Some foods can be eaten raw, while others are good only when cooked. Meat, for the most part, should be cooked in order to reduce the risk of salmonella and other bacteria. On the other hand, many vegetables and fruits can be eaten raw – as long as they are washed thoroughly. But there are some foods you are used to eating raw which should be cooked actually.
You see, when you eat a food – which is intended to be cooked – raw, your digestive system struggles to break it down, leading to bloating, diarrhea, or even constipation – all very unpleasant symptoms.
Below you will find six foods that you should never consume raw if you want to keep your tummy happy.
Potatoes: The starch in uncooked potatoes is hard on your digestive system, causing bloating, gas, and other symptoms. Potatoes can easily be digested once they are cooked – and there are many ways to cook them. You can boil them, sauté them, and even fry (in healthy oil, of course). You should also avoid green potatoes as they contain a toxin that can trigger nausea and headaches.
Sprouts: Uncooked sprouts are a breeding ground for harmful bacteria which can make you sick. Some dieticians even suggest that children, pregnant women, seniors, and those with compromised immune systems steer clear of sprouts altogether. If you want to enjoy sprouts, ensure they are properly washed – and cooked.
Red kidney beans: Red kidney beans are a great source of protein and can be a low-cost way to eat healthy. But when uncooked, they can lead to nausea, vomiting, and even diarrhea. Red kidney beans should be soaked for at least five hours, then drained, boiled, and soaked again in fresh water.
Honey: Although raw honey can be a healthier alternative to traditional sugar, it can be hazardous to young children as it contains grayanotoxin. Although grayanotoxin isn’t life-threatening to humans, it can lead to symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and low blood pressure.
Yucca: Yucca can be cooked pretty much the same way as potatoes. The leaves of yucca contain cyanide, but sometimes it can pass into the root part. By cooking yucca, you can reduce your risk of ingesting cyanide.
Milk: Raw milk has become quite trendy as many people claim it provides greater health benefits. However, unpasteurized milk means that harmful bacteria such as salmonella or E.coli can still live in it. Research suggests that milk pasteurization does not remove any of the nutrients, so you really don’t have to opt for the raw variety to get the benefits.
Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are usually eaten raw. However, when uncooked, they can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating or constipation in some people. When cooked, the sugars in these vegetables become more easily digestible, meaning, less stressful on the digestive tract. So, although these vegetables can be eaten raw, pay attention to your symptoms.
Infographic: Foods You Should Never Eat Raw