While there are plenty of vegetables, you can eat fresh, like cucumbers, carrots, and salad greens, there are some vegetables you should cook to provide your body with optimal health. Here are ten foods you should take the time to prepare before consuming.
You can fry, roast, mash, or bake potatoes, but you should never eat them raw. Green and uncooked potatoes can contain toxic compounds known as glycoalkaloids that worsen the digestive system.
You can boil, mash, and fry yucca like potatoes, and they contain plenty of macronutrients. But raw yucca contains cyanide in its leaves which prevents other animals from eating them, but the root can also contain cyanide which is the edible part. Therefore, you must rinse, dry, and soak them in water before cooking and consuming them.
Red Kidney Beans
Uncooked beans contain a large amount of glycoprotein lectin, which leads to health problems such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting within some hours of consumption. The severity of the symptoms also depends on the number of toxins that you consume. For example, kidney beans have a high amount of lectin, which can cause the problems mentioned above. Soaking the beans for at least 4 to 5 hours can help in destroying the toxin.
Though you can eat mushrooms raw, you should consume cooked ones to get more nutrients. For example, sautéed, grilled, or roasted mushrooms have more potassium than uncooked ones. First, however, ensure that you wash the mushrooms thoroughly with a vegetable and fruit cleaner to ensure that you are consuming safe vegetables.
Eggplant has a compound called solanine, which limits the absorption of calcium. Solanine poisoning can lead to several neurological and gastrointestinal problems, including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cramping. Wash the eggplant using a vegetable and fruit cleaner before cooking to make it safe for eating.
As more and more people seek natural sweeteners, raw honey is easy to find at supermarkets, but don’t let young children eat raw honey. Raw honey is unpasteurized and contains grayanotoxin, a naturally occurring neurotoxin found in rhododendron nectar. Although not lethal to humans, symptoms of grayanotoxin poisoning can include hypotension, dizziness, and vagal block.
Eating hot dogs raw can be dangerous. It’s a misconception that, since they’re pre-cooked, you can eat hot dogs right out of the package like meat. But, packaged hot dogs can become contaminated with the Listeria bacteria, which can only be killed by reheating the dogs.
Cassava is a root vegetable loaded with vitamins and minerals. But the roots and leaves of cassava contain chemicals like cyanogenic glycosides that release cyanide when eaten. Cassava is still edible, but make sure you wash it thoroughly, rinse it, peel it, and cook it before eating.
Some people who drink raw milk are swayed by the claims that it will prevent certain illnesses and diseases. However, the raw milk is not pasteurized, where milk is heated to at least 161°F for no less than 15 seconds before rapid cooling. The pasteurization process kills disease-causing bacteria like salmonella, listeria, and E. coli. As a result, as illnesses from drinking raw milk (or foods made from it) rise, kids are most likely to get sick.
There are certain vegetables you should never consume raw. Instead, ensure that you wash the food items thoroughly to remove the residue of pesticides and other chemicals that may be present on the surface or cook before consuming.