Natural is not always good, and, indeed, natural can be unsafe and downright toxic and dangerous. Here are some dangerous fruits you should take care while consuming.
1. Ackee fruit
The Ackee fruit is native to West Africa. The fruit is also very dangerous. This is because the ackee fruit contain hypogylcin A and hypoglycin B, collectively known as the "soapberry toxins". Hypoglycin A is found in the seeds and arils while hypoglycin B is found in the seeds only. In the body, these soapberry toxins are converted to a chemical known as MCPA (methylenecyclopropylacetic acid) and may lead to death. It is therefore very important to eat the ackee fruit only if you know how to prepare it properly. The ackee fruit are the national fruit of Jamaica and the illness caused by the toxicity of the Ackee fruit is called the Jamaican vomiting sickness.
Native to Brazil, cashews are technically not nuts but seeds of the cashew apple fruit that grows from the cashew tree. Unlike other nuts and seeds, the cashew grows outside the fruit instead of inside it. The cashews we eat are processed, and it would be very dangerous to eat cashews raw. This is because cashews are surrounded by a toxic hull that contains urushiol. Urushiol is a chemical that causes itching. Urushiol is also toxic if ingested. Urushiol is the same chemical that makes poison ivy poisonous. Processing of cashews involves removing this hull and extracting the cashew. The cashews can be eaten at that point or cooked by various methods including roasting.
3. Yellow star fruit
This fruit is low in calories, high in fibre, and high in vitamin C. It's also very tasty with a signature sweet and sour taste. But before you indulge, how are your kidneys? If your have kidney problems, this may not be the fruit for you. This is because the yellow star fruit has a high amount of oxalates. Oxalates are a natural substance in many foods. Once in the body, oxalates can be excreted through urine or through stool. When excreted through urine, they pass through the kidneys. For people with kidney issues, the oxalates may get "stuck" there and form kidney stones. Most kidney stones are calcium oxalate stones. This is why people with kidney issues are warned to avoid foods with a high amount of oxalates. In some cases, eating too much star fruit can lead to kidney damage, seizures, and even death. Furthermore, even people without kidney issues may still be in danger as the yellow star fruit can interact with some medications. So be sure to check with your doctor before eating this fruit.
Almost the whole plant of the elderberry is poisonous. The leaves, twigs, branches, seeds, roots, flowers, and berries of the plant produce cyanide-inducing chemicals which are toxic. Only the ripe, cooked berries (pulp and skin) are safe. Consuming these cyanide-inducing chemicals from elderberry beverages made from berry juice, flower tea, and fresh leaves, branches, and fruits is known to cause illness.
Strychnine is one of the most famous plant poisons in history. From killing Alexander the Great in 323BC (allegedly) to saving Europe from the spread of the bubonic plague (it was used as rat poison), strychnine has really made a name for itself. The strychnine tree produces numerous toxic chemicals, amongst them, strychnine and brucine. Strychnine and brucine are found in the seeds and the fruits of the tree. The whole tree is so dangerous that the use of its products is regulated in many countries and is mainly used to kill animals (pest control). However, there have been cases of accidental poisoning through breathing and contact through the skin. Strychnine has been a notable choice for assassinations and poison attacks because it produces some of the most dramatic and painful symptoms of any known toxic reaction.
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