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5 Vegetables You Shouldn’t Eat Raw and Why

February 7, 2022

Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients. Whatever your health objective is, there’s always one that will match and deliver your needs. 

One mistake many of us make, however, is eating some vegetables raw rather than cooked. Certain veggies contain natural toxins and hard-to-digest sugars that may result in gastronomical diseases. What’s more, pesticides and contaminants on vegetables may leave residue on its surface despite washing with water.

Here are 5 vegetables that are not fit to be consumed raw and why.


1. Eggplant


Eggplant contains the toxic substance solanine. While this substance is not typically poisonous and can be safely consumed for most people from uncooked vegetables, solanine poisoning may cause a gastrointestinal, nervous and exanthematous syndrome severe enough to be fatal. Symptoms of which include nausea, dizziness, vomiting and cramping.


2. Potato


Uncooked potatoes are not only bitter in taste. They also cause bitter consequences to our health. 

Raw potatoes are loaded with resistant starch that our body doesn’t digest or absorb, leading to bloating, gas and other digestive problems. It is also advised to avoid green potatoes as they contain high amounts of solanine that may cause headaches and nausea.


3. Mushrooms


From pasta to pizza, we can all agree that mushrooms give a healthy addition and twist to our favorite foods. 

However, many experts agree that mushrooms must be cooked before eating. “Mushrooms have very tough cell walls and are essentially indigestible if you don’t cook them,” advises Dr. Andrew Weil, an American physician celebrity.

Raw mushrooms may also pose health risks from harmful pathogens and heat-sensitive toxins that may potentially cause red blood cell damage, gastrointestinal irritation and allergic reactions.


4. Red Kidney Beans


Uncooked or even undercooked red kidney beans contain glycoprotein lectin, a sugar-binding protein that may become toxic at high levels. Only a few beans are needed to cause poisoning that may lead to diarrhea, vomiting and nausea just within some hours of consumption.

To be safe, consumers are advised to boil the beans for at least 30 minutes  and the water should be fully drained afterward to ensure all the lectins are removed well.


5. Sprouts


The Food Standards Agency suggests raw sprouts are not safe to be consumed unless they are labeled “ready to eat.” 

Pathogenic bacteria can get into the seeds even before they grow. Washing alone will not completely remove the bacteria. Producers, however, can take steps during production to control these harmful bacteria to make them safe to eat raw.



Incorporating raw foods, specifically vegetables, into your diet can have numerous health benefits. But it can impose health risks too. To ensure you serve your vegetables safe, wash them thoroughly and cook them properly if needed.

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