Harmful healthy foods

The old saying ‘too much of a good thing can be bad’ applies as much to healthy foods as it does to naughty food. Here are five healthy foods that should be consumed in moderation.

Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are known as the best source of the essential trace element, selenium, which plays a big role in helping your body fight infection. To give you an idea of the efficacy of these nuts, eating just one Brazil nut gives you almost twice your daily recommended dose of selenium. So, eating a few each day is fine, but if you overdo it, you could find yourself at risk of selenium toxicity, which can make you lose your hair, give you gastrointestinal or neurological problems, cause light-headedness and even heart attacks or kidney failure.

Spinach, beetroot and Swiss chard
These veggies are packed with nutrients, but they also contain high doses of oxalates, which feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. However, too many foods high in oxalates can give your kidneys a few problems, and may even cause kidney stones. So, if you’re prone to kidney stones, it may be best to stay away from foods high in oxalates.

Tinned tuna
Although tinned tuna is an affordable and convenient way to get your daily serve of fish, it’s usually made from larger tuna and, if you didn’t already know, larger fish contain high levels of mercury. If you have a fragile constitution, consuming too much mercury can harm your nervous system and your brain, but this will mainly happen to children or developing foetuses, so you’d have to eat a lot of tuna for it to affect you. Still, too much mercury in your diet can lead to symptoms such as numbness or tingling, vision and memory problems.

Red meat, oysters and white beans
Although these foods are great sources of iron, which helps deliver oxygen to your muscles and prevent you from feeling weak and tired, ingesting too much iron can lead to liver failure, although it’s pretty rare for that to happen. If you’re taking iron supplements, you may be getting all the iron you need, so steer clear of foods that contain high amounts, or you may find yourself getting sick.

Brown rice
Brown rice may be better for you than white rice, but rice, in general, is really good at absorbing chemicals such as arsenic that occurs naturally in soil and water. And, unfortunately, brown rice can absorb more than refined rice. So, try looking for organic brown rice, or mix up your grains with quinoa, millet or barley.

Do you know of any other healthy foods that can be bad for you if overconsumed?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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