5 Bizarre (But Rare) Side Effects Of Common Foods

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I can’t recall the first time I heard the term “food coma,” but I can say that I didn’t like it. Like people saying “Do NOT talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” or “My relationship status is Merlot! LOL!” it makes me want to fill your mailbox with aggressively non-solid turds. Little did I realize that a food coma is almost a real thing, because you can fully overdose on some kinds of food and suffer wicked awful consequences. Who saw that coming?

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Certain Seafood Can Give You Vivid Hallucinations

I’m not a big seafood guy because I fear angering Poseidon by eating one of his drinking buddies by accident, so I can’t say I’m 100 percent familiar with sea bream. But I do hear it’s exceptionally popular in Europe, where they eat literally thousands of tons of it — particularly in the Mediterranean, where they eat all kinds of insane shit. That’s where olives come from, for God’s sake, and those are just tree turds that someone puts in brine. But sea bream isn’t just Eurotrash Filet-o-Fish; it’s a whole mindfuck with fins if you catch the wrong one. For reasons not wholly known, every so often, you’ll get a salema porgy that has hallucinogenic properties.

If I ended the entry there, you’d probably be pretty stoked to try some. People like hallucinogenic mushrooms, why not a whacked-out fish? Well, these hallucinations are less “psychedelic dreamscape” and more “Why is that giant spider screaming at me??”

In one case, a fellow enjoyed some salema porgy baked on the French Riviera before it baked him right back. The physical symptoms were vomiting, blurred vision, and muscle weakness for an entire day, and then shit got super unreal. Since he was still on vacation, he wanted to keep going, so he hopped in his car … only to cut his trip short because he was surrounded by screaming animals. He went to the doctor, and it took 36 hours for him to come down.

Another fish victim in his 90s spent two days cowering in fear from his hallucinations. This poor guy didn’t tell anyone at first, he just stayed in bed and toughed it out with a couple of days of nightmarish visions because he thought he might be losing his mind and didn’t want anyone to know. Actually, dude, you just spun the Sea Bream Wheel and lost.

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Too Much Black Licorice Can Put You In The Hospital

Black licorice is the devil’s dick cheese. That’s not me talking, that’s science. Ask Neil deGrasse Tyson. If that statement isn’t enough to make you stop eating black licorice and things flavored with its vile flavinoids, you should feel bad about yourself, because I’m a registered life coach and I know what’s best for you. And also because too much black licorice can cause dangerously high blood pressure and extremely low potassium. That might not sound dangerous in those terms, but it can get so bad that it can lead to seizures, brain swelling, and arrhythmia.

It doesn’t even take that much of the stuff to cause it. A 51-year-old Canadian man ended up in the hospital because he ate a bag of 50 licorice jelly beans every day — which is weird, but it’s not like there’s a medical warning on the bag telling you not to. With no history of hypertension, it was difficult to figure out what the problem was, until someone noticed the dude was still eating the jelly beans even in the hospital. Cut off the beans, and the problem goes away.

The same thing happened to a 10-year-old boy in Italy who had taken up the habit of eating black licorice like it was a real food item. He was hospitalized with convulsive seizures and brain swelling, along with low potassium and elevated cortisol levels. When everything else about him seemed normal, a quick review of his diet, which included 20 licorice toffees a day for four months, got to the root of the problem (which is that he had apparently declared war on his own tongue).

Technically, the problem with black licorice isn’t that it’s an affront to candy; it’s something called glycyrrhizic acid, which is what makes it sweet in addition to tasting like an ouzo-soaked asshole. That stuff causes a whole host of problems in the human body, including an inability to break down cortisol, fluid and sodium retention, hypertension, and probably all kinds of other -ensions. So in the interest of your health, you should probably never eat black licorice again, or look at it.

