Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day 13--Danger, Will Robinson

There is no doubt to me that eating a healthy diet of fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds in their most natural, unprocessed, organic state is the healthiest way of eating there is. Still, as with anything, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Since I am such a newbie at this, I am doing lots of research and I came across some good info:

Avoiding poisoning

As the consumption of raw foods gains popularity, some unsafe foods have re-entered the diets of humans. The following should be consumed with caution:

Buckwheat greens are toxic when raw, particularly if juiced or eaten in large quantities by fair skinned individuals. The chemical component fagopyrin is known to cause severe photosensitivity and other dermatological complaints.
Kidney beans, including sprouts, are toxic when raw, due to the chemical phytohaemagglutinin.[36]
Potatoes: a member of the nightshade family, can produce the toxic alkaloid solanine. The flesh of the potato just beneath the skins is usually green if solanine is present, but one may be present without the other. Solanine can be removed by peeling the potatoes.[37]
Alfalfa sprouts contain the toxin Canavanine.
Some types of raw Cassava or Cassava flour can be toxic.
Raw eggs contain Avidin, a Vitamin B6 inhibitor, which can cause “egg white injury”.[38]
Raw seeds of the genus Lathyrus (peas), can cause Lathyrism.
Raw Brassica species can contain Glucosinolate.
Apricot kernels contain Amygdalin, which contains the toxin cyanide.
Raw parsnips contain Furanocoumarin.
Raw foods may contain harmful bacteria, fungi or parasites, which may cause foodborne illnesses

To me, the risk/benefit ratio is still heavily weighted in favor of raw, vital foods. The biggest danger we face is the SAD which is directly attributed to heart disease, other cardiovascular diseases, PAD, cancer, gout, and is strongly suspected in many others including behavioral problems in children, skin problems, the list goes on and on. Be careful, and by all means be raw.

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