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 the common foods that we eat every day.

Poisonous Ghanaian foodss
Some common foods in Ghana could be poisonous Photo source: Facebook/The Honey Shop

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

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

YEN.com.gh brings you seven foods that 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:

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

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 because Fao.org considers types of cassava to contain high levels of cyanide.

The high levels of "linamarin" and "lotaustralin" in cassava are said to turn into cyanide in the human digestive system 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 that affects people in Africa and other places where cassava consumption is very high.

2: Mushroom:

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

But not all types of mushrooms are wholesome to eat including the Amanita phalloides, popularly known as death cap mushrooms, which Sciencedirect.com considers very dangerous.

The death cap mushroom is said to contain toxins that 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:

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

According to Sciencedirect.com, 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 are also quite common in Ghana. Poison.org reveals that potatoes contain a toxic alkaloid called solanine.

Solanine is said to be one of the plant's natural defenses but it has pesticide 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:

The 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 are thought of in the arena of good health.

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

Britannica.com indicates that when amygdalin comes into contact with human digestive enzymes, they release hydrogen cyanide which could be lethal in high doses.

6. Pufferfish:

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.

The pufferfish is known to be one of the most poisonous fishes around. It contains tetrodotoxin which, according to Nationageoraphic.com, contains 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:

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

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

According to ABCNews.com, 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.

Source: YEN.com.gh

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