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Are there any foods not suitable to be eaten raw?

Hi! I’m completely new to raw food, in fact I just found out about it yesterday, but I find it immensely intriguing. I was just wondering, is there anything I should look out for or avoid?


  • Eggplant is edible. I’d say your best option is to thumb through the recipes on this site and you’ll be surprised to find out that most veggies are edible and yummy raw. I personally don’t like pumpkin/squash raw for it’s flavor, but that’s about it. I’ve also discovered that sprouted beans are not good for me, whereas others have no problem with them. Just don’t exaggerate the first time you eat something. I once juiced a whole lot of dandelion, and it sent me running to the porcelaine throne like the sprouted beens do. Although small amounts of dandelion are fine. Your body will be quick to tell you what works for you and what doesn’t, just stay alert to it. Good luck!

  • the following foods should not be eaten raw: kidney beans (toxic), regular potatoes (sweet potatoes and jicama are fine), the edible(ness?) of raw eggplant is disputed…personally i’m not a fan, soybeans are also disputed (sprouted soybeans are considered by some to still be harmful)...i think that’s it. and in terms of rawness, because lots of people new to raw ask these types of questions, anything canned or generally sold in a jar or something at a regular store has been pasteurized and therefore is not considered raw. although it’s fine for transitioning obviously.

  • I’ve eaten some delicious raw eggplant in my time, which is not to say that all people will like it. Carmentina’s suggestion is a good one—check out some of the recipes on this site. You can even search for a specific ingredient (like, say, eggplant) to see the recipes that use it. Some things, in order to be eaten raw, need a little bit of attention to make them palatable or digestible—like most people soak nuts and seeds, most legumes would be really hard (literally) to eat without soaking and sprouting, some vegetables are nice marinated to soften them up a bit, etc. You’ll get plenty of ideas as time goes on! Stay away from those kidney beans, but otherwise don’t worry too much :)

  • it really depends on how clean your diet is. if you are coming off of eating cooked, non-vegan foods, then let’s not get too wrapped up over raw eggplant. the more sensitive your body becomes (like over years and years) you probably won’t be eating foods you have to do much to to eat (in order to eat raw eggplant you need to “sweat it” and or marinade it).

    for now, i think elizabethh’s list is a good one.

    saturnina—i think the reason there is dispute is that we are all at different levels of health and “cleanliness” in our bodies. thus, “toxic” foods will agree or disagree with our bodies to varying degrees. the daily hamburger eater has developed somewhat of a tolerance for his toxicity, the raw vegan has less and less tolerance for crap.

  • pianissima – How long have you been doing this? I think you have a lot of wisdom to share. Have you written anything to help people like myself who are new to this raw food way of eating?

  • Different strokes… I can’t eat tomatoes or other nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant), peppers don’t bother me though. I think people have different food sensitivities. There are some vegetables that contain large amounts of cellulose (legumes) and I don’t digest them well without them being sprouted. I think you will have to do some testing to find out what is optimal for you.

  • raw morel mushrooms are toxic!!

    but, oooh, the portabello and oyster mushrooms sure are tasty…

  • kayo – So, is cooked morel mushrooms toxic?

  • I’m with pianissima on this, eventually you get over anything that takes a whole lotta prep unless you adore it. Everyone really has their own sensitivities, and you will find you develop new ones as you go along. I know you cannot eat raw fiddleheads, as well as the ones elizabeth mentioned.

  • germin8;

    i guess i wouldn’t eat cooked morels either, since right now i am pretty close to 100% raw. they are supposed to be delicious, though. All i know is that raw morels contain poison. cooking them renders the poison neutral.

  • gorawmom—since last july. i find that my perspective on health just keeps widening the more i learn about my own body and through reading other people’s experienced. i’m working on a blog and have a few things written… (rawmusique.blogspot.com) what would help exactly? i’d love to be of service if i could.

  • Avoid too much too soon! The top guru’s in the Raw Food world who are pushing cacao, superfoods and supplements, were raw for years before starting to use these products. Now they never seem to mention that period of their lives. Take your time an keep it simple. During your transition, there will be a lot going on with your body and there is no need to complicate things even more by filling yourself with these type items, that many of us consider to be akin to drugs.

    Try to always consider the advice of long term successful raw fooders on forums over those who are just starting out like yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in every little reaction your body is having and ask on forums, What should I do? Others may say I had that too and this is what I did. Again this will keep you concentrating too much on the fine detail, when in most cases you should just ignore your reactions and keep your “eye on the prize”.

    I recommend taking whatever time you need to transition and them spending at least 3 months at 100% before worrying about detail. Until you have done 3 months at 100% you will be staying in detox from the % of cooked that you are eating. Once you have completed your main detox, then you body will be on autopilot and Raw Food will be the easiest thing in the world to you. You will crave only what you really need and you will love your food.

  • Wow, I had no idea you could neutralize poison in morels by cooking. Interesting… well, I’m sure I’ll still stay away from them too.

  • Yesterday i saw someone on this site recomend carrot greens, which i thought were toxic, like rhubarb tops, i,d be very carefull about following advice on here, best trust your own judgement, if in doubt, leave out.

  • I’m with badnews completely, it’s like when you pull something out of the fridge and go “hmmmm, wonder if this is still good?” When in doubt…

  • I know that you all went over some of the things that may be toxic in the raw state but I did not see lima beans mentioned. Also raw spinach can have a toxic effect in large amounts. Maybe you would not want to eliminate it but it may be wise to use spinach in moderation. I have been raw for 5 months and no longer have diabetes or high blood pressure. My doctor was amazed and even though he is into the diets impact on health, he never had heard of the raw food thing.

  • Raw taro can cause severe throat and mouth discomfort.

    Cassava aka yucca root is toxic in its raw state or if it’s not cooked thoroughly, and can be potentially fatal. :)

  • There’s a few(mushrooms, apple seeds, potatoes, etc). Check out www.rawveg.info—he has great info on which foods have toxins raw http://rawveg.info/rawfoodtoxins.html as well as simple, inexpensive and low fat recipes.

  • I knew someone would say it. :P

    Apple seeds are toxic in very large amounts, but in moderation, they can actually save your life. See ” A World Without Cancer: The Story Of Vitamin B17” here: http://www.goneraw.com/forums/6/topics/5953

  • KhaasLadkiKhaasLadki Raw Newbie

    I found this article on Carrot Tops – Carrot Museum , which I was glad to find because I made GS out of my carrot tops last night! Also, I read somewhere (can’t find it) that the greens grown from Buckwheat may be toxic? Would that include sprouted Buckwheat?

  • This is the part that freaks me out a bit. I am afraid of eating something that will make me really sick. I would like to believe that the food I buy locally is toxin free but, then I think of all the chemical plants and such in Houston. If that wasn’t enough I have to be careful with food that has naturally occuring toxins. How do you get over this fear…?

  • Rebe, don’t live in fear. That’s what Western Medicine wants you to do. You get over fear by educating yourself.

    Khass Ladki, buckwheat greens in large quantities can give you intense skin irritation. Read this: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0ISW/is_…

  • Kayo: I’ve never really eaten raw mushrooms, but I do love them cooked. Especially the morel ones, although here in Finland we mostly eat one of the “false ones”, gyromitra esculenta

  • Well, luckily I’ve never been a fan of kidney beans..

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