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Foods You Shouldn't Eat Raw

By Sara Butler

Everyone knows that eating things such as raw meat puts you at risk for serious health complications and illness, such as salmonella. But many people aren’t aware that there are other foods that may seem as if they're fine to eat raw but actually aren’t!

Certain foods contain natural sugars that are difficult for you to digest or even toxins that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms that are less than pleasant. Still, others may contain bacteria that can be harmful to you if not pasteurized or cooked first. So, it pays for your health to understand foods you should never eat in the raw.

Here are a few foods you will want to cook before you eat them to avoid unpleasant side effects.


Potatoes may seem harmless, but if you get an uncooked chunk in your casserole, then it can cause problems. That’s because potatoes contain a starch that can cause gas and bloat if not cooked. Potatoes also happen to contain a toxin called solanine, which can cause nausea and headaches in even small doses.

Alfalfa Sprouts

What could be more innocent than a little alfalfa sprout, right? Wrong! Uncooked sprouts are hot spots for bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella to grow, as well as listeria. Make sure you buy sprouts as fresh as you can and don’t give them to high-risk populations of people such as the elderly, children, and pregnant women – or anyone who may be immune-compromised. Wash them thoroughly before you eat them.

Red Kidney Beans

Beans are great for you and are a great way to boost your nutrition cheaply, but just make sure they’re cooked all the way. Raw kidney beans can cause nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting due to something called phytohaemagglutinin. Soak the beans for five hours before cooking them in boiling water for at least 30 minutes.

Raw Honey

Raw honey is easily found in supermarkets these days, but you should buy it with caution. Young children should not be given raw honey because it is unpasteurized and may have a naturally occurring toxin in it called grayanotoxin. It can cause dizziness and low blood pressure.

Raw Milk

Raw milk, contrary to what you may have heard, can be quite dangerous. Raw milk isn’t pasteurized to kill dangerous bacteria that can be present in it such as listeria, E. coli, and salmonella. Children are especially susceptible to illness caused by raw milk. Keep in mind the pasteurization process doesn’t impact the nutritional value of milk, so err on the side of safety and don’t drink raw milk.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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