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Yes, Toxic Squash Syndrome Is a Thing

Yes, Toxic Squash Syndrome Is a Thing


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A new medical report discusses the rare condition after two women in France contracted the sickness. Here's what you need to know.

The report highlights two separate cases involving women in France, who became sick after eating bitter-tasting squash.

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Both women became extremely ill immediately following their meals, and were later diagnosed with the the syndrome. Both women also lost nearly all of their hair, which is an unfortunate side effect.

The bitterness is a sign that the squash in question contain high levels of chemical compounds known as cucurbitacins. The compounds occur naturally in wild squash plants and act as defense against herbivores—they do not typically exist in cultivated squash, except when accidental cross-pollination occurs according to Newsweek. If your squash, cucumber, melon, or zucchini tastes alarmingly bitter, it's a telling sign that it might not be safe to eat.

Bustle did a deep dive into why toxic squash syndrome is so dangerous (even deadly) for home cooks—their report highlights a 2010 case where a man nearly died after drinking freshly squeezed gourd juice.

According to Dr. Shravan Bohra, gastroenterologist at Ahmedabad Apollo Hospital in India who treated the man, the toxins in the cucurbitacin-loaded gourd juice caused swelling in the liver, gallbladder, kidney, and pancreas.

In 2015, a German man died after eating a zucchini packed with the deadly toxin, as reported by The Daily Meal.

It there's one thing that's clear, it's that you should probably avoid eating extremely bitter squash or cucumbers.

And don't brush the possibility of getting sick aside: a CBS report included data from squash poisoning within the United States over the last year, and there have been more than 17 cases over the last 12 years.


Here's How You Avoid Food Poisoning

A case of food poisoning won't just ruin your evening, it'll ruin you for days. There are no rules or guidelines you can follow that will guarantee you'll never come down with a case of food poisoning from somewhere at some time, but there are some things you can look out for to make your meals much safer. While you're familiar with ones that fall under the jurisdiction of common sense — like recognizing the stink of bad seafood — there are others that are much, much sneakier and very easy to overlook. Keep reading to learn how to avoid some of the more hidden dangers that lurk in restaurants and home kitchens.


Which squash can you eat the skin?

Unlike the skin of acorn squash or kabocha squash, I would not recommend eating the skin of the spaghetti squash. It will not harm you, however, after cooking the skin turns rough- almost like eggshells- and is paper thin.

One may also ask, can you eat roasted butternut squash skin? The skin on the butternut squash is very tough so if you prefer you can pop it in the microwave before you start preparing it for 2-3 mins to make it softer and easier to remove. However, if you're slow roasting the squash, you can leave the skin on as it is edible and gets softer when baked.

Then, can you eat the skin of Delicata squash?

Since delicata squash are thinner-skinned than other winter squashes, they don't keep quite long. To prepare, slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds, then proceed with the recipe. The peel is edible, so you can feel free to leave it on.

Can I eat an entire spaghetti squash?

Yes, an entire baking dish full of spaghetti squash has the same amount of calories as a measly bowl of regular pasta. That's crazy! Now you can see why our love is so strong for the spaghetti squash. You can eat more of it and still save calories!


Squash can contain a toxic compound called cucurbitacin E., which can cause cucurbit poisoning, also known as toxic squash syndrome (not to be confused with toxic shock syndrome) in people who ingest it. Although it can be quite serious, cucurbit poisoning is also very rare.

Acorn squash is rich in nutrients, such as fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. It also packs many beneficial plant compounds, including carotenoid antioxidants. As a result, acorn squash may promote overall health and protect against certain chronic conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.


Why is Delicata squash dangerous?

Squash can contain a toxic compound called cucurbitacin E., which can cause cucurbit poisoning, also known as toxic squash syndrome (not to be confused with toxic shock syndrome) in people who ingest it. . Although it can be quite serious, cucurbit poisoning is also very rare.

Besides, can you eat the skin of the Delicata squash?

Since delicata squash are thinner-skinned than other winter squashes, they don't keep quite long. . To prepare, slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds, then proceed with the recipe. The peel is edible, so you can feel free to leave it on.

Along with, can you steam Delicata squash? You can cook Delicata squash as you would with any other winter squash - baked, boiled, steamed, in soup, pureed - with the added bonus the fact that you can eat the peel!

Short, what does Delicata squash taste like?

Also known as “sweet potato squash” for its brown sugar flavor, delicata tastes like a cross between fresh corn and pumpkin pie. Like all hard squash, delicata is high in beta-carotene and vitamin C, relatively low in calories and astonishingly versatile.

