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Don't Eat These Foods Raw

By Sara Butler

You've probably heard how eating raw cookie dough isn't very healthy. But did you know that there are certain healthier foods that you shouldn't eat raw either? Many fruits and vegetables are actually better for you and easier to digest if you cook them first. Here are some of the foods you should never eat raw and why.

Rhubarb Leaves

You've likely had rhubarb before because the pink and red stalks of this plant are edible. The leaves are a much different story. They are actually poisonous and can lead to serious issues such as difficulty breathing, burning of the throat and mouth, and possibly seizures. So, enjoy the stalks but make sure to leave the leaves whether they're cooked or not.


Potatoes are great cooked, mashed, or put in a stew, but raw potatoes should be avoided. That's because uncooked potatoes contain glycoalkaloids, a toxic compound that can irritate the digestive system. Plus, the texture of raw potatoes isn't the greatest either.

Lima Beans

These legumes haunt the dreams of many children and they may actually be onto something. Raw lima beans contain a compound called linamarin, which breaks down in the digestive system and turns into cyanide. Yes, cyanide. Luckily, you can get rid of this compound by simply cooking the beans for 10 to 20 minutes. So your kids can't really use that as an excuse.

Red Kidney Beans

This is another bean that should be avoided raw. They contain a toxic substance called lectin and consuming just a few of the raw beans can cause you to have severe food poisoning. Red kidney beans must be cooked for at least a half-hour and you should drain the water fully to ensure all the lectin is drained away too.


Elderberries have a reputation as a way to help you stay healthy in cold and flu season. But if you eat them raw, they are poisonous. If you prepare elderberries yourself, you should boil them before using them for anything, otherwise, they won't help you stay healthy but have quite the opposite effect.


Raw eggplant has the same glycoalkaloid as uncooked potatoes. It's not lethal, but it's still not great to eat raw. In fact, cooking eggplant helps to make their antioxidants more beneficial to your health, so saute it in a bit of olive oil to get all its benefits!

Avoid a stomachache, or worse, by cooking these foods first! 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Durham, N.C.

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