What Are The Dangers Of Eating Raw Kidney Beans

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salt.and.pepper's picture

There are many dangers of eating raw kidney beans. Before we explain why eating kidney beans raw is not good, let’s see what kidney beans are. Red kidney beans are a common legume, which is an excellent dietary selection since they contain zero cholesterol. It’s rich in potassium and has traces of iron and calcium. It has no carbohydrates making it a better source of potassium than potato. They are kidney-shaped and are best in simmered dishes where they absorb all the flavors of the seasoning. That explains why kidney beans are an essential ingredient in popular chilies. Kidney beans are available in both dried and canned form. While, there is absolutely no fuss about eating canned beans, there are many dangers of eating raw kidney beans. The dangers of eating raw kidney beans rings from the fact that dried red kidney beans contain high levels of phytohemagglutinin, a lectin found in some plants, especially legumes. So, eating kidney beans raw can lead to phytohemagglutinin poisoning with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.  It’s found that eating anything more than three dried kidney beans raw can trigger the symptoms.  The symptoms begin to show within three hours of eating kidney beans raw and disappear within three to four hours after the onset.  Apart from phytohemagglutinin poisoning, eating kidney beans raw can also lead to flatulence.

But the good news is that a bit of cooking is sufficient to take away the dangers of eating raw kidney beans. By boiling kidney beans, even for 5 or 10 minutes, the amount of phytohemagglutinin can be reduced by about 200-fold. That’s just enough to bring down the danger levels of eating raw kidney beans. Ideally, the raw kidney beans should be soaked overnight and then cooked well to completely take way the dangers of eating raw kidney beans.

Another safe and nutritionally better way to consume kidney beans is to sprout them and then cook them. Moreover, sprouted red kidney beans take less time to cook than the dried or the soaked ones. By sprouting and subsequently cooking it, all the dangers of eating raw kidney beans can be eradicated. Isn’t it better to eat things the way it should be eaten?

 Image Credit: worldevergreen.com


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Anonymous's picture
once cooked, eg in chili con carne, can they be safely frozen?
salt.and.pepper's picture
Yes. But refrigerate within two hours of cooking. Any food kept constantly frozen at 0 degree F will remain safe and reusable.