Can eating raw vegetables harm you?

As usual, all this week I had brocolli with dinner. Because I’m lazy, I ate it raw.

And all week I had serious flatulence and a giant bloated belly.

But because I love broccoli, I don’t intend to stop anytime soon.

Besides having bad odors leaking out of one’s behind, are there bad health consequences from eating certain raw veggies? Am I harming myself by not cooking my broccoli spears?

Possibly, if you’re not supposed to be eating a high fiber diet.

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Not really harming you, it is just uncomforatable / socially embarrasing. Your poor digestive system just needs some time to adjust. You might find chewing your raw vegies more helps. Get that important digestive fluid saliva working. This can also happen with adding too large amounts of fibre to your intake too suddenly… Better if you can add them slowly at first, small “doses” then slowly increase.

However if you eat too many carrots you can develope orange skin and eyes, : typically this shows up in people who vitamise ( juice, blend, whatever: turn them into a drink ) carrots. It usually will pass with stopping eating the excessive amounts of carrots. But it can be quite scary.
Edit: yeah raw broccili is nice :). Also try raw beetroot Leaves, raw corn on the cob, raw fresh the tender inner parts of the cabbage, raw mushrooms. Raw Silver beet in a salad. Cooking many vegies is just a cultural habit.

Whoa! Cool! Hey, Beavis, let’s give it a try!

With raw potatoes, there’s a starch that isn’t digested too well and winds up in the colon, producing, um, gases.

If a healthful raw vegetable like broccoli disagrees with you, try not eating as much (or as often), or cooking it.

There’s a great medical detective story by Berton Roueche about a man who showed up at his doctor with a complaint of abdominal pain, startling the physician since his skin was pumpkin-colored. It turned out that the skin tint was an unrelated consequence of his heavy consumption of raw carrots and tomatoes. Usually overdoing carrots results in a yellowish skin color, overdoing tomatoes (lycopenia) causes a reddish hue. Put them both together and you get pumpkin color.

Who eats raw potatoes?

Apparently, some people do. Doesn’t seem to be a popular way of eating them, though.

Also, don’t eat raw yuca/cassava/manioc. It needs to be boiled and cooked to drive off the toxins.

But other than that, and the possibility of getting a contaminated batch (like the e.coli spinach outbreak), I don’t see how it would be a problem unless you overdid it. Raw vegetables (e.g. crudités) are pretty much staples at every party I’ve been at.

Yes, in the sense that your body uses so much more energy digesting raw veggies, there is less remaining to be stored in your body for later use. Digesting a diet entirely composed of raw fruits and vegetables literally wears you out and leaves you with little energy or stamina for other things.

Cite for the body using significantly more energy digesting raw veggies?

Cassava (aka manioc), lima beans, and even kidney beans are toxic without cooking.

Some Caribbean-style baking recipes call for grated cassava. It is important to keeps the kids from sampling raw batter.

I do occasionally. I avoid the greenish discolorations and won’t eat one if it is too bitter.

I don’t know whether raw food needs more energy to digest, but it is patently obvious that we can get far more nutrition from cooked vegetables than from raw. Indeed it is widely accepted that cooking gave us an evolutionary advantage.

Richard Wrangham, in his book Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, says* “~that the shift from raw to cooked foods was the key factor in human evolution. When our ancestors adapted to using fire, humanity began. Once our hominid ancestors began cooking their food, the human digestive tract shrank and the brain grew. Time once spent chewing tough raw food could be sued instead to huntand to tend camp. Cooking became the basis for pair bonding and marriage, created the household, and even led to a sexual division of labor.”*

http://www.amazon.ca/Catching-Fire-Cooking-Made-Human/dp/0465020410

If broccoli is causing you bloating and gas, give Beano a try. That stuff is like magic.

Skin yes. If the eyes are yellow that is not from the carrots (or other source of carotene) … that is jaundice and you got yourself a liver problem. Yellow eyes? See your doctor now.

The cooking bit was mainly about meat and foods with starches that are resistant to digestion, like tubers. The speculation has more to do getting the most net calories out of the food, not other nutrition, and Wrangham’s speculations that such had any impact on human evolution is not all that widely accepted.

In today’s world the extra calories available are not so much a huge advantage. Feeding the gut bacteria with stuff we cannot digest on our own OTOH is something we tend to do too little of.

And as far as patently obvious goes … funny enough things that are patently obvious are not necessarily true, or at least always true. In this case it is true for some nutrients and foods and not for others, and in particular not true for broccoli.

Your gut is not used to the fiber that it should be getting consequently does not have the diversity of bacteria it needs to handle it without producing excess gas. Build slowly and consistently and your gut microbiome will adapt with many health benefits in the bargain.

Some foods may be easier to digest cooked, but that doesn’t mean they all are.

I should clarify something. My broccoli-eating is not a new thing. I’ve been eating raw veggies pretty regularly for the past seven or eight or so years. I only get the gas on days that I eat broccoli. And romaine lettuce too. But spinach goes down easy.

Eating mainly raw fruits and vegetables can cause some damage to your tooth enamel over time because of acids. But people who have these problems tend to be those who exclusively subsist on a raw food diet.

I love Berton Roueche’s stories! Sadly, he killed himself about the same time that Kurt Cobain did. :frowning:

When I was in junior high in the late 1970s, someone came out with “tanning pills”, which were made from beta carotene and would give a person a bit of a glow, I guess. One of my classmates bought some without her parents’ knowledge, and took about half the bottle on the assumption that it would make them work faster. The next morning, she woke up and was bright orange from head to toe, including her sclera, palms, and soles of her feet. Her parents shoved her into the car and floored it to the emergency room, and when she walked in, they instantly knew what she had been up to.

:eek: :stuck_out_tongue: :o

Those weren’t on the market very long.

I can just imagine the parent’s reaction.

Raw taro root is inedible because it contains calcium oxalate crystals. I’ve never experienced it myself, but I understand that these crystals make the consumption of raw taro quite painful. I don’t know whether they’d actually do any harm apart from the pain. Oxalates can contribute to kidney stones, but I don’t think that cooking taro eliminates oxalates - it just gets rid of the sharp crystals.