Even though vegetables are great sources of vitamins and minerals for most people, some can cause pain, illness and even death.
No one doubts the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Organically grown produce is especially wholesome. But there are specific situations when veggies should be avoided, most importantly these ten:
Wilted or Tainted Produce – Any vegetable with bruises, brown spots or wilting should be suspect. E. coli bacteria can be attendant in overripe produce, causing food poisoning and even death.
Poisons – Cassava has cyanide in it. Lima beans contain limarin. Such veggies must be very well cooked to render the poisons harmless. And never eat apple or cherry seeds, which contain potentially deadly cyanogenic glycosides.
Canned Goods – Sodium salts are used as preservatives—a potential killer for those with high blood pressure or a heart condition. Look for low-sodium equivalents—or better still, eat fresh produce.
Allergens – Many asthmatics are sensitive to sulphites. They can be readily found in processed fruits and vegetables, including canned or dried soups, purees, dried fruit, juice concentrates, syrups and jams.
High Sugar Content – Diabetics, in particular, must avoid vegetables with a high glycemic index. Veggies particularly rich in sugars are carrots, potatoes, beets, peas, and corn.
High Calorie Content – Dieters beware. Besides the high-sugar culprits, other veggies that pile on calories without much nutritional value are kumara, yams, taro, breadfruit, plantains, winter squashes, rutabaga, parsnips and cassava.
Purine-Rich Vegetables – Arthritis or gout sufferers will want to steer clear of veggies containing purines that can aggravate symptoms. The list includes asparagus, cauliflower, kidney and lima beans, mushrooms, peas and spinach.
Nightshades – Sensitivity or allergies to certain alkaloid substances may require elimination of nightshade vegetables from your diet. Among them are eggplant, tomatoes, tomatillos, tamarios, sweet and hot peppers, pepinos, pimentos, paprika and cayenne.
Spicy Vegetables – Anyone with hepatitis, cirrhosis or ulcers should eliminate chili peppers and onions from their food intake. Also, use garlic in moderation.
Coated Vegetables – Breading, frying, or covering vegetables in creamy sauces adds carbs, fats and cholesterol to otherwise healthy produce. Just don’t do it.
Alfablue, February 2013