How do you know if Delicata squash is bad?

If the seeds look slimy, or are an off color, the squash has spoiled. If you cook it and slice it open and see the same thing, toss it. The seeds should be mostly white or cream-colored and should be covered in the squash flesh while the rest of the squash should be a bright color inside.


Is it OK to eat skin of butternut squash?

Click to read in-depth answer. Consequently, is the skin of butternut squash good for you?

Technically, all winter squash skin is edible. "It's just a question of texture. There's no danger in consuming the skin&mdashsome just taste better than others," says Romano.

Likewise, is it OK to eat squash skin? All squash skin is edible. But in the same way you're going to toss that banana peel, edible doesn't necessarily mean you want to eat it. Some squash has thin skin that's tasty and tender, while others have a tough shell that, even cooked, offers a stringy, chewy bite we opt to avoid.

Also to know is, can you eat the skin of a butternut squash?

We recommend peeling kuri, kabocha, or butternut. It's just going to be more pleasant to enjoy the soft, sweet squash sans-skin. Generally, size is a good thing to consider when deciding whether or not to eat squash skin. The smaller the squash, the more likely the skin is to be thin and soft.

Can you eat the skin of butternut squash in soup?

Even okay for soup It is so much easier. No peel. It's fine to eat once cooked.


Generally, no, they are not dangerous. I have grown butternuts from supermarket saved seeds and collected the seeds from those and have grown those on. The same goes for pumpkins, marrows, cucumbers and bottle gourd.

Ocassionally, I do get strange crosses (from cross pollination) but the fruits from those still turned out ok to eat.

In any case, you can detect if there are problems if the fruits taste bitter. Don't worry - you would need a massive dose to kill you so a little taste test will cause no harm.

This is the story behind the theory

As someone who fell ill after cooking and tasting a poisonous home-grown courgette (Mr Fothergill seeds, but other suppliers have also been affected) I can attest to the fact that it is not a nice experience.

It is said that saved seed could be more risky than bought seed. However, one lick of a cut courgette or squash will tell you straight away if the plant it came from is one of the poisonous ones.

If the first squash or courgette is sweet, then the rest of the fruit from that plant will be OK. If the first fruit is bitter, that plant should be discarded.


The flesh inside should be solid and brightly colored, corresponding to the spaghetti squash variety. If it has spots, is discolored or the color is very dull, it is going bad. If the flesh is soft and mushy, or appears very dry and is pulling away from the walls of the rind, the squash is rotten.

Voila! You've conquered the great and terrible butternut! A final note: butternut squash has a tendency to release a sticky, slimy film when peeled and cut. This is a natural reaction that is caused by the squash trying to repair itself as it would when still on the vine.


Can I eat the skin of Delicata squash?

Since delicata squash are thinner-skinned than other winter squashes, they don't keep quite long. To prepare, slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds, then proceed with the recipe. The peel is edible, so you can feel free to leave it on.

Additionally, do you peel squash? Cut the Squash Before Cooking: Peeling squash is not easy, which is why some people roast squash unpeeled. You can peel the squash with a vegetable peeler (as shown it this video) or with a knife. Then you can cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and cut the flesh into whatever size pieces you need.

Similarly one may ask, can you eat the skin of squash?

All squash skin is edible. But in the same way you're going to toss that banana peel, edible doesn't necessarily mean you want to eat it. Some squash has thin skin that's tasty and tender, while others have a tough shell that, even cooked, offers a stringy, chewy bite we opt to avoid.

How do you know if Delicata squash is bad?

If the seeds look slimy, or are an off color, the squash has spoiled. If you cook it and slice it open and see the same thing, toss it. The seeds should be mostly white or cream-colored and should be covered in the squash flesh while the rest of the squash should be a bright color inside.


Is Your Dental Work Leaching Toxins, Creating Inflammation, and Worsening Your Chronic Condition?

When I treat my patients, I’m always looking for sources of inflammation because it’s the root of most chronic diseases, including autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s or MS. I’ve found that inflammation is often caused by five major environmental factors : our diets, a leaky gut , stress, toxins, and infections.

Changing the diet and healing the gut are big first steps in getting to the root of your health problem, but the gut isn’t the only place where persistent infections and toxins such as heavy metals can easily enter the bloodstream. There’s another major point of potential exposure: the mouth.

We tend to see human anatomy in terms of separate systems , with dental health as somehow distinct from the rest of the body. But there is no separation — infections and toxins in the mouth affect your health as a whole! So, what’s in your mouth?

