6 things to know to make the most of the raw vegetable season

Meat and fish are often thought of as a source of food poisoning. However, fruits and vegetables are the main culprits, especially during the raw vegetable season. A little reminder of the rules to follow to make thee full of risk-free nutrients.

You never exceed the expiration date written on the packaging of your minced steaks, keep the fish only cool, watch the appearance of a yogurt carefully before eating it… But are you also careful with fruits and vegetables? Because they are the ones who transmit a norovirus (virus responsible for diarrhea) in 46% of cases according to data collected by researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after analyzing cases of food poisoning in UNITED STATES.

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Among plants, leafy vegetables (salads, cabbage, etc.) are the most at risk since they alone represent 22% of cases of food poisoning. Then follow poultry (responsible for 22% of poisonings) and dairy products (14%).

On the other hand, the most serious cases, resulting in hospitalizations, are linked almost as much to meat and dairy products (46%) as to plants (42%). Only 6% of cases are attributable to fish and seafood. Finally, 43% of deaths each year are attributable to meat, while only 25% are due to plant foods and 19% to poultry.

How to properly clean your fruits and vegetables?

Spring and summer are also a period of great vulnerability because we consume much more raw vegetables while cooking kills these bacteria. Between picnics, aperitifs in the garden and dinners that drag on on the terrace, the opportunities for contamination are increasing. Because bacteria like E.colilove the heat to grow. And it sometimes takes less than two hours for them to colonize food without us noticing.

This is why it is necessary to adopt some good gestures to avoid as much as possible eating products that are unfit for consumption.

  • We wash our hands with soap before handling fruits and vegetables and pass them under clear water before eating them.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables away from raw (uncooked) meat, even when transporting in the cooler.
  • Keep your fruits and vegetables cold! When eating out, fruit and vegetables should be stored at a temperature of 4°C maximum in a cooler placed in the shade.

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Poorly washed raw vegetables can be dangerous
TRUE. Fruits and vegetables must be spotless and free from all traces of soil. They must be washed well in drinking water and peeled if necessary. Including pre-washed salads in sachets. It is essential, especially for pregnant women, to prevent toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that affects mother and baby. A bath in vinegar water will be even more effective.

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You can eat all the fruits picked in nature and the garden
TRUE. But, due to possible contamination by animals, those picked up near the ground should be eaten cooked: compotes, pies, jams… . And of course, we wash our kitchen utensils and our hands with soapy water, especially if we have just gardened.

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Raw vegetables contain more vitamins and enzymes
TRUE. Since they have not undergone any cooking, they retain all of their vitamins, enzymes and chlorophyll. Provided of course to choose them ultra-fresh, if possible picked the same day or the day before. If you have a garden, this is ideal. Otherwise, we favor small producers (Amap, market, etc.). Vitamin C oxidizes very quickly in the raw. As well as chlorophyll, detoxifying. As soon as purchased (or harvested), as soon as prepared and tasted!

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If you digest poorly, avoid raw vegetables
FAKE. If you want to eat raw despite a restive digestive system, avoid cabbage, peel (peppers, tomatoes, etc.) and eliminate grains (cucumber, peppers, etc.). Then they are marinated in a sauce made with lemon or vinegar to soften the fibres. Another option: mix everything in a blender, to alter the fibers while keeping 100% of the plant: flesh, pulp, skin, grains… Namely: In liquid form (smoothie, juice), we tend to over-consume. However, some plants, such as oranges, carrots or beets, are very sweet. Generally, we only eat one orange but a large glass of juice contains three or even four… Repeatedly, that can be a lot.

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Eating raw is good for the line
TRUE. It is good to start the meal with raw vegetables. Carrots, shredded cabbage… Raw requires long chewing, which helps to eat less. The feeling of satiety takes 20 minutes to reach the brain. If we eat raw, we chew more and, mathematically, we eat less during this period of time. In addition, the raw is less caloric: at equal weight, there is more water in a raw vegetable than cooked. Finally, by chewing for a long time, each parcel of food is coated with saliva full of enzymes (amylase, lipase), which allow better digestion of starch and fats. Not to mention that biting into a raw apple is good for your teeth!

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