Can You Reach the End of This Quiz Without Eating Something Toxic?

Kennita Leon

Image: mladenbalinovac/E+/gettyimages

About This Quiz

When you hear the word "toxic," you may think of Brittney Spears. But you should be thinking of things that are harmful to your health. Even some foods are toxic foods, meaning they can make you sick, incapacitate you, or even kill you if you eat them. Whether a food gives you a slight stomachache or sends you to the hospital, it is considered toxic. But the level of toxicity often depends not only on the type of dangerous chemical you eat but also the amount you consume.

Want to be sure that your next meal is safe and tasty? Our quiz can help. We'll show you pictures of some foods that you see every day. Some of the choices may be toxic and some won't. We'll also include a description of the food, the part you would eat and whether the food is raw or cooked. Then you tell us whether you think the foods are safe to eat or not.

This quiz won't be easy, and you may be surprised at the foods you thought were okay to eat, but aren't and vice versa. Time to test your knowledge and see if you can correctly identify the toxic foods from the nontoxic ones. 

Onions are known for their pungent smell. But are they toxic?

Known for their pungent odor and taste, onions contain antibacterial properties which detox and cleanse the body. Eating this vegetable can help reduce the effects of several medical conditions, including cancer, asthma, heart disease, tooth decay and diabetes.

Apples have tiny seeds that are found near the center of the fruit. But are they dangerous?

Apple seeds, when eaten in large quantities, can be very poisonous because they contain a plant compound called amygdalin. A compound of cyanide and sugar, amygdalin degrades into hydrogen cyanide, but only if the seeds are chewed or digested. However in small amounts, the seeds are actually quite harmless.

Raw garlic has a strong smell. Is it toxic?

Like onions, raw garlic has a strong odor, but it offers many proven health benefits. From combating illnesses such as the common cold to reducing blood pressure, garlic can also improve cholesterol levels and remove heavy metals in the body.

Lima beans are tasty when cooked, but are they safe when raw?

Lima beans contain a substance called linamarin. When eaten raw, the linamarin in the beans turns into hydrogen cyanide, which is toxic. Cooking them removes any harmful effects.

Fresh cranberries offer a nice, tart taste. But are the dried ones good to eat or not?

Dried cranberries contain the same nutrients as fresh cranberries, though the levels of vitamins A and C are significantly lower due to the commercial drying process. They have anti-inflammatory properties that help your body fight infections and boost your overall health.

Do you think you can eat lots of raw rhubarb leaves?

Though its fleshy, edible stalks are quite healthy, rhubarb leaves are different. They contain very high levels of oxalic acid, which, if eaten, can quickly lead to kidney failure in humans. But for this to happen, you have to eat at least eleven pounds of rhubarb leaves.

A member of the nightshade family, is raw eggplant dangerous to eat?

Eggplants are a member of the nightshade family, and they can contain up to 11mg of a poisonous compound called solanine. In order to cause harm, however, you would have to eat nearly 36 raw eggplants, which could then cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, headache and fever.

Do you know whether pumpkin seeds are okay to eat?

Unlike apple seeds, pumpkin seeds are very safe and healthy to consume. These small seeds are packed with nutrients including zinc, magnesium and healthy fats. Pumpkin seeds may help improve prostate health, heart health and reduce your risk of certain cancers.

Kimchi originated in Korea, but what is it and is it safe to eat?

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made of fermented and salted vegetables with a blend of seasoning including garlic, scallions, ginger, gochugaru and jeotgal. The dish is said to promote weight loss. Kimchi is also said to have anti-aging properties and to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Do you know the effects of eating multiple spoons of nutmeg?

On its own, a spoonful of nutmeg may not be enough to cause a fatal overdose. But this spice does contain a strong chemical called myristicin, which, when eaten in larger quantities (two to three spoons), leads to nausea, vomiting or even death.

Kidney beans are a delicacy around the world. Are the raw ones edible?

