15 Foods You Should Never Eat Raw

6. Cassava

A woman holds manioc (or cassava) tubers in a plantation near Abidjan It can interfere with your body’s ability to use oxygen. | Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images

You may know cassava by one of its aliases; this popular vegetable also goes by the name arrowroot, manioc, tapioca, kassave, mandioca, and yuca (though it’s not the same as yucca, which you can’t eat). But no matter what you call it, don’t eat this veggie raw.

This South American plant grows in humid climates and provides tons of essential nutrients. But uncooked cassava also has compounds that turn into hydrogen cyanide inside your body. Frighteningly, this interferes with your body’s ability to use oxygen and can cause you to literally drown on dry land.

You can eat the root and leaves of the cassava so long as you cook them properly. Peel the cassava and make your own healthier version of potato chips or fries or boil them like potatoes. The leaves can also be boiled and enjoyed as a side dish.

Next: This looks like spinach, but you should never eat it raw.

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