5 healthy foods that can cause harm in large quantities

It is well known that chips, gummy bears and cookies should only be eaten in moderation. But the same applies to some really healthy foods: in large quantities they can harm the body.

Calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus: In brazil nuts contains many minerals. The Brazil nut is particularly known for its high selenium content. Brazil nuts can serve as a reliable source of selenium, especially for vegans and vegetarians who do not eat meat or fish.

However, you should not overdo it when eating Brazil nuts, because tropical fruits in capsules have significantly more radioactive materials than other foods. It is safe to consume foods that are contaminated with radioactivity to a small extent. According to the Federal Office for Radiological Protection, the average radiation dose from food is 300 microsieverts per year, as long as it does not contain Brazil nuts. Come two Brazil nuts a day Furthermore, the annual radiation exposure increases by more than half, i.e. 160 microsieverts. This amount remains harmless to health.

But are two Brazil nuts enough to meet the recommended selenium intake? Two Brazil nuts contain about 10 micrograms of selenium; 100 grams of Brazil nuts contain around 103 micrograms of selenium, writes the German Nutrition Society (DGE). However: the selenium content can vary greatly depending on the nature of the soil. The US Department of Agriculture reports significantly higher selenium values ​​(between 136 and 2,740 micrograms, average 1,920 micrograms). The DGE recommends a daily intake of 70 micrograms for adult men and 60 micrograms for women. Therefore it can It is advisable to use additional sources of selenium..

Animal products can be a source of selenium, since in the EU animal feed can be fortified with this trace element. However, for animal and climate protection reasons, they are not recommended. If you prefer to consume selenium more directly, you will find a list of plant sources of selenium in this article: Foods containing selenium: here is a particularly high amount

Eating raw spinach, for example in salads or smoothies, is a good idea. After all, healthy nutrients are lost when cooking. However, you shouldn’t go overboard with raw spinach for two reasons.

Contains raw spinach Oxalic acid, is mainly found on older, larger leaves and stems. Oxalic acid binds to calcium, magnesium, and iron, making it difficult for the body to absorb these nutrients. Furthermore, high amounts of oxalic acid can increase the risk of stone formation in the kidneys, bladder and ureters, as the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) writes.

Healthy adults don’t have to worry about the health effects of oxalic acid if they occasionally eat raw spinach. However, if you tend to eat raw spinach in large quantities and other foods that contain a lot of oxalic acid, such as beets, rhubarb, chard, almonds, cashews or cocoa, you may want to exercise some moderation. People with kidney disease You should ask a doctor to clarify whether you can safely eat foods containing oxalic acid and in what quantity.

The second reason why you should not go overboard with raw spinach and also arugula is the nitrate content. Nitrate can occur in the body. nitrite become. This makes it difficult for oxygen to be transported in the blood. Nitrites can also form nitrosamines. These have been shown to have a carcinogenic effect in animal experiments. According to the BfR, it has not yet been clearly demonstrated whether the same effect applies to humans.

You don’t have to worry too much about high nitrate intake if you eat a varied diet. Because: nitrates in food apply in the EU Boundaries, which according to the Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (LAVES), are normally met. However, if you regularly eat large amounts of nitrate-rich foods, caution is advised. The BfR writes: “By daily consumption of large quantities of raw spinach with a high oxalic acid and nitrate content Health-threatening amounts of these substances can be absorbed..”

Arugula contains many more nitrates than other types of lettuce. (Photo: CC0/Pixabay/ChrRei1985)

In addition to spinach and arugula, other salads often have high levels of nitrate, as do beets, fennel or rhubarb. Nitrate is also found in drinking water in varying concentrations. The nitrate content depends on several factors, for example the amount of light to which the plant was exposed during growth. If you blanch spinach, some of the nitrate goes into the blanching water. In this way the content in food can be reduced.

