Nuts are good sources of nutrients, proteins, good fats, and antioxidants. They also help in reducing cholesterol level in your body and helps in keeping your body healthy. If you’re looking for a wholesome snack, nuts might seem like a sure-fire win. But some nuts are wildly unhealthy, or even harmful, and the human cost of harvesting them can sometimes be disturbingly high.
Here are a few pics from the nut and seed aisle, you may want to think twice about.
Almonds, Not only are these perennial favorites, tasty, but they’re good for your body too and are used to make a popular alternative to milk for those looking to avoid dairy. But all that goodness comes at a price, and if you’re trying to make more environmentally-friendly choices, you might want to stop eating almonds. More than 80 percent of the world’s almonds come from California, and it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. You’ve heard the horror stories of drought and wildfires in the state — now consider that every single almond you eat took a little more than a gallon of water to grow. That toll has led to a domino effect, even impacting the local salmon population, which is plagued by low water levels. But wait, almonds get worse! Bitter almonds, Almond production is problematic, but bitter almonds can be straight-up deadly. Not to be confused with common “sweet” almonds. bitter almonds are actually apricot kernels. They lend almond flavor to things like marzipan, but eating them raw is dangerous. Raw bitter almonds have a compound inside them that the body converts to cyanide unless they’re properly prepared. Case studies of people who eat them raw are nothing short of terrifying, including one case where a 67-year-old woman ate only a handful of bitter almonds, thinking they were”medicinal.”Just that small amount gave her lightheadedness and nausea, and when she had a dozen more, she was incapacitated and on her way to the emergency room within 15 minutes. Despite many claims online to the contrary, actual medical professionals advise people to avoid eating raw bitter almonds entirely. So… don’t get medical advice from anonymous internet strangers.
Cashews. The majority of cashews come from India and Vietnam, and picking and processing them isn’t easy. Cashew apples have several tough layers that need to be discarded, and those layers are toxic. Workers earn a pittance for shucking cashews, and many of them have suffered permanent damage from the toxic liquid that the shells release. An expose by Time magazine uncovered that Vietnamese cashews are often the product of forced labor camps staffed by people addicted to drugs, and they coined the term “blood cashews.”If you love cashews, you might want to look into your favorite brand’s source.
Horse chestnuts. Healthy and delicious chestnuts are one of the nuts you need to eat more of, but you should never, ever eat horse chestnuts. They look similar but horse chestnuts are completely smooth. The good kind of chestnuts have a little point, and the difference is crucial. Every part of the horse chestnut has a toxin that causes vomiting and, in large enough doses, paralysis.
Macadamia nuts. macadamia nuts are delicious, but they’re not as healthy as you might think. That’s because a one-cup serving of macadamia nuts contains almost 1,000 calories, and it’s incredibly easy to eat half your daily calorie allowance while you’re munching. That same serving also has 102 grams of fat, which is more than you should get in a whole day.
Pine nuts. Popular in pesto, pine nuts might be just the finishing touch a recipe calls for, but there’s a weird and completely unexplained thing that can happen to a small number of people who eat them. It’s called “pine mouth” or pine nut syndrome, and it’s a temporary ailment that usually develops somewhere between 12 and 48 hours after eating the nuts. For a time, everything else will taste bitter, metallic, or rancid, and some people have had the taste last for months. The FDA issued an alert in 2011 that remains in effect today, but there’s been no confirmation as to what causes it and how to prevent it. It’s completely unpredictable, so if you have a special dinner coming up, you might want to skip the pine nuts, just in case.