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Top 10 Naturally Radioactive Foods We Eat Daily!

Certain foods that we eat daily are naturally radioactive. Know about the top 10 foods and their radioactive measure in this article.

Shipra Singh
Radioactive bananas
Radioactive bananas

You love eating freshly cooked homemade food, piping hot. And how you love the salads – those crunchy fruits, nuts, and vegetables make for a savory snack. Healthy, isn’t it? But do you know many of the foods we love to eat daily are radioactive?

As per Nuclear Regulatory Commission, around 50% of the radiation that we come across on the Earth is ubiquitous radiation. You don’t need to visit a nuclear plant or have an X-ray done to get a dose of radiation. Just come near your granite countertop or smoke detector, or eat a banana or brazil nut! These are radioactive items.

And yes, our bodies emit some amount of radiation too!

Radioactive Brazil nuts
Radioactive Brazil nuts

Top 10 radioactive foods

1. Brazil nuts

Brazil nut tops the list of radioactive foods consumed by people, at over 6600pCi/kg (pCi stands for picoCuries, named after Marie Curie).

The nut tree has high radium level in its root system and high potassium level. But do not be scared. Eat your beloved nuts as the body does not retain any of the radiation consumed.

In fact, Brazil nuts are believed to prevent prostate cancer and breast cancer due to high selenium levels. Ironical, isn’t it?

2. Bananas

Bananas have isotop potassium-40. Almost everybody eats bananas. Some eat them daily. Doctors believe it to be great for heart due to its rich potassium. And because of this, its radioactive level is around 520 pCi/fruit or 3520 pCi/kg.

The presence of radium and potassium in banana makes it capable of generating a constant amount of radiation, which scientists can easily measure. They use it as a yardstick to measure radioactivity.

But, don’t worry, you can still eat bananas daily. According to scientists, you need to eat hundreds of bananas daily to get symptoms of radiation or to die from radiation!

3. Potatoes

The humble vegetable that readily blends with almost all vegetables and forms the main ingredient of so many of our savory snacks (think “samosas,” “aloo tikki,” “aloo paranthas,” and more) is radioactive!

An average sized white potato has 3400 pCi/kg.

4. Carrots

Carrots together with potatoes can give a net 6800 pCi/kg. Carrots are found to have radioactive potassium, which is equivalent to that in potatoes.

5. Lima Beans

Lima beans have 4640 pCi/lg radioactivity thanks to high potassium levels and some amount of radium. But, hey, this won’t kill you, so include these nutritious beans in your diet!

6. Red meat:

Love steak? Well, it will give you around 3000 pCi/kg. But who is eating one whole kg of meat in one go? Besides, this isn’t the amount that will harm you. So, if you are planning a nice steak dish for dinner tonight, go ahead.

7. Low-sodium salt

Low-sodium salt has approximately 3000 pCi/kg. This is because it is composed of potassium chloride rather than simply sodium. Better to take some sodium, right?

8. Beer

Don’t be disheartened, as beer has just 390 pCi/kg radioactivity, much lesser than that contained in foods we eat every day. In fact, this is around 10 times low radiation than that in banana! So, would you prefer beer to banana? No need. Both are safe to consume.

9. Avocados

Avocados can give you 2500 pCi/kg or 420 pCi/serving. Avocados are already regarded as superfood by doctors due to its antioxidant property. This fruit is anti aging. It truly seems like a ‘super’ food thanks to the fact that it is radioactive!


Cigarettes are radioactive! No, it’s not because of the presence of additives that are usually detrimental to health. It is because of tobacco. Plants of tobacco absorb radioactive elements like lead-210, radium, and polonium-210 from certain fertilizers sprayed on crops. This makes tobacco radioactive and, in turn, makes your cigarette radioactive.

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