Raw kidney beans are quite toxic due to the relatively high levels of the compound phytohemagglutinin. Consuming as little as four to five uncooked beans could lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Therefore the beans must be soaked and cooked for at least 10 minutes before eating.

Oats are a popular breakfast food. But are they good raw?

Oats are one of the healthiest grains and a great source of many vital antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. This gluten-free grain helps lower blood sugar, promotes weight loss, reduces the risk of diabetes and childhood asthma.

Do you know whether raw bell peppers are toxic or not?

Bell peppers, whether eaten raw or cooked, provide many health benefits. They contain high levels of antioxidants and vitamins, specifically vitamin C, which helps improve eye health and reduces the risk of diseases such as anemia.

Potatoes are one of the most commonly used starches in the world. But are its leaves safe to eat?

Potato leaves contain the compound solanine, which is very toxic even in small amounts. This chemical is also found in the new sprouts and green tubers of the plant. When consumed, solanine toxicity leads to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, headaches, itching and dizziness.

Also called Saint-Joseph's-wort, what's the status of eating raw basil?

Basil, also known as Saint-Joseph's-wort, is an aromatic herb that is frequently used in cooking. A member of the mint family, it is said to reduce inflammation, due to its antibacterial and anti-aging properties.

Is unpasteurized milk dangerous?

Unpasteurized or raw milk is milk from animals (cows, goats or sheep) that has not been treated to kill off harmful bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, campylobacter and listeria, all of which lead to food poisoning.

Often used in cooking, do you think raw strawberries have toxic elements?

Strawberries are small, heart-shaped fruits, identified by their red appearance, small yellow seeds and green leaves. Like cranberries, they're very high in antioxidants and manganese .

Apricots are a juicy fruit, but are their seeds toxic?

There is still an ongoing debate as to whether apricot seeds are fatal or not. Some think they can put cancer into remission, but that has not been proven. Much like apples, apricot seeds contain amygdalin, which is converted to cyanide by the body and which can poison you.

Do you know if large quantities of bitter almonds can hurt you?

As with many other plant foods, bitter almonds naturally contain a small amount of the poison cyanide which, when consumed in large quantities, leads to serious health issues such as respiratory failure, low blood pressure and even death.

Usually eaten cooked, can you tell us whether raw cauliflower is OK to eat?

Cauliflower is a very healthy vegetable, which may be safely eaten raw or cooked. It has high levels of various nutrients including vitamin C, making it very beneficial. Cauliflower has been shown to act as an antioxidant, boosting the immune system and decreasing the risk of cancer.

Seaweed is usually part of sushi dishes and Asian broths. Can you eat it uncooked?

Some variants of seaweed can be eaten raw, though it is best to wash it to remove any salt water and bacteria. It contains high amounts of tyrosine and iodine, which help support thyroid function. Seaweed can reduce the risk of heart disease and help with weight loss.

A Caribbean staple, do you know whether taro can be eaten raw?

When cooked, taro is a healthy staple that is commonly found in many tropical climates such as Hawaii and the Caribbean. However, it should not be consumed raw due to the presence of calcium oxalate, which has been linked to kidney stones and gout.

Is unpasteurized or raw honey dangerous to consume?

Raw honey differs from regular honey in that the latter is pasteurized and filtered before being bottled. Raw honey can contain the spores of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, which is particularly harmful to babies, toddlers and pregnant women.

Beetroot was used as food coloring in the past. Is it safe to eat raw?

Beetroots, whether they are thinly shaved, cooked or blended, are a great addition to one's diet. They are packed with many nutrients including vitamin C, fiber, folate and nitrates, the latter of which helps improve athletic performance and may help reduce blood pressure.

This vegetable makes for great chips. But is kale okay to consume uncooked?

Kale is a very healthy vegetable and extremely nutrient-dense. It is a great source of vitamins C and K, as well as antioxidants such as Quercetin. However, kale should not be eaten in large quantities due to its high levels of indigestible fibers.

Dates have many health benefits, but can the dried ones cause death?

