What’s The Truth About Eating Raw?

A user recently asked the following question in the forum section:

“What’s the truth about eating raw? I just read an article that said certain vegetables (kale, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, arugula, alfalfa sprouts, and a few others) should not be eaten raw but rather steamed or slightly cooked. Is this true? If so, I’m going to have to change my dietary regimen. Thanks!”

We thought you might all be interested in the answer.


Please be careful of where you get your information on nutrition. Watch and see what their recommendations are. If they recommend any amount of animal products as your source did in this article you can be assured that they are at best misguided or at worst a animal product company shill. Notice how the article didn’t mention how superior these supposedly dangerous foods are as sources of nutrition. Also notice no other alternative other than meat (which is an extremely poor substitute for greens) is offered to make up the loss of nutrients from cruciferous veggies. Suspicious!

On investigation I found that the person who produces the page where you found the article is affiliated with the Weston Price Foundation. They are advocates of the paleo diet. Here is a link from Weston Price where they attempt to discredit vegetarianism.

To me it does not make sense that the most nutritious foods available based on nutrient content would also be dangerous to eat raw.

Please check out this link from nutrition Overdosing on Greens. Make note that the article he reviewed pointed out that if you get adequate amounts of iodine, a great source is Atlantic seaweed, one should not worry. I am not likely to eat on a prolonged basis the volume of greens that were listed as being potentially dangerous. Are you?

In my nutritional medical practice I have found that any food eaten raw is more nutritious than cooked.

As I always say, If you caint eat it raw just say naw. 

Click to Tweet: “If you can’t eat it raw just saw naw!” NK Opare MD #blackvegan


Tell us what you think. Have you heard these claims before?

Nana Kwaku Opare, MD, MPH, CA
Dr. Nana Kwaku Opare, BS, MD, MPH, CA is an internationally recognized authority in Integrative and nutritional medicine. He combines; standard allopathic medicine, acupuncture/traditional Chinese medicine, nutritional medicine and osteopathic manual medicine. He is author of: The Rule Book and user Guide For Healthy Living, and Juice Fasting For Health Wellness and Weight Loss. Opare is a strong advocate for the vegan and raw vegan lifestyle. He calls his style of practice Afrikan Natural Hygiene.

10 Comments on “What’s The Truth About Eating Raw?

05/13/2014 at 9:43 am

What about white potatoes? I was going to make potato chips in my dehydrator, and I was told not to eat them raw, but I’ve known people who’ve eaten them raw. What do you think about that? (Now I just make raw sweet potato chips.)

Ama Opare
05/13/2014 at 7:05 pm

We don’t do raw potatoes, and I haven’t heard about others doing it either. I would say stick to the sweet potatoes and try zucchini or yellow crookneck squash too.

03/21/2014 at 2:45 pm

I am new to raw veggies besides salads. It would be easier for me to know what besides potatoes cannot be eaten raw. Does anyone have a list of those foods to avoid raw?

Ama Opare
03/21/2014 at 6:49 pm

AnitaT I have found that really most fruits and veggies can be eaten raw. Do take a look at the recipes here, many of which are raw. I am doing a mental walk through the produce section and really only potatoes come to mind. Even sweet potatoes and butternut squash have been used in recipes.

03/10/2014 at 3:07 pm

I’m not a doctor or a nurse, and I have no training in the medical field or nutrition at all. I am a cancer patient and I have been advised by doctors, nurses and nutritionists to eat lots of raw veggies. In fact, I eat quite a bit of the raw veggies that was listed above. I eat them in salads and in snacks dipped in hummus. My doctor and nutritionist say these raw veggies have enzymes that are beneficial in fighting cancer, and cooking them will destroy the enzymes, so I eat them raw. In fact, I grow my own kale and eat it right off of the plant. They recommend eating a rainbow color of veggies raw. Having a raw veggie diet is very important in fighting a disease like cancer. Naturopathic doctors are aware of this and oncologists are just beginning to learn about the benefits.

Ama Opare
03/10/2014 at 8:56 pm

Ani we too make these raw veggies a regular (daily) part of our diet. I know it has been beneficial for me. It is too bad there is so much confusing information being put out. Thank you for adding your voice to the conversation.

03/09/2014 at 9:36 pm

Yes it is not only ok to eat cruciferous veggies raw but it is better for you. Cooking or any other type of processing damages the food and lowers it’s nutritional content. Cooking destroys the life force in foods and creates especially if you grill, fry, or bake it chemicals that are damaging to your health. The browned or blacked parts especially. We discuss these and more topics related to why raw foods are superior in our conscious vegan course. Our online course Healthy Eating Success will be shortly updated for all those who have purchased it to date with the why raw module.

03/09/2014 at 9:38 pm

Check out many of our raw dishes on line and in Ama’s cookbook comming out next week in Ebook/multimedia format available here. Enjoy!

Donald Gerard
03/09/2014 at 6:12 pm

Thanks for your response, however, you didn’t answer my question. Is it okay to eat those vegetables listed in the article raw or must they be eaten cooked? Also, is there a downside to eating cruciferous vegetables and certain leafy greens raw?

03/12/2014 at 11:48 am

You might want to keep your broccoli intake below seventy five cups per day :-). Broccoli sprouts should be kept down to four cups per day.


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