7 common foods in Ghana that you don't know are poisonous

7 common foods in Ghana that you don't know are poisonous

If you were ever asked to mention things that can cause our deaths as humans, you most probably would not mention common foods that we eat every day.

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This is because we have been made to believe that these foods, especially fruits and vegetables are very healthy to consume.

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But unknowing to many of us, some of the foods are actually poisonous and and could lead to one's death if not eaten with the proper precautions

YEN.com.gh brings you seven foods which are very common in Ghana that you probably did not know are poisonous and can pose serious threats to health or even take your life.

1. Cassava:


Cassava can cause Konzo disease, a paralytic ailment

Considered a major food in Ghana, more than half of the country's population take or have taken cassava at some point in time.

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Whether it is for the fufu, yakeyake or even gari soakings, its popularity among Ghanaians cannot be denied.

But one should be careful when preparing any cassava-based meal as some types of cassava are known to contain high levels of cyanide.

The high levels of "linamarin" and "lotaustralin" in cassava is said to turn into cyanide in human the digestive when when eaten raw.

This means any poorly processed cassava could be fatal for consumers. In fact, it is known to cause Konzo, a paralytic disease which affects people in Africa and other places where cassava consumption is very high.

2: Mushroom:

Death cap mushroom

The deadly death cap mushrooms

Mushrooms are quite popular in Ghana because it is said to be of high nutritional value and it is relatively cheap as against alternative sources of protein.

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But not all types of mushrooms are wholesome to eat including the Amanita phalloides, popularly known as death cap mushrooms, which is considered as very delicious.

The death cap mushroom is said to contain toxins which could cause vomiting, bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps and even affect one's kidneys and liver functions if ingested in large quantities.

In 2009, VOA News reported that several people in the Zimbabwean town of Epworth died after eating wild mushrooms so be careful when eating them.

3. Tomatoes:


Tomatine in tomatoes could be harmful to your health

Tomatoes are among the most common vegetables in Ghana. From making soup to stew, there is almost no dish that goes down in Ghana without a bit of tomato in it.

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According to scientists, the popular vegetable contains a toxin known as tomatine especially in the stems and leaves and the unripe fruits.

The good thing here is that, the amount of toxins reduce drastically reduces when the vegetable matures and so the ripe ones are very safe to consume but you should be careful when you cut a tomato into two and you see the inside is still green.

4. Potatoes:


Potatoes contain the toxic alkaloid called solanine

Potatoes are also quite common in Ghana. It contains a toxic alkaloid called solanine.

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Solanine is said to one of the plant's natural defences but it has pesticidal properties and ingesting a high amount of it could be lethal.

Studies suggest, toxic symptoms appear at doses of 2-5 mg/kg body weight, with lethal doses at 3-6 mg/kg body weight.

It can cause stomach cramps, nausea, burning throat, headache, dizziness, and diarrhea, cardiac dysrhythmia, hallucinations and even death.

5. Apple:


Apple seeds contain cyanide

The is a very popular saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has been around for a very long while and it shows how well apples thought in the arena of good health.

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But your much loved and innocent looking apples could prove deadly when the consumer is not careful as its seeds contain amygdalin.

When amygdalin comes into contact with human digestive enzymes it is said to release hydrogen cyanide which could be lethal in high doses.

6. Pufferfish:


A pufferfish's poison can kill 30 people at a time

The pufferfish may not be very popular across the country but is definitely popular in the Volta Region where a number of deaths have been recorded in recent times.

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The pufferfish is known to be one of the most poisonous fishes around. It contains tetrodotoxin which is said to be up to 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide making it toxic enough to kill 30 humans at a time and there is no known antidote.

7. Nutmeg:


File photo: Nutmeg

Nutmegs should be among the most common flavourings in Ghana. It is used to in making baked goods, confections, spicy eats, among others.

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But common as it may be, it could have very devastating if it is overly consumed.

According to reports, if just a teaspoon of the spice is ingested, it could lead to hallucinations, nausea, elevated heart rate, dry mouth, vomiting, among other serious conditions.

Just be sure you keep it on the shelf and only use what you need at every point in time

So there you have them, the foods come into contact with almost on a daily basis but did not know they could kill you. We hope you will be careful with them henceforth.

What do you think? Do you any other such food in mind?

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Source: Yen

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