Eating raw vegetables is a viable way to obtain the vital nutrients you need for a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Potatoes are a popular food and an excellent source of numerous essential vitamins and minerals like potassium and fiber.
From lowering blood pressure to improving cardiovascular health, this starchy vegetable brings several benefits for the optimal functioning of the body.
While your preferred way of consuming potatoes is by either baking, frying, or boiling them, you might wonder if they can be eaten raw like other vegetables.
So, can you eat raw potatoes? This article will explain all you need to know about eating raw potatoes.
Do People Eat Raw Potatoes and Is It Safe?
So, can you eat raw potatoes? Eating raw potatoes is rare.
Besides its unappealing taste, one of the common reasons why you avoid raw potato intake is due to the high potential for experiencing adverse side effects.
Eating uncooked potatoes can cause digestive issues. Raw potatoes have high amounts of resistant starch, which our bodies can not easily digest.
- Stomach pain
So while raw potatoes aren’t an immediate health hazard unless taken in high doses, it is generally unsafe to eat them due to the risk of digestive discomfort. It’s better to cook them first.
What Do They Taste Like?
Besides the unpleasant stomach cramps you’ll experience, the taste and texture of raw potatoes are extremely unappetizing!
That reason alone should be enough for you not to gnaw on uncooked wedges!
All types of potatoes have a chalky texture and a bitter flavor when uncooked which, I am sure, you wouldn’t enjoy.
That is due to the naturally present alkaloid compound solanine, which imparts this undesirable taste.
Accordingly, your best bet is to bake, fry, roast, or boil your potato to get the best flavor out of it!
Pros and Cons of Eating Raw Potatoes
While chomping on raw potatoes is less palatable and presents some potential health risks, it also offers some benefits.
Eating potatoes in raw form provides you with a higher amount of crucial micronutrients like Vitamin C and macronutrients like fiber and resistant starch, some of which are lost due to the high temperatures when cooking.
Another added benefit of raw potatoes is that they contain fewer calories and carbohydrates.
On the flip side, they also have less protein, potassium, and vitamin B6. Raw potatoes also have high levels of the antinutrient lectin, which can be harmful to your health.
High levels of fiber and resistant starch can also irritate your gut and lead to these gastrointestinal upset.
Ultimately, you’ll benefit more eating potatoes that are baked, boiled, or otherwise cooked.
Is It Safe to Eat Raw Potatoes?
Eating raw potatoes is not inherently toxic or dangerous. Instead, raw potatoes are rich in vitamins, fiber, and starches.
With that said, they also have numerous potential downsides. The presence of harmful compounds like lectins and solanine can cause serious gastric and digestive issues.
So, can you eat raw potatoes? I can safely conclude that the risks of eating raw potatoes outweigh their benefits, and it is better to eat cooked potatoes.