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can you eat raw black beans

Can You Eat Black Beans Raw? What If It’s Undercooked?

Being health conscious, you might be wanting to add nutrients and fibers to your diet and if that is done without compromising your taste, then that undoubtedly becomes a cherry on the cake! Black beans are the perfect choice for that.

Black beans, like any other legume, are rich in proteins, fibers, and micronutrients and it has antioxidant properties that add value to your normal diet. Black beans are the kind of food item that is preferably liked by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

Black beans can be eaten dried or canned, but the real question is can you eat raw black beans? Is it OK to eat raw soaked black beans? How much raw black beans can make you sick? Well, herein we are going to find an answer to these questions. Let’s move ahead!

Can you eat black beans raw?

The major problem that occurs with consuming black beans raw is that they contain a compound known as phytohaemagglutinin, which if consumed in excessive amounts can turn out to be extremely toxic for a person and it can then result in degrading the health of a person. Because of this reason, it is better advised that you cook or boil the raw beans before you decide to eat them.

However, the levels of phytohaemagglutinin are comparatively lower in black beans than in kidney beans but eating raw black beans is not a wise idea. Raw black beans can raise the amounts of toxins in your body and if you are allergic to the compound called phytohaemagglutinin, your health will be directly and severely impacted after consuming black beans.

According to a study, it is suggested and advised that you boil the beans, be it kidney beans or black beans, at least 10 to 15 minutes before you have to eat them. Boiling the beans breaks down the toxins and the toxins are thus removed and released from the black beans. Therefore, if you eat the beans once they are boiled properly, there are little to