For anyone consuming a standard American diet that’s heavy on processed meat, dairy and overcooked vegetables, adding the right raw foods can certainly boost your health. Raw foods have a lot going for them, especially when it comes to preserving nutrients. Yet, there’s still some foods that are unsafe if eaten raw and others that are simply more nutritious when cooked. Here are seven foods you should avoid eating raw.
Approach raw eggplant with caution. Raw eggplant contains solanine, the same toxin that makes raw potatoes problematic. “Young eggplants” in particular, or eggplants that were harvested early in their plant lives, contain the most of this toxin. You would have to eat a whole lot of raw eggplant to experience the unpleasant gastrointestinal effects of solanine poisoning, but you might want to go ahead and cook your eggplant anyway. Plus, some people may have allergic reactions to even small amounts of raw eggplant.
Unprocessed olives won’t make you sick or kill you, but chances are you won’t want to eat one. Olives right off of the tree contain a high concentration of a compound called oleuropein, which gives them a bitter taste. Brining olives breaks down the oleuropein, yielding the delicious olives that we all know and love.
What’s interesting about raw olives is that while they don’t taste good, there’s some evidence that oleuropein has potential health benefits, and olives are the only known food-based source of the compound. You can actually buy oleuropein supplements, and some research suggests that it’s an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that could protect heart and brain health.
There are a few different ways to prepare olives so that they’re palatable. Soaking in fresh water will remove some of the bitterness, but brining them for a few weeks or even a few months in salty water or packing them in salt are preferred. Different olives require different brining times, so this is sort of a “taste it and see” process. Prepared olives still contain some oleuropein, but not enough to taste off-putting.
You may find a few shaved asparagus salad recipes floating around the internet. But, in reality, asparagus is a vegetable that really should be cooked. Some vegetables are just more beneficial for your health when eaten cooked, and asparagus falls in this category. Asparagus has more cancer-fighting antioxidants when cooked. Cooking also increases absorption of vital nutrients like vitamins A, B, C, E and K. You won’t get sick from eating raw asparagus, but cooking it will help break down the fiber, making it easier to digest.
4.Raw Red Kidney Beans
If you were to take a few raw kidney beans off the vine and eat them, not only would they taste gross, but within a couple hours you’ll be nauseous, vomiting, and have an upset stomach. The culprit? A natural toxin called lectin. Soak the beans in water for at least five hours before cooking and you’ll be fine.
It is common for many of us to eat vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, etc., raw, right? However, not all vegetables are safe to consume when raw and potato is one of them. Potato is a very popular vegetable used to prepare a number of dishes and snacks. However, consuming them raw can cause gas, digestive ailments, headaches and nausea, as raw potatoes may contain a toxin known as solanine. Boiling, baking or cooking potatoes are the best ways to consume them.
Everyone remembers that time Rocky ate raw eggs while training. Sure, they were loaded with proteins, but eating raw eggs was not a smart thing to do. Raw eggs have the possibility of containing Salmonella, which infects about one out of every 30,000 eggs.
Eggs are one of the world’s healthiest foods. They contain many important nutrients that provide various health benefits. Cooked eggs have the same benefits as raw eggs without the risk of Salmonella infection. While eggs can be cooked in a variety of ways, it is important to note that almost all of the nutrients are concentrated in the yolk. The white part of the eggs mostly consists of protein.
Raw Honey is a natural sweetener that is easy to find at supermarkets. Raw honey is unpasteurized and should never be given to young children. Raw honey contains grayanotoxin, a naturally occurring neurotoxin found in rhododendron nectar. While usually not lethal to humans, symptoms of grayanotoxin poisoning can include dizziness, hypotension, and vagal block.