alcohol, drunk with a mushroom snack, or even an hour after dinner with fried mushrooms, can be dangerous.

This is due to the content of a specific protein in mushrooms, which, under the influence of alcohol, becomes indigestible (indigestible). This leads to digestive problems, poisoning, and can lead to serious and long-term diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Reference table of the names of toxins and foods that contain them

Of course, occasional tastings of natural toxins can go unnoticed, so there’s no need to immediately worry and call a doctor if you’ve cracked a cherry pit or dined on a steak with red wine. In many cases, the toxin must accumulate in the body in large quantities to cause serious problems.

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