Therefore, it is difficult to say how much is too much. With a view of arugula – which contains on average more than twice as much nitrate as other types of lettuce – writes the BfR:

“The consumption of more than 25 g of arugula per day (average nitrate content of 4252 mg/kg), in addition to the average consumption of all important food groups in terms of nitrate, the ADI is exceeded.”

FDI means “acceptable daily intake”That is, the amount that can be consumed each day throughout life without having to fear a health risk.

A proven home remedy for digestive problems: flaxseed.
Flax seeds stand out for their good proportion of fatty acids. However, you should only consume them in moderation. (Photo: CC0/Pixabay/Pezibear)

Flaxseed is considered a local superfood, although supermarket products are often imported. In addition to a number of healthy micronutrients, the reason for its good reputation is the advantageous ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. So that the body can absorb them, it is useful to crush the seeds before consuming them. More about this here:

However, there is also a maximum recommended daily amount of flaxseed, and it is not that high. For food According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, it should maximum 15 grams be. The reason for this is the natural cyanide content of flaxseed.

Cyanide is the salt of… hydrocyanic acid. This is released when some plants are consumed. Bitter apricot seeds and cassava have comparatively high cyanide content. Hydrocyanic acid can occur in humans severe symptoms of poisoning It causes, in the worst case, even death.

The way the body reacts to hydrogen cyanide depends not only on the dose, but also on an enzyme, ß-glucosidase. According to the BfR, consuming flax seeds is harmless to health as long as the recommendation of a maximum of 15 grams per meal is followed.

The Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety also notes that hydrogen cyanide evaporates if foods containing cyanide are heated sufficiently. Consequently, hydrocyanic acid has a Boiling point of 26 degrees Celsius.. Many packages of flaxseed also contain a note saying that the seeds should not be consumed raw. You can read more about this here: Don’t eat raw flax seeds? What the warning is about

Another recommendation from the BfR: A maximum of 20 grams per day. Flax. The reason for this is another substance that can harm the body: cadmium. This heavy metal enters the environment in various ways; Plants absorb it from the soil through their roots. Once in the body, cadmium accumulates in the kidneys and other organs.

Vegetarian carrot and cucumber sushi is sustainable and delicious.
There are several edible algae. Nori sheets are used for sushi. (Photo: CC0/Pixabay/Robert-Owen-Wahl)

Seaweed contains several nutrients. One of them is iodine. This makes seaweed particularly popular with some vegans who exclude other sources of iodine such as fish, eggs and dairy products from their diet. Iodine is an important trace element. to regulate the thyroid gland, at the same time Germany is considered an iodine-deficient area. That is why table salt in this country is usually enriched with iodine. Seaweed can be another vegan source to meet your iodine needs.

However, iodine can also cause harm if consumed in excess. The problem with algae: the iodine content can vary greatly and the safe intake level for products with a high concentration of iodine can be overcome quickly. The consumer advice center criticizes that some seaweed-based products do not contain sufficient warnings and information on iodine content. The iodine content in dried seaweed can vary between 5 and 11,000 milligrams per kilo.

The DGE recommends a daily intake of iodine for adults in Germany 180-200 micrograms, depending on the age. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume more iodine. The BfR estimates the maximum amount of food you should consume per day 500 micrograms.

OK Calculation example The BfR shows how quickly a critical iodine intake can be achieved through algae: if only 10 grams of algae are consumed from a product containing 506 milligrams of iodine per kilogram, “there is already an excessive iodine intake.” ” which exceeds the recommended daily maximum. quantity ten times.

That is why it is better to consume seaweed in moderation. Better yet (if you make them yourself): Eat only seaweed whose iodine content is indicated on the packaging. The BfR advises against algae products with an iodine content of 20 mg/kg or more.

Please read our health information.

** marked with ** or orange underline Links to supply sources are partly partner links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.de, because this way we receive a small part of the sales revenue. More information.

Do you like this post?

Thanks for your vote!

Tags: Food Healthy Eating Healthy Foods Superfoods

Leave a Comment