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11 Foods That Do Weird Things to Your Body

Some foods have really strange side effects.

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Organic carrot. Food background.Tim UR/Shutterstock

Carrots turn skin orange

Because the veggie is high in beta-carotene, an orangey-red pigment, eating too many of them can cause carotenemia, a condition that gives skin an orange tint. The coloring is most visible on the palms of the hand, the soles of the feet and the laugh lines of your face, according to the Dermatology Clinic at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Fortunately, it’s not too common. You’d have to eat about ten carrots a day for two weeks straight to notice a change. Up for the challenge? Here are 34 ways to eat carrots to get you started.

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Bananas beat bloat

If you’ve been feeling a bit bloated lately, you might want to add a banana to your morning routine. One study found that women who ate a banana a day reported less bloating than those who simply had water or a banana-flavored drink. Experts guess it’s because the fruit is high in potassium, which helps balance sodium and prevents water retention. While you’re at, learn about the 9 hair and skin benefits of bananas!

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Close-up of Almond KernelsMaglido Photography/Shutterstock

A bunch of foods can make you sleepy

You already know that too much turkey can send you straight to the couch. But did you know other foods contain even more tryptophan, the amino acid that makes you drowsy, than turkey? Foods like almonds, chicken, beans and fatty fish are just as likely to put you out. If you’re trying to hit the hay, here are 8 more foods that will help you fall asleep.

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Broken chocolate pieces and cocoa powder on wooden backgroundAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Dark chocolate reduces stress

As if we needed another reason to love chocolate, one study found that darker varieties could reduce stress by decreasing the cortisol hormone. Studies have also found the candy improves mood, memory, and immunity. These 10 foods fight anxiety naturally.

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OrangesMostovyi Sergii Igorevich/Shutterstock

Acidic fruits increase your urge to pee

Feeling like you gotta go all the time? You might want to take a look at your diet. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits and clementines, as well as pineapples and tomatoes, are highly acidic—meaning they could irritate your bladder and make the urge to pee seem even more urgent than usual. Do you know the secret behind choosing the juiciest ripe oranges?

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cilantro coriander plantnaru angko/Shutterstock

Cilantro relaxes your digestive system

If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, listen up: A study published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Science found that patients with IBS were able to find some relief by adding cilantro to their diets, as opposed to a placebo. Get some relief with these 40 herby cilantro recipes.

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Chewing gumIurii Stepanov/Shutterstock

Gum can make you bloated

Ever notice you feel a bit gassier after chewing a few sticks of gum? It’s not in your head. Chewing gum leads to swallowing air, which can obviously cause gas and bloating. By the way, here’s how to get gum out of just about everything.

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AsparagusCHALITSA HONGTONG/Shutterstock

Asparagus makes your pee smell

The rumors are true—asparagus does tend to give urine a scent. The phenomenon has to do with asparagusic acid—a chemical that’s only found in asparagus. When your body digests the vegetable, it breaks down the asparagusic acid into a group of sulfuric compounds. Those compounds are what lead to the asparagus-pee smell—especially since they’re even more potent at a warmer temperature. Here are some tips for preparing your next bundle.

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Macro close up on a pile of freshly harvested beet rootsVDB PHOTOS/SHUTTERSTOCK

Beets and berries can turn your pee pink

If you’ve just relieved yourself and notice that the color is a bit—well, off—it might be because of something you ate. According to Harvard Medical School, foods like blackberries and beets can temporarily turn urine pink or red. Obviously, you’ll want to seek medical attention if the condition lasts.

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Gummy bear pileCRISTI180884/SHUTTERSTOCK

Artificial dyes can lead to any color poo

If you’ve overeaten any type of food with a ton of artificial dye, it’s possible your next poop could be any color of the rainbow. Foods like icing, Jell-O, gum and other candies are most likely to have this effect. This is the difference between artificial, natural and organic food flavors.

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Licorice can lead to black poo

A change in the coloration or consistency of your stools is almost never a good sign, but in some cases, it could just be a result of your diet. According to, eating black licorice, blueberries, blood sausage or taking iron pills can cause black or tarry stools. Next, learn about the 7 surprising foods that can cause gas.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest