If we want to stay healthy and improve our immune system, one of the most important and influential factors is, of course, our diet.
By now, we all know the basic dos and don’ts when it comes to choosing the right meals, such as avoiding fast food.
We also know that many common foods are now overloaded with preservatives and chemicals meant to make them look or taste better; unfortunately, though, these foods can also have a negative impact on our health.
But what if we eat something that’s perfectly safe and still experience strange side effects?
For example, did you know that your fingers can swell when you eat salty foods? Or that asparagus can make your urine smell extremely bad?
Knowing these strange signs is crucial to understanding your body and staying healthy. Today, we’ll reveal 15 of the most bizarre symptoms you could experience from common foods.
Carrots can turn your skin orange
Do you know those people who look like they’ve had too many visits to the tanning salon?
Apparently, carrots can have a similar impact if you eat too many.
This strange effect happens due to the high amount of beta-carotene found in carrots. It’s the very substance that gives them their orange hue, and the one you inevitably eat.
When you eat too many carrots, though, your body gets more beta-carotene than it can process; at that point, it enters the bloodstream and gets stored right under the skin.
And when beta-carotene gets under your skin, it can literally change your skin color to a more orange or yellowish hue!
In fact, any other food naturally rich in beta-carotene can give you a similar side effect when consumed in large quantities. Pumpkins and sweet potatoes are the top examples.
Hot sauces give you insomnia
You didn’t get any sleep last night? Well, it might be due to that spicy dinner you enjoyed shortly after going to bed.
Suffering from insomnia due to hot sauces is such a strange phenomenon that even scientists can’t understand it yet. But how do we know this?
During this study, published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology, participants who ate tabasco sauce and mustard along with their dinner reported having a difficult time falling asleep.
So far, researchers suspect the cause may be a poor ability of thermoregulation, which is our internal process of regulating the core temperature so we can comfortably fall asleep.
Therefore, if you like spicy meals, make sure you eat them at least a few hours before bedtime.
Salty foods may swell your fingers
We know foods high in sodium are bad, right? We also know that most of the ready-made meals, fast-food menus, and snacks available nowadays are overloaded with sodium.
However, few people know that eating excessive amounts of salty foods can literally swell their fingers.
According to Dr. Clark, this terrifying side effect happens due to water retention; in simple terms, sodium makes your body retain more water than it needs, and at some point, it shows.
The daily recommended intake of sodium for an adult is less than 2,300 milligrams. Statistically, the average American is eating at least 3,4000 milligrams of sodium every single day, so you can only imagine what we put our bodies through.
ATTENTION! If you notice that your fingers are swollen, it’s time to get a check-up. This side effect isn’t exactly normal, even if you do eat more sodium than recommended. Swollen fingers can also signal a serious health issue that may require treatment, so make sure to talk to your doctor about it ASAP.
Sugar-free gum might cause diarrhea
Sugar-free foods in general have been a popular topic lately – mainly because they’re not as healthy as we think.
However, very few people know that eating sugar-free gum constantly can also send you to the toilet instantly. Many sugar-free chewing gum manufacturers include sorbitol, an ingredient that’s very hard for our system to digest.
Like any other food that can’t be digested properly, sorbitol must be eliminated as soon as possible – and when it is, you’d better have a toilet nearby!
Aphrodisiacs can boost your libido
Our lives are stressful, and this can affect every aspect of them, including intimacy (or the lack thereof). If you just can’t find the spark for some alone time anymore, go get some chocolate-covered strawberries right now!
Because, aside from being associated with romanticism, they’re some of the most powerful aphrodisiacs out there.
The term ‘aphrodisiac’ refers to any food or supplement that can boost a person’s libido.
The most popular foods in this category are raw oysters, chocolate, and strawberries.
If you’re planning a romantic dinner or just can’t find the spark to spend a great evening with your loved one, give in to these three cravings and watch the magic happen.
Mushrooms can give you a rash
Usually, when you see a rash shortly after eating a meal, you think it’s an allergic reaction.
And most of the time you’re right.
However, mushrooms can trigger a really strange reaction for some people called shiitake dermatitis; it usually appears right after consuming raw shiitake mushrooms, or those that haven’t been cooked properly.
Specialists describe this type of rash as whip marks that can appear on the torso, neck, head, or limbs.
