24 Foods You Didn’t Know Could Be Harmful

By Beck Robertson / Nutrition / March 3rd, 2019

20. Kidney and Lima Beans

Kidney and Lima Beans

Kidney and lima beans are fine to eat if they’re thoroughly cooked but did you know that you should never eat them raw? Research has discovered that as raw kidney beans contain lectins, they can disrupt intestinal bacteria and prevent your body from absorbing essential nutrients, and this can lead to serious problems like nitrogen loss and malnutrition. Raw kidney beans have been known to cause rats to expire, and though they might not do this to a human, just four or five could still make you seriously sick!

Raw lima beans present an even greater hazard, as they contain linamarin, and this can turn into toxic hydrogen cyanide, which can be fatal. A study published in the Journal of Applied Animal Research conducted on rats, indicated they can increase the size of the pancreas, andfound they are anti-nutritive – so they decrease the body’s intake of essential amino acids.

While you might be okay if you eat raw kidney or lima beans, there is a good chance you could end up very sick – and in high quantities, lima beans can cause fatalities. Given that they present a serious risk raw, it’s best to always drain then boil kidney or lima beans for around 10 minutes before you eat them, to get rid of all the toxins. That way you get all of the nutritional benefits of the beans, such as iron, protein, and folate – without any of the risk of getting poisoned or sick.


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