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What vegetables can't be eaten raw?

Hey everyone, I’m just starting out on my raw journey and want to know which vegetables can’t be eaten raw :) I would be really grateful if anyone could give me some guidance! :D



  • Hi!!
    regular potatoes can’t be eaten raw in large amounts, they are part of the nightshade family and are poisonous eaten raw. Sweet potatoes and yams can be eaten raw though.

  • Hi Eliana. I did think potatoes were not ok to eat raw. Im a fan of sweet potatoes anyway ;)

  • Raw buckwheat greens have toxins in them, kidney beans including sprouts and rhubarb.

  • Hey…aren’t buckwheat sprouts OK to eat? I just bought some.

  • ajcajc

    I read only yesterday you should not eat spinach,rhubarb or asparagus raw as they contain oxalic acid?
    I’ve been having spinach in my smoothies since starting raw a couple of months ago and feel fine.
    Will have to do some more research.

  • Wow!! spainach?!? I’ve been eating a lot of it a feel fine. Oh well…

  • Man spinach I got to have it, plz tell me we can eat it raw.

  • i dont see how spinach couldnt be eaten raw…. thats crazy

  • there are a number of foods that have small amounts of toxins. Garlic and tomatoes have toxins. But come on are we really gonna stop eating those lovely foods? I steer clear from grains because I don’t believe that they are really fit for human consumption. Dried hard beans and potatoes are def are not edible because they are difficult to digest. Sweet potatoes are a very good source of beta carotene, but they are extremely hard to break down. I have even heard that mushrooms should not even be eaten. I disagree because I feel that we should not only eat things that grow from the sun but from the moon as well. About the spinach, do not stop eating spinach if you enjoy it! It is full of nutrients and especially high in calcium.


  • It depends on if you cant eat them because they’re undigestible, if they contain toxins, or if they’re allergens. That’s really a question that only you can answer for yourself. We all have different reactions to food.

  • ajcajc

    Read this little bit on here..http://www.rawbc.org/articles/greensinstore.html

    “Once in a while I read in the news or receive an e-mail about kale or spinach or parsley or any other green having a toxic ingredient and therefore being dangerous for human consumption. This is all true but not to such a degree as to exclude any particular green from our diet. Let us learn to increase the variety of greens in our diet and to constantly rotate them for better nutritional results”.

  • I just think that most of this whole “do not eat this” thing is completely ridiculous. God gave us these plants most of which are very medicinal and he gave us common sense. Most of us know enough not to go pick two huge baskets of wild mushrooms and ignorantly make mushroom soup out of it. A lot of plants in the wild are very good for you even some which people say are poisonous. Some times the effect you are having to that food is because of detoxifying.

    Also, they say that a lot of herbs are dangerous. This is not true. They are very save especially considering that drugs have killed people and are also shown to NEVER completely kill a cold or flu. Some herbs can cause you to throw up which if this happens, it is good. A cleaner stomach for the next dose! Basically.

    Food is kindof like this too. Asparagus for an example, some say not to eat raw. They are held back by their fears. Asparagus tastes great raw and it has got to be good for you. Garlic is the best natural antibiotic I know of. It kills the bad guys but leaves the good guys alone! It has sulfur. The sulfur is organic sulfur which your body needs. This is not toxic. Celery has sodium and A LOT of it. Your body really needs it and some even juice a head a day. Even if some of these fruits and veggies had toxins in them (bound to have some if it is not organic), it is still very good for you and a healthy liver has the ability to get rid of poisons.

  • someone here mentioned asparagus should not be eaten raw. i eat that raw all the time, can anyone shed more light on this? am getting worried.

  • I,ve been eating raw asparagus since I was a child… I’m now 50 and in excellent health!

  • (agreeing with ajc)
    If you read Green for Life, by Victoria Boutenko, she says that all greens have toxins in them, a tiny amount, it protects them from animals eating the entire crop…notice how animals graze, move on to another batch of greens, graze, move on… You are supposed to rotate your greens so you do not get a build-up of the toxins. So if you like spinach, eat it, but rotate your greens and eat an assortment of greens to avoid toxic build-up. Her family experienced this first-hand by eating kale every day in large quantities over and over again for months…rotate :)

    Asparagus…there is a book on asparagus and why it should not be eaten raw, but we do. Everything in moderation.

    Fritemare: Buckwheat sprouts? A lot of organizations, that assist people in their healing, serve buckwheat sprout greens. Would be interested in knowing where you got that information?

  • The green sprouts of buckwheat contain fagopyrin, a toxin that can cause you to be phototoxic/photosensitive, which means that your skin becomes sensitive to sunlight. You have to eat large quantities or be suseptible for this to happen.

  • Are there other foods that contain fagopyrin? Very interesting!

  • This is the only food that I found with fagopyrin. It’s more of a concern with grazing animals than people because they eat a larger quantity.

  • “The basic problem with buckwheat greens is that they contain fagopyrin, a naturally occurring substance in the buckwheat plant. When ingested in sufficient quantity, fagopyrin is known to cause the skin of animals and people to become phototoxic, which is to say hypersensitive to sunlight. This condition, specifically known as fagopyrism, occurs when the ingested fagopyrin accumulates under the skin and is subsequently activated by sunlight, resulting in a toxic reaction within the skin. Typically, exposed areas of skin turn pink or red within minutes, and a strong burning sensation accompanies the reaction. Within a few hours the exposed areas usually appear to return to normal, however continue to remain ultra-sensitive to cold water, hot water and to friction. This sensitivity can last for days.

