Can I eat hot peppers without cooking them

Dangerous vegetables: These varieties are poisonous when raw

Green smoothies & raw vegetables - a dangerous trend

In addition to the nutritional concept of clean eating, the raw food movement is also gaining more and more supporters. Both approaches are about using only unprocessed foods to ensure maximum nutrient recovery. The raw food fans heat their ingredients up to a maximum of 48 degrees, so that the nutrients that are not heat-resistant are retained during preparation. But consumer advice centers regularly sound the alarm, because some raw dishes and green smoothies have one dangerous catch: There are some types of vegetables that should definitely not be eaten uncooked. In this condition and in certain quantities, they are extremely harmful to health and can lead to poisoning and deficiency symptoms.

All-clear: These vegetables can be consumed RAW

Whether in salads, smoothies or as a decoration on soups - luckily, most vegetables can be eaten raw without hesitation. This also includes cauliflower, kohlrabi, sweet potatoes, fennel, beetroot or even asparagus - albeit atypical. Some, such as bell peppers, have very sensitive nutrients, which is why it is even recommended to eat the plump pods uncooked, as the vital substances would be destroyed during cooking.

Broccoli, which is cooked by most people, should ideally only be heated very briefly to preserve minerals such as calcium, magnesium or iron. In the case of carrots, which can also be eaten raw from a health point of view, it is recommended to briefly boil them. This releases the beta-carotene in the plant cells and can be more easily absorbed by the human body.

Pumpkins and zucchini can also be eaten raw, but the following exception applies: If they have an atypical bitter taste, this is an indication that they contain traces of the poison cucurbitacine. This was usually bred out, but occurs from time to time due to special crossings. In these cases do not eat under any circumstances, not even cooked, as these poisons are heat-resistant. Otherwise fatal food poisoning can occur.

Caution poisonous: NEVER eat these vegetables RAW

The following varieties contain ingredients that are toxic or incompatible with humans and should therefore not be consumed raw under any circumstances:

Potatoes and eggplant

Both varieties belong to the nightshade family. Potatoes can - if they are raw, unripe, sprouted or still green - contain the alkaloid solanine, the same applies to unripe aubergines and tomatoes. Solanine is a poisonous chemical compound; even an amount of around one to five milligrams per kilogram of body weight can lead to diarrhea, cramps, vomiting or even visual disturbances in humans. 400 milligrams of it is even fatal. Solanine is heat stable, which means that it is not destroyed during cooking. However, it is water-soluble and goes into the cooking water, so this should be thrown away after preparation and not used any further. In the case of eggplants and tomatoes that are not cooked, make sure that they are ripe, then the natural solanine content is lower and therefore more tolerable.

Green beans

Green beans contain the lectin "Phasin", it is a toxic protein compound. As little as three to ten raw beansticks can trigger symptoms of poisoning within an hour, such as abdominal pain, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea or fever. Phasin can also cause the red blood cells to clump together, which hinders the transport of oxygen. In larger quantities, it can also damage the intestinal mucosa in the long term. Since Phasin is a protein, it is destroyed when it is cooked, so the toxins are killed. We recommend 20 minutes, after which it is absolutely harmless to consume.


Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, soybeans and mung beans, as well as red and white beans, also contain lectins. In addition, protease inhibitors, these molecules prevent other enzymes from breaking down proteins, which prevents their breakdown. This plant matter is already minimized during the germination process, so legumes should either be soaked and then blanched for a few minutes, or cooked as indicated.

Wild mushrooms

At this point, the well-known poison mushrooms are not meant, and most of the popular edible mushrooms, such as chestnuts, are toxic in their raw state. Therefore cook the wild mushrooms for at least 15 minutes. Only cultivated mushrooms, oyster mushrooms or shiitake are also well tolerated when uncooked.


Yes, from a botanical point of view, rhubarb is also a vegetable and contains oxalic acid in both the leaves and the stalks. If consumed in large quantities, this can also lead to symptoms of poisoning. In addition, it binds important minerals such as magnesium, calcium and iron, which can then only be absorbed by the human organism with difficulty. Our body then excretes these complexes unprocessed. In addition, oxalic acid promotes kidney stones. Especially people with kidney diseases, rheumatism or gout should avoid foods that contain a lot of oxalic acid. Red sticks have a comparatively lower concentration, but you should also peel and cook them.

In summary: These vegetables must NOT be eaten RAW!

  • Potatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Unripe tomatoes
  • Green beans
  • legumes
  • Wild mushrooms
  • rhubarb
  • Bitter-tasting zucchinis and pumpkins