It’s no surprise that the foods you eat affect everyday functions. All nutrients, whether they be derived from plant-based or animal foods, control your basic body systems. Due to high amounts of fats and empty nutrients, we can conclude that processed and fast foods are largely unhealthy and can cause side effects. What’s surprising, however, is that some of the healthiest foods out there can also cause weird side effects. Moderation is the key to a proper diet, even when considering healthy food choices. Contact a physician if side effects persist.
Every day, mothers everywhere encourage their kids to eat their broccoli, and for good reason – this superfood is packed with vitamin C, protein, fiber and iron. Broccoli can be enjoyed steamed or boiled, and it is a vegetable stir-fry favorite. It is also edible raw, which is why you may have seen it chopped up in vegetable party platters.
Despite its versatility and health benefits, broccoli does have a downside. Overtime, eating too much can impair thyroid function, leading to hypothyroidism. Because broccoli has goitrogenic properties, it can actually stop the thyroid from making enough hormones to regulate your metabolism. This is problematic because the metabolism controls your weight, as well as brain and heart functions. Before broccoli haters rejoice, however, understand that such side effects only occur if you eat too much of this vegetable on a daily basis, every day. A half cup serving should be sufficient enough not to cause problems.
Once upon a time, children used to imitate the loveable Bugs Bunny and consume carrots while watching his adventures on television. A few of these kids ended up with hyperbeta carotenemia as a result. Better known as beta carotene overdose, hyperbeta carotenemia occurs when eating too many carrots causes your skin to turn dark yellow or orange from this form of vitamin A. Eating a handful of carrots shouldn’t cause harm, but keep your consumption low if you consume other veggies with beta carotene like sweet potatoes.
You’ve heard of people turning to household products for homemade hallucinogens before, but the spice rack may seem extreme. Nutmeg is a spice typically used in small amounts in various dishes like desserts, beverages, vegetables and soups.
What you might not know is this seemingly innocent spice has strong properties that can actually pose psychological effects. In fact, the culinary topper can cause hallucinations, depression and headache if you use too much. Before you ask the chef to withhold the nutmeg, know that these effects rarely occur from using the spice in your favorite dishes. The hallucinogenic effects are more likely to happen if you purposely consume large amounts. In few, but severe cases, nutmeg poisoning may ensue.
Oysters have long been debated in terms of libido. While eating an oyster here and there won’t significantly makeover your sex life, the effects of some of the nutrients are worth considering in the short-term. First, oysters have large amounts of zinc, which is a mineral necessary to make testosterone. This hormone is a key player in the sex drives of men, but it can also affect women in small amounts, too. Oysters may also increase dopamine in both men and women, which is a feel-good hormone that can also boost your libido.
Soy is a heart-healthy alternative to animal-based protein sources. While the soy beans themselves are consumed as snacks, they are often broken down into other food products. Soy milk is an alternative to cow’s milk, and the beans are also a key ingredient in the meat substitute, tofu.
Its versatility in vegetarian and vegan diets hardly makes soy suspect. For men, however, soy can cause problems with fertility. A 2008 study from Harvard linked soy consumption to a decreased sperm count by as much as 41 million/ml of semen. While such a reduction may not affect the average man, it can spell troubles in those who have preexisting fertility problems.
Tomatoes are abundant in many foods. Lycopene, a key antioxidant, is linked to decreased risks of eye disease as well as prostate cancer. Pasta and pizza lovers often take solace in the fact that lycopene in tomatoes is most effective in cooked form. However, too much Italian food can mean too much lycopene in your body. Similar to carrots, the effects can turn your skin orange if you eat too many tomatoes. If you’re used to having Italian red sauces every night, consider cutting it down to a couple of times a week to avoid this weird side effect.
Weird side effects from foods don’t necessarily mean you have to avoid these choices all together. However, you should be mindful of symptoms associated with eating large amounts of certain foods. If you experience any unusual side effects that subsequently interfere with your daily activities, call your doctor.