Contrary to popular belief, the majority of vegetables are not a health-building food if eaten in their raw state. Most raw vegetables are hard for the body to break-down, assimilate and digest. Your sense of taste is a good guide to what vegetables are preferable to eat raw. If the vegetable is bitter, bland or unpleasant in the raw state, cook it first. If the vegetable is sweet, pleasant and contains a lot of water, it is a health-building food.
Tomatoes are a great vegetable to eat raw, as they contain a powerhouse of nutrients. The best time to eat a raw tomato is when it is in season, starting in July and ending in September. Tomatoes also contain lycopene, which protects the body against many forms of cancer. Raw tomatoes are extremely easy for the body to break down and digest because of their high water content. Raw tomato juice is a health-building drink, providing anti-inflammatory properties and also containing high levels of vitamins C, A and K.
Romaine and Iceberg Lettuce
While many lettuces are difficult to digest, romaine and iceberg may be eaten raw and deliver health benefits as well. Romaine and iceberg have a characteristically sweet taste, indicating the food is safe and healthy to eat. Romaine lettuce contains high levels of vitamins A, C and K, and also contains high levels of fiber along with many trace minerals. Raw lettuce is also a good source of folic acid.
Bell peppers are a sweet, high water content vegetable that is easy for the body to digest. These peppers come in many different colors, but should never be eaten green. Green bell peppers are not ripe and are more difficult for the body to digest. Bell peppers contain a large amount of free radical protection, with their high content of vitamins A and C. Peppers also provide cardiovascular protection with their high B vitamin content.
Raw celery is a popular vegetable with juicers who are specifically looking to lower their blood pressure. Raw celery also contains cancer fighting compounds for up to eight different types of cancer. Celery contains a natural form of sodium in amounts which actually benefit the body. Raw celery is also a fast way to get your blood pH levels to a more alkaline level. Gallbladder and kidney stones have been shown to break down with daily doses of celery juice.