    In addition to the burning sensation, people suffering from fagopyrism often complain of feeling a numb, fuzzy, buzzing impression when they scratch or inadvertently hit their hands on something. Sufferers also report that their hands feel painfully cold when placed in cold water or when in contact with a cold object, even if only for a few seconds. Some have had numbing, itching and tickling on the face, nose and ears after sun exposure causing a desire to scratch the skin, thus worsening the condition. The eyes may also become hypersensitive to light. If a large enough portion of the skin is exposed, one may experience dizziness. If a person is forced to remain in the sun for a long period of time, the skin may swell up and remain abnormal for up to several days..”

    ”..Unlike the shoots of the buckwheat plant, buckwheat groats, or seeds, are not generally problematic because they contain only trace quantities of fagopyrin. Buckwheat groats are commonly sold as kasha or are ground into buckwheat flour, which is used to make soba noodles and buckwheat pancakes. These foods have long been used as staples in many cultures and appear to be perfectly safe. The danger lies not in the grains, but in the mature green buckwheat plants that some animals may ingest, and in the young green shoots, which increasing numbers of health-conscious individuals are consuming. These foods contain large quantities of toxic fagopyrin..”

    For more from this source visit: http://www.townsendletter.com/Dec2004/buckwheat… It’s interesting!

  • Here’s a great article called “Raw Vegetables More Protective Than Cooked?”

    Prety good information…


  • Dry hard beans (if not sprouted or cooked) have something in them which makes your stomach unable to stop producing hydrochloric acid, and you basically digest yourself to death. People have died from it. So, don’t grind dry beans and use them in raw dishes – just sprout them first.

    Does anyone know about eggplant? I read that it should always be cooked. Is it just the same as potatoes because it’s a nightshade veg.? I have occasionally eaten small amounts of raw potaoes since I was a kid, but I don’t know how I would be able to tell if it affected me negatively or not.

  • Hi guys, I heard that the oxalic acid in the spinach is only harmful when it is cooked
    Look what I have find:

    "I noticed on your web the discussion about oxalic acid and kidney stones. Dr. Norman Walker, who lived to be 119 yrs old, wrote juicing books and
    stated that one should never eat spinach, kale cooked as the oxalic acid
    becomes very harmful and binds with calcium and causes kidney stones etc. But oxalic acid in its raw form is very beneficial to ones health. He said
    it stimulates the peristaltic motion that moves food through the digestive tract. This is in his book called "Fresh vegetable and Fruit Juices".
    A health ministry called Hallelujah Acres sells his books."
    The source: http://theherbs.info/herbs2.html
  • As far as I know David Wolfe sites that raw spinach and raw chard and raw greens are fine. Wash-soak in basin first.
    flybaby is right about the ozzy-oxyalic acid.
    But do not eat the rhubarb folks.

  • angie I would think that you have developed an immunity to the toxin. I know that I,as a child and as an adult (now don’t freak out!) ate raw hamburger. I know, I know! I really took chances. I worked in a hospital when this information sank in. A few Dr. friends said I have developed an immunity. A woman I met was fed a few drops of snake venom as a child and she is now immune to three different snake poison. Her parents had a snake farm. Cool, I think. I would guess that you do develop immunities when you digest a toxin. If you suffer allergies, just eat raw local honey and then, after about a week, you develop an immunity. I did this last year. What a relief!

    I would steer clear of the rhubarb. and dry beans.

  • NEVER eat yams raw.

    In David Wolfe’s ‘Sunfood Diet Success System’ he recommends juicing two yams ‘for young women looking for a boost, menopausal women, or anyone looking to taste something great.’

    I tried this. Firstly, yams don’t juice. They just produce a thick creamy ‘ooze’....Secondly, it tastes horrible.

    I just had a sip and threw the rest away. I then suffered intense itching on my face and upper half of body. I checked yams in Wikipedia and, yes, raw yams are poisonous.

    I have heard that in the US sweet potatoes are sometimes referred to as yams and can only assume that David means us to use sweet potatoes (which are fine raw). That is, unless his taste buds and physiology are very different from my own (which is quite possible!).

  • Wow. Some of this info is scary! The stomach that eats itself and the reaction to yams! I don’t think I have ever eaten yams so that’s alright. It sounds like there are toxins in lots of raw foods, but as long as you don’t eat loads of one thing it will be alright and you may develop a resistance. Some things are a no no such as rhubarb and hard beans.

    This is an interesting topic! I hope to hear more about it.

  • Debbietook, yes, in the US, true yams are almost never seen in stores. Sweet potatoes and yams are not the same thing, but in the US, the names are used interchangeably to refer to what should technically be called sweet potatoes.

    I eat raw rhubarb stalks all the time with no ill effects. It isn’t the stalks that are problematic, it’s the leaves. Unless you’re growing your own rhubarb, you shouldn’t have to worry about this—even at farmers’ markets, I’ve never seen rhubarb sold with the leaves intact.

  • Oh yeah I think u’re right Jenny.
    about the yams sweet potatoes and the rhubarb leaves.
    I have drank sweet potato juice and I had no ill effects. I think I tried yam and it didn’t juice as well. but I don’t remember any other effects of it.
    Maybe you are allergic debbietook

  • I read that as raw vegans, we dont really dont need to be as concerned about poisons and toxins found in fruits and vegetables. We absorb more nutrients than our meat-eating and cooked-food eating counterparts. This enables us to fight off more infections and the nutrients we consume can fight off any toxin or poison that enters our body. This is more of a concern for meat and dairy eaters, and those who consume mostly cooked foods. I pretty much eat whatever I want and I’m doin ok. I could never live without my raw spinach!

  • If only there was some sort of study to see the differences raw vs non-raw, azulblue. It would be most interesting!

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