Dried dates, or chuara, offer many benefits for the hair, skin and overall health. Rich in essential minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper and selenium, dates are also a great source of niacin, thiamin and multiple vitamins.

Do you think unripe tomatoes are safe to eat?

Unlike other members of the nightshade family, tomatoes do not produce solanine, but they do contain a slightly different toxin called tomatine. Consuming extremely large quantities of unripe tomatoes may lead to complications such as liver and heart damage and gastrointestinal issues.

The pear is a favorite fruit of many people. Can you chew the seeds and eat them?

Like apple seeds, pear seeds are very safe to consume if they are still whole or undamaged. However, if they are crushed and eaten in large amounts, the amygdalin compound they contain gets converted by the body into the poison hydrogen cyanide.

A citrus fruit considered to be the cousin of a lime, are lemons safe to eat?

Lemons are a citrus fruit produced by a species of small evergreen tree, the citrus limon osbeck. This versatile fruit provides benefits such as boosting the immune system and cleansing and detoxifying the liver and digestive system.

Known for its nutritional properties, do you know if raw cassava root is good for the body?

Despite its excellent nutritional properties, cassava roots are actually quite poisonous. It only takes a few pieces of cassava root, which contains cyanide, to be fatal if eaten. To prevent this, the cassava must be peeled thoroughly, then cooked to kill off the cyanide.

A tropical fruit found around the world, are ripe mangoes okay for consumption?

Mangoes are fleshy edible fruits, usually with a sweet flavor. The seed of the ripe fruit is also edible and has many benefits. This tropical fruit can be found in Asia, the Caribbean and many other parts of the world.

Are large amounts of Brussels sprouts bad for you?

Brussels sprouts are normally cooked but may be eaten raw. They only become a problem when eaten in large amounts, which will lead to gas and bloating. This is due to the difficult to process sugars they contain. Brussels sprouts are also thyroid inhibitors, which could worsen thyroid conditions.

A main ingredient in chocolate, does cacao powder pose a risk to humans?

Cacao powder is considered to be a superfood due to its high levels of many nutrients. It far surpasses the number of antioxidants found in blueberries. What's more, cacao powder offers the highest plant-based source of iron, provides more calcium than cow's milk, is full of magnesium and is a natural antidepressant and mood elevator.

Often served as a cooked green, do you know if raw spinach is harmful?

Raw spinach is packed with vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C and E. But that's not all, this superfood also contains potassium, zinc, iron, riboflavin, calcium, niacin, thiamin, folate, fiber and protein. Spinach has been shown to promote shiny hair and prevent cancer and diabetes.

Do raw cashews pose a health risk to people?

Raw cashews contain the chemical urushiol, which is also found in poison ivy. Consuming raw cashews will result in the same allergic reaction poison ivy causes. Therefore when buying cashews, it is crucial to take note of those which have been steamed, so they are not raw.

A very dark fruit, do you know if it's safe to eat blueberries?

Blueberries are an antioxidant superfood and are high in potassium, vitamin C, antioxidants and phytoflavinoids. This fruit helps reduce DNA damage, providing protection against cancer and aging, as well as lowering blood cholesterol and blood pressure.

Olive oil is the fat obtained from olives. Is it okay to consume it without some kind of cooking?

Olive oil is a fat obtained from the fruit of the olive tree. This healthy type of fat is very good for the skin, hair and your overall health. This is due to the beneficial fatty acids, powerful antioxidants and modest levels of vitamins E and K it contains.

Do you think the water of coconuts is safe for consumption, without any kind of treatment?

Coconut water is the liquid (sweet or bitter) that is found inside coconuts. It is very high in potassium, which helps keep electrolytes and fluids balanced in the body, particularly during exercise. It may also lower blood pressure by balancing out the effect of sodium in the blood.

Castor beans are used for a number of reasons. But are they toxic in their raw form?

Raw castor beans contain the chemical ricin, making it the deadliest part of the plant. It is considered to be the most poisonous plant in the world, with only four to eight seeds being enough to kill an adult human within a few minutes.

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