August 20, 2015

Side-Effects of Your Favorite Superfoods

By now, if you don't know that kale is good for you, you've probably been living under a rock. The leafy — and cruciferous — veggie has been linked to preventing everything from cancer to cognitive decline. Plus, you can add them to smoothies, stir fry, and soups. The downside? The high fiber content helps keep your bowels moving regularly... maybe too regularly! If you're not used to eating fiber-filled foods on a consistent basis, go slow: stick to a cooked half-cup or 1 cup portion per day.

Beans and Lentils
The B-vitamins, minerals, and fiber in beans are great for your health, but because they take a long time to digest, they can also cause gas and bloating. But the soluble fiber makes it easy for "good" bacteria to grow in your gut, so just try a cooked half cup to avoid discomfort.

Carrots and Sweet Potatoes
It may sound crazy, but eating too many of these veggies can quite literally turn you orange! (Pumpkins are another offender.) It's a condition called carotenosis, in which your skin pigment takes on a yellow or orange hue. The best way to avoid it? Mix up your plate with other colorful fruits and veggies!

These chronic disease-fighting plants may be touted for their health and weight-loss benefits, but they can really kill your breath. While it's not news that garlic has a lingering taste, it tends to be less potent when cooked, so skip the raw or powdered forms.

 Pine Nuts
Pine nuts can cause a metallic-taste in your mouth called "pine mouth" or "metalloguesia" for anywhere between a few days to two weeks! Not to worry — some research has linked the phenomenon to imported pine nuts, rancidity, or even lack of processing. (A tip: sometimes toasting them can help!) But if you're sensitive, you're better off going with peanuts, almonds, or other types of tree nuts.

 Red Wine
The resveratrol in red wine may protect you from chronic disease, but drinking it in excess can lead to dehydration and weight gain (one glass = 150 calories). So stick to one glass per day. Plus, wine can also disrupt your sleep cycle, which can leave you feeling extra groggy.

Coco flavanols, the good-for-you antioxidants found in chocolate (especially ones that are at least 70% cacao!) have been linked to a healthy heart, weight regulation, and even boosting your mood. But if you're someone who susceptible to heartburn, be warned: Chocolatecan trigger gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), so you may need to go easy on this super-treat.

Does your pee smell funky after eating asparagus? Blame it on genetics! This folate-rich veggie releases sulfur-based compounds during digestion, which creates that particularly odor-rich smell. The only cure: Drink plenty of water to dilute it so you'll notice less.

Beeturia — or when your pee turns pink or red after eating beets — is estimated to occur in just over 10% of the population. But interestingly, research has found that people who are iron-deficient are more affected, and the pigment change can range from bright red to barely-noticeable. Talk to your doc if you're concerned, but beeturia is rarely something to worry about — despite those few seconds of bathroom terror when you forget you had beets at lunch.

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