Foodborne illness can result from contamination by fecal bacteria or persistent organic pollutants, as well as the presence of natural toxins. As they decompose, seafood and meats can develop toxins that can sicken us before the spoilage is apparent. Other foods and supplements that are best to avoid because of potential toxicity include: betel nuts, star fruit, mangosteen juice, yerba mate (see here and here), iron pills, cod liver oil, and spirulina. Kimchee and avocados (see here, here) should be probably only consumed in moderation until we know more about their health impact. It’s smart to be discriminating about rice and apple products; favor brown rice grown in the US and organic whole apples over conventional apple juice. And while sweet potatoes are a health-promoting superfood, white potatoes contain a natural toxin, though 75% of which can be removed with peeling. Both turmeric and cinnamon have important health benefits, but one can overdo turmeric due to the oxalate content and cassia (Chinese) cinnamon due to the presence of coumarins that can be toxic to the liver at high doses. Raw mushrooms also contain natural toxins, but they are removed through cooking.
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