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Chia Seeds Can Soak Up Enough Fluid To Choke You

They call chia seeds a “superfood,” which is a word food marketers came up with for stuff that tastes like a duck’s fart but they need to sell it anyway. It’s jammed to the gills with all kinds of nutrients, which is nice, but if you get chia seeds wet, they expand into a weird, gelatinous slurry. They absorb 27 times their weight in water, which is great if you want to rub a paste on pottery …

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… but not so great if you decide to eat a big-ass mouthful of dry seeds. A 39-year-old man in North Carolina found that out the hard way when the stuff expanded inside of him and blocked off his esophagus with a big, seedy sludge ball. Yet more evidence that all healthy food is just a Trojan horse. If it was truly good for you, your taste buds would let you know. Any scientist will tell you that.

Probably you think this dude was a rare case, some nutter who upended a whole tube of Chia Chunkies cereal in his mouth. Well not so fast, Johnny Assumptions. He ate a spoonful of it, that’s all. And getting it cleared out was a massive pain in the ass, since the slurm was not particularly solid, so when they sent an endoscope down his throat, it just poked through the seeds and didn’t clear the mass. They had to resort to using a tiny scope to push the seeds basically one at a time down into his stomach.

If you want to avoid this fate, the goal is to not get the dry seeds stuck to the sides of your precious throat. So you’ll want to get them wet first, let them soak up the liquid, and then throw them in the trash.

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Stupidly Hot Peppers Can Break Your Brain

They say the Carolina Reaper is the hottest pepper in the world, achieving the amazing feat of being a food that cannot actually be eaten. Reapers average about 1.5 million Scoville heat units (the units used to measure the perceived heat in a pepper as determined by scientist Scoville J. Assmelter). For perspective, a jalapeno will be between 2,500 and 10,000. Sriracha sauce is 1,000-2,500, and that stuff will make you poop hot tar, so you can imagine what a Reaper does.

Oh, and there’s also a chance it’s going to kick you right in the brain box by narrowing the blood vessels in your thinker. This results in the kind of pain that makes you want to die.

They call it reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome, and it’s like what happens to a ding-dong in a cold pool, only it’s your brain’s blood supply and not cold water, so basically nothing like that. The result is what they call a “thunderclap” headache — pain bad enough that the contestant in one pepper-eating contest had to go to the emergency room, presumably thinking he was having a goddamned stroke. He was sent home after a few days, but those symptoms can apparently last for weeks, off and on.

That guy is the only Reaper-brain victim that we know of (typically this condition is a side effect of some medications), so if it ever happens to you, make sure you mention it to the doctors if you were doing some dumbass YouTube hot pepper challenge at the time.

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Swallowing Enough Chewing Gum Can Kill You

You ever have someone tell you not to eat gum because it’ll grow a gum tree in your stomach, or you can’t ever digest it, or it’ll make you fart pink bubbles? People say those things because they learned science from a kid on the playground who spent too much time sniffing markers. But there is a problem with gum, and it’s so much worse than any of us ever imagined that it’ll make you wish you had a gum tree growing out of your ass.

Samantha Jenkins was 19 when she fucking fell into a coma and died due to deathly low levels of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium. She suffered a fatal lack of oxygen to her brain as a result of convulsions caused by the mineral deficit. To be so devoid of all of those nutrients with no underlying condition present was pretty much unheard of. So what the hell happened? Gum. Goddamn gum.

Jenkins reportedly ate 14 pieces of gum every day. An autopsy found large chunks of green gum in her stomach, and her mom found dozens of empty packs in her room. The gum she ate was artificially sweetened with aspartame and sorbitol, and artificial sweeteners are used in hospitals as laxatives. At the dose Jenkins was giving herself, she was very likely causing the malabsorption that led to her fatal condition. Fresh breath is not worth some bullshit like that.

Doctors were reluctant to lay the blame on the gum directly, as this is uncharted waters, but with no other cause on the table, it’s the one that makes the most sense. I know we’re making a bunch of jokes here because our job is to entertain, but in general, it’s a bad idea to constantly swallow gum, and you definitely shouldn’t let small children do it (you know, the ones least likely to listen to you on this subject). In small amounts they’ll just poop it out (your system can’t dissolve it), but if they swallow a bunch, it can absolutely block up their system, and things will get ugly fast.

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For more ways the things that nourish you destroy you, check out 5 Shocking Side Effects Of Foods You Eat Every Day and 6 Bizarre Side Effects Of Foods You Eat Every Day.

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