Great Gut Blog

5 Potentially Harmful Foods You’re Probably Eating

Posted by Brad Dennis, Ph.D. on

5 Potentially Harmful Foods You’re Probably Eating

Kidney Beans

If you’d like to prepare a delicious hot meal which includes red kidney beans, you should know that you need to take precautions and do this carefully. These beans contain a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin and if you don’t boil them for at least thirty minutes (the time recommended by scientists) you won’t be able to neutralize it.

If not cooked properly, meals containing kidney beans can cause a series of unpleasant activities in your body, some of which include vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. There’s no reason for you to give up this ingredient in your cooking, just make sure that you pay a special attention to the process. You should also know that canned kidney beans are usually pre-cooked, so you might be able to finish your meal faster with them, but make sure to check the labels just in case.


The issue lies not with the apples themselves, but rather with the large amount of pesticides and preservatives sprayed onto them to make them last longer.

When purchasing apples (or any other fruit), buy organic whenever it’s feasible to do so. When it’s not, the best way to wash fruit to ensure you remove any nasty chemicals is with a baking soda solution.  You want to let the fruit sit and soak in the solution for at least 10-15 minutes. Then, rub gently, rinse, and you’re good to go!

Lettuce and Spinach

The problem is the same as with apples, above: pesticides. Because leafy greens are very prone to being a smorgasbord for nibbling bugs, they are constantly being sprayed and doused with chemicals. And unlike an apple, where the skin keeps most of those pesticides from getting into the flesh, lettuces and spinach leaves absorb this stuff – there’s no washing it away. If you buy nothing else organic, buy organic greens to avoid eating a lot of things that are toxic and harmful.

Cooking Oils

Vegetable, soybean, canola, and corn oils are high in Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats and in addition to the many other concerns associated with bad fats (such as an increased risk of heart disease), these oils cause inflammation in the body. When choosing a cooking oil, look for olive, grapeseed, coconut, or avocado oils.


Although delicious, remember that what gives chilies their heat is capsaicin – and capsaicin is, in fact, an irritant. If you have any chronic digestive issues, you may want to steer clear of chilies altogether, or opt instead for milder varieties, to avoid irritating your stomach and intestines and potentially aggravating your digestive issues.


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