Maintaining a raw food diet is a lifestyle that promotes the eating of unprocessed and uncooked foods. Those who practice this believe that raw food has more flavor, takes little to no preparation and is packed with vitamins, nutrients and other health benefits. Depending on one’s choice, the menu may or may not include raw fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, eggs, meat (like Carpaccio), fish (like sashimi) and non-homogenized/non-pasteurized dairy products (raw milk, milk yogurt and milk cheese). The list of raw foods not to eat is available below to aid in keeping you healthy and strong while living this lifestyle.
What Raw Foods to Avoid
Surprisingly, it is not only meat that belongs in this category – there many fruits and vegetables that are not good for you when raw. Here’s the list:
Buckwheat greens are dangerous, especially when consumed in large amounts or juiced by light-skinned individuals. There are chemical components called fagopyrin, which are known to cause dermatological problems and severe photosensitivity.
• Alfalfa sprouts contain canavanine, which can cause your body’s protein to function abnormally.
• Kidney beans (including its sprouts) should not be eaten raw due to toxic chemicals called phytohaemagglutinin which are poisonous to humans and other monograstric animals. One way to bring down the level of toxicity and make it safe to eat is by cooking or food processing.
• Uncooked Brassica species (mustard, cabbage, spinach, turnip, broccoli, cauliflower) may contain glucosinolate. Fresh peas (Lathyrus seed) can cause lathyrism, which is a neurological disease.
• Raw cassava roots or leaves. These contain two kinds of cyanogenic glucosides – lotaustralin and linamarin. A 40 mg dose of cyanogenic glucoside can kill a cow, so go figure what it can do to humans. It can also cause calcific pancreatitis.
• Unprepared eggs contain avidin, a biotin inhibitor or Vitamin B7, which causes “egg white injury”.
• Apricot kernels contain amygalin, which is a toxin that can cause cyanide poisoning in humans.
• Uncooked meals, particularly meat, may have harmful bacteria and bacterial toxins. Other viruses and parasites like Trichinella, rotavirus or Toxoplasma, which can cause foodborne illnesses, may also be present.
• Uncooked fish may may contain harmful parasites and other microorganisms. Eating previously frozen fish is the best option, as the freezing process should kill any parasites that are present.
• Parsnips contain furanocoumarin when raw, which is a chemical compound that can cause phytophotodermatitis, a condition that makes skin oversensitive to ultraviolet light.
• Fresh sweet potato, cauliflower, cabbage, rutabaga, turnips, canola oil, pine nuts, mustard, cassava, millet, peanuts and soybeans contain goitrogens which might worsen hypothyroidism and hamper your body’s iodine metabolism.
• Unprocessed milk may contain Mycobacterium bovis, which can bring about non-pulmonary tuberculosis and Brucella that can set off spontaneous abortions or fever.
Be Aware, Be Safe
Food poisoning is a risk from eating raw foods, especially when uncooked meat, shellfish and fish are included in the menu. Reports of foodborne diseases have increased tenfold since the 70s. Often, seemingly harmless food like lettuce, melon, juice, sprouts and berries are the culprit for the outbreaks. Some unprepared foods are dangerous and have deadly microorganisms. Be aware of the list of raw foods not to eat to protect you from health risks and illnesses brought about by uncooked foods.
This is not medical advice and is not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure any ailment. Check with your physician first before following any advice you have read on BrightHub.com. Consult your physician before you start, stop or change anything that has been previously prescribed to you.
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