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Raw Foods?


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We once did a survey of CR practitioners. As you can see from the graph below, the largest fraction of people (40%) reported eating a "vegan" diet, and some (20% - including me) reported eating "mostly raw". 


But you won't find many raw food zealots around here. Certain healthy foods (e.g. tubers, legumes, intact grains) require cooking to make them digestible and the nutrients in others (e.g. carrots and tomatoes) become more bioavailable after cooking.

So I for one cook some of my food but eat most of my food (fruits and veggies) raw, with the raw veggies warmed up a bit (in the microwave) to about 120 degF make them more palatable.



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Cooking certain foods makes their nutrients better available for absorption to humans. Tomatoes are one example (lycopene bioavailability increases significantly), as are legumes, some grains and tubers, as mentioned by Dean above. Mushrooms are another food better cooked, as not only cooking breaks down their tough cell walls, but it also eliminates the toxins and carcinogens found in small quantities in raw mushrooms.

I enjoy eating raw, but as in most things, common sense is a good guide here.

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I tried once to eat only raw plant-based foods and that was a disaster. 

 Raw veganism may be advantageous to loose weight, since it tends to cause food aversion, especially if the raw food is not dressed with oil or spices. If you still are trying to loose lots of weight, even eating a few boiled eggs and cooked cabbage, all other food being raw and undressed should take the pleasure of eating away, so causing weightloss.

Other than that, and the due exceptions being made, I agree with Ron's idea that common sense governs = eat raw+cooked.

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I think the choice to cook or eat raw depends on what you are eating and why you are eating it.

Red kidney beans are a rich source of the potent plant chemical phytohaemagglutinin which can activate the only pathway known to completely and permanently stop aging.  Cooking destroys most of the phytohaemagglutinin.  So those interested in becoming old would be well advised to cook their beans.

Edited by Todd Allen
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Todd, maybe you forgot to cite the right dosage.

From wiki:


...As a toxin, it can cause poisoning in monogastric animals, such as humans, through the consumption of raw or improperly prepared kidney beans. Measured in haemagglutinating units (hau), a raw red kidney bean may contain up to 70,000 hau. This can be reduced to safe levels by correct cooking (boiling for at least 30 minutes at 100 °C/ 212 °F).[5] Insufficient cooking, such as in a slow cooker at 75 °C/ 167 °F, may not completely destroy the toxins.[6] Beans also contain alpha amylase inhibitor, but not in sufficient quantities to affect the digestion of starch after consumption of beans.[7]

Poisoning can be induced from as few as five raw beans, and symptoms occur within three hours, beginning with nausea, then vomiting, which can be severe and sustained (profuse), followed by diarrhea. Recovery occurs within four or five hours of onset, usually without the need for any medical intervention.


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11 hours ago, FrederickSebastian said:

wait! I don't get it! Do red beans make you age quicker or slower? I'm confused...

Would, say, canned red beans, like Goya be not a good choice? I am vegetarian so I use them as a source of protein... Always thought it was a good choice 😕 ...

Frederick, the consensus is that adequately cooked beans, any beans (red, black, navy cannellini, borlotti) are always a good choice, unless you have individual intolerances which you probably don't have if you are already eating them.

Raw beans are toxic, unless you eat very, very small quantities in such an instance they may be hormetic, but it is never advisable to eat legumes raw.

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On 9/1/2019 at 6:49 PM, FrederickSebastian said:

wait! I don't get it! Do red beans make you age quicker or slower? I'm confused...

Todd has a sense of humor 🙂  "permanently stop aging" = death in this case.

Cooked (which includes canned) beans are OK.

Edited by Ron Put
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