Although a raw foods diet has many benefits, not all foods we eat can be eaten safely raw. In some instances, foods contain dangerous chemicals that are altered or destroyed during the cooking process. In other cases, bacteria, pathogens and viruses may be found in foods in a raw state that are safely eliminated when cooking.
Here are some examples of foods to avoid eating raw. This list is by no means comprehensive, however.
1. Kidney Beans. In their raw state, Kidney Beans contain a toxic chemical, phytohaemagglutinin. Although the poisoning is unlikely to be serious, they will cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if eaten in their raw state.
2. Parsnips. If you have ever encountered a wild parsnip and had an allergic reaction to it after handling, you already know that parsnip juice can cause a serious skin reaction. Domestic parsnips juice is also unsafe, and unfortunately need to be cooked before eating.
3. Buckwheat. The greens of buckwheat contain a toxin (fogopyrin) that causes photosensitivity in fair skinned individuals.
4. Cassava Flour. Many know this as tapioca, although cassava flour can be found in many different commercially prepared foods. Raw cassava flour can be toxic when eaten in large quantities.
5. Raw Meat and Other Animal Foods. Although there is some dispute about whether those on a raw foods diet need to avoid all animal foods (including raw meat, milk and eggs), in general most agree that these foods can potentially carry many different kinds of bacteria, viruses and parasites and that it is best to cook these foods before eating.
To learn even more about how to eat rich, delicious and safe raw foods, I suggest you consider getting a hold of one of these excellent raw food books.