The idea that whole, unadulterated foods are healthy is accepted as truth for the most part. And rightfully so, because generally speaking, processed foods typically are not healthy; as they can rob the body of vital nutrients while stressing different organs and glands. However, there are some whole foods that may actually be harmful to certain individuals. I’m not referring to foods that people are allergic or sensitive to. It should be obvious that those are harmful. There may be more, but these three came to mind first.
Peanuts have often been found to contain a toxin known as aflatoxin. Aflatoxin can grow on peanuts (and other legumes, nuts, and grains) during preharvest, storage, and/or processing periods. And the amount of aflatoxin will vary depending on the geographic location and agricultural practices of the plant. The problem with aflatoxin is that it is a potent carcinogen (cancer-causing substance), and has been associated with liver cancer. Even though you probably won’t get liver cancer from eating peanuts here and there, they can still be a stressor to your body that you may be best off avoiding.
A goitrogen is a substance that can inhibit thyroid function and possibly lead to the formation of a goiter. A goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland that results from a lack of thyroid hormone. In the case of a goiter, the lack of hormone is (most often) due to insufficient iodine uptake. Goitrogens contribute to insufficient iodine uptake. Iodine is an essential component of thyroid hormone. But fortunately, goitrogens can be inactivated by cooking. So if you are going to consume goitrogenic foods, you may want to avoid eating them raw, especially if you are prone to (or have) hypothyroidism. Click here for a list of goitrogenic foods. Unfortunately, these foods are also some of the healthiest cancer-fighting foods like broccoli; again cooking them will solve the problem.
Grapefruit contains a substance called naringin that is known to interfere with certain detoxification pathways in the liver. And because of this, people taking certain medications need to be extremely careful when eating grapefruit (or drinking grapefruit juice) because it may prevent the breakdown of those medications. In addition to metabolizing medications, these detox pathways are also necessary to breakdown certain chemicals. Unfortunately, I do not have a list of those chemicals. But the simple fact that it can impair detox pathways may be a good enough reason to avoid eating a lot of grapefruit.
Dr. Robert D’Aquila – NYC Chiropractor – Applied Kinesiology