Saturday, June 11, 2011

Beware of the Natural Toxins in Fruits and Vegetables

In our daily diets, plant food plays a very important role. However, due to inappropriate ways of eating, it is likely to cause food poisoning. This is because plants contain a large number of natural toxins. Following is a brief introduction of the natural toxins in some plants.
First, potato poisoning
Potato is widely used in our daily life, but the germinant potato can cause food poisoning. The main component causing poisoning is solanine, which is a kind of alkalescence glycoside. Improper way of storage will make the potato sprout or become dark green, which will greatly increase the solanine content in it. Solanine has a strong stimulation on the gastrointestinal mucosa, and will cause the paralysis of the respiratory center and the motor center. The main symptoms of poisoning are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and so on.
Solanine can be easily soluble in water, and it is easy to decompose when meeting with acetic acid. What's more, high temperature of cooking can destroy its toxicity. So we should make full use of these features. For example, soak it in water for a long time and add in some vinegar when cooking. All of these methods can avoid poisoning. In addition, do not eat dark green or sprouting potatoes.
Second, cassava poisoning
The main toxic substance in cassava is flaxseed swertiamarin, which will hydrolyze under the action of the enzyme, and produce hydrocyanic acid. Hydrocyanic acid has strong toxicity, which can cause hypoxia in the human tissue, and can lead to respiratory and circulatory failure and even death.
In order to prevent cassava poisoning, you can make full use of the feature that hydrocyanic acid is easy to volatilize when it is heated, so as to remove the toxic substances. Before you eat cassava, you should first have it peeled, and then soak the cassava flesh in water. When you are cooking, open the pot cover, so that the hydrocyanic acid will volatilize. It is prohibited to eat raw cassava.
Third, daylily
Daylily poisoning is caused by the colchicines contained in it. Colchicine is non-toxic itself, but after it is consumed by human body, it will be oxidized into a highly toxic substance, which will stimulate human tissue. The poisoning symptoms include nausea, vomiting, thirst, dry throat and so on.  

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