Root Canals

A root canal is a common procedure in which a tooth’s nerve is killed, but the tooth itself is not removed. The dead tissue becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, specifically to the periodontal ligament, a hard to reach area of the tooth that is very difficult to flush out manually. Since the tooth no longer has a blood supply, neither immune cells nor antibiotics can reach the decaying tissue. The ongoing infection leads to inflammation, which stresses the immune system.

Cavitations

When wisdom teeth are removed, cavitations are a common complication. They can occur in the jaw after a tooth extraction, when gum tissue grows over the hollow area and bacteria begin to propagate. Bacteria within a cavitation again create inflammation and agitate the immune system.

Bridges and Retainers

If you have an autoimmune disease or another chronic health condition, you may be sensitive to certain foods, yes, but also to specific materials used in dentistry. Bridges and retainers for example, are usually made with stainless steel that contains nickel, a known allergen which can also activate the immune system.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings are made with a mixture of copper, silver, and mercury. Mercury is incredibly toxic, and exposure to mercury has vast health consequences , including neurological symptoms, muscle weakness, and impaired vision. Dental amalgams emit mercury vapor, that can leach into your bloodstream.

If you’re unsure of whether or not you have amalgam fillings, just open your mouth and look: do you have fillings that look metallic? Don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist about removing them safely if you’re worried about your toxic burden.

Porcelain Crowns

A crown can actually exacerbate the effects of mercury when placed over a tooth with an amalgam filling. It can create an electric current that interferes with your own body’s natural electric current, which can create bizarre and uncomfortable auditory and sensory symptoms for those who are sensitive.

In general, gold fillings are preferable to amalgam fillings. But when gold is combined with other metals in your mouth, it too can create an electric current in your body. I have seen patients who complained of buzzing and ringing in their ears, only to find those symptoms resolved when their metal dental work was taken out.

A Functional Medicine Approach to Dentistry

In biological dentistry, an emphasis is placed on only using materials which are compatible with the patient’s body. Each person is different when it comes to what materials they can tolerate and how well they get rid of toxins like mercury. In my clinic, I run tests to see which foods my patients are reactive to a biological dentist may test your blood to find out which materials are incompatible with you, most often with Clifford Materials Reactivity Testing (CMRT) .

If you have fibromyalgia , lupus , rheumatoid arthritis , or another chronic condition, your immune system is already in overdrive, and incompatible materials in your mouth or infections could be adding more stress. If you have amalgam fillings or other dental work, or suspect that you have an infection, make sure a biological dentist is correcting the problem for you. They are trained in the safe removal of previous dental work. A conventional dentist might be able to remove your fillings, but they could endanger you or themselves more by not taking the necessary precautions or disposing of the material properly. Listen to my podcast with biological dentist Stuart Nunnally, DDS, for key questions you can ask your dentist, or check out my interview with him and 38 other autoimmune experts from The Autoimmune Summit .

Remember, what’s in your mouth does affect the rest of your body. If you haven’t achieved the level of health you want and deserve, it could be the missing piece of the puzzle for you.

To find a biological dentist, you can search for one in your area at www.IAOMT.com , The International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology.

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Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Special diet concerns

Vitamins

Following a kidney-friendly meal plan may make it hard for you to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need. To help you get the right amounts of vitamins and minerals, your dietitian may suggest a special supplement made for people with kidney disease.

Your doctor or dietitian might also suggest a special kind of vitamin D, folic acid or iron pill, to help prevent some common side effects of kidney disease, such as bone disease and anemia. Regular multi-vitamins may not be healthy for you if you have kidney disease. They may have too much of some vitamins and not enough of others. Your doctor or dietitian can help you find vitamins that are right for you.

Important! Tell your doctor and dietitian about any vitamins, supplements or over-the-counter medicines you are taking. Some can cause more damage to your kidneys or cause other health problems.

Following a kidney-friendly meal plan with diabetes

If you have diabetes, you need to control your blood sugar to prevent more damage to your kidneys. Your doctor and dietitian can help you create a meal plan that helps you control your blood sugar, while also limiting sodium, phosphorus, potassium and fluids.

A diabetes educator can also help you learn how to control your blood sugar. Ask your doctor to refer you to a diabetes educator in your area. A list of diabetes educators is available from the American Association of Diabetes Educators at www.diabeteseducator.org or 1.800.338.3633 . Medicare and many private insurance policies may help pay for appointments with a diabetes educator.


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