Penny Clark, RDN, MS, points out that if you cook your mushrooms well, you can safely eat as many as you like. Note that this condition is also rare, so if you’re into mushrooms and haven’t experienced it before, you’re most likely safe.
Mulberries can give you hallucinations
Forest fruits of any kind are delicious, and they’re an excellent source of antioxidants, which help you improve your immune system.
However, red mulberries can also give you hallucinations if you eat them while they’re unripe.
A study published in the Journal of the Indian Academy of Sciences revealed that when mulberries are still unripe, their leaves and stems contain a milky substance that stimulates the nervous system. As a result, you may have hallucinations and digestive problems shortly after ingestion.
On the other side, this is the only study that found such results, so researchers are still debating whether unripe mulberries are indeed as dangerous as they’re being said.
Either way, it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
Asparagus can make urine smell bad
If you’re constantly opting for asparagus as your side dish, you’re making an excellent choice! Aside from being rich in antioxidants, this veggie is loaded with nutrients like folate, vitamin C, and vitamin A, all of which boost your immune system.
However, it can also have a less-than-pleasant side effect: smelly urine.
In short, eating asparagus can give your urine a sulfurous odor that resembles cooked cabbage (I know, not pretty at all).
According to Dr. Clark, “some scientists believe this is a result of digestion and the breakdown of sulfur-containing compounds in asparagus that become volatile (airborne) in our urine and can be smelled 15 to 30 minutes after eating asparagus.’
Don’t worry, though – this is a temporary side effect that doesn’t pose any real threat to your health.
Dairy can have a laxative effect
Have you noticed that every glass of milk sends you to the bathroom, and not in a pleasant way?
If so, you may be secretly dealing with a lactose intolerance that makes dairy foods act as a laxative.
Dr. Clark explains that lactose-intolerant people simply can’t digest the lactose found in milk and all its derivatives. In such cases, the body can no longer produce enough lactase, which is the enzyme required to process and digest lactose properly.
The result? Stomach cramps, gas, nausea, and diarrhea.
Note that lactose intolerance can appear at any time and at any age, so even if you’ve been okay with lactose until now, your body may have changed in the meantime.
Beets can turn your urine pink
You probably already know that darker, more orange-ish urine is a clear sign you should drink more water. You probably also know that red urine is a huge red flag.
However, some foods, like beets, can also have an impact on your urine color by turning it pink or red.
Rhubarb and blackberries can have the same impact, so if you’re going to eat any of these foods, make sure to remember that the following urine will probably look strange.
Of course, if your urine keeps looking strange, it might be time to check with your doctor to see if everything’s okay.
Soy might affect fertility
The reproductive system has always been full of mystery; however, we’ve learned plenty of dos and don’ts that can impact our fertility in recent years.
One of them, for example, is a study published in the National Journal of Andrology. Researchers found that increased consumption of isoflavone (soy) is linked to fertility in animals.
The research on the effect of soy on humans is still underway, and there aren’t many studies confirming the findings from above yet. However, we already know that soy is an endocrine disruptor that affects women’s fertility as well as increases the long-term risks of cancer. That’s because once soy reaches our system, it behaves much like the hormone estrogen, thus creating an imbalance in normal hormone production.
Vitamin C might turn urine orange
Whether we talk about delicious oranges and grapefruits or supplements, anything that contains vitamin C is a great ally for a stronger immune system.
Eat too many oranges, though, and you might start noticing something weird about your urine: It starts changing color.
Many people are tricked when they notice orange-ish urine, thinking that it may signal dehydration. However, the orange urine caused by excessive consumption of vitamin C has a bright orange hue as opposed to that caused by dehydration, which is darker.
However, this side effect is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about – unless, of course, you’re suspecting dehydration, in which case you should increase your water intake immediately.
Spotting alarming signs
Our body can manifest in so many ways and many times we don’t even understand the signals it’s sending us.
Aside from paying attention to everything we feel physically, it’s equally important to stay informed so we can know when something is truly wrong.
Have you ever experienced one of the strange side effects listed in this article? If so, please share your experience in the comment section below, and let’s help each other stay healthy in a smart way!
You should also check out: 11 Brutal Ways McDonald’s Can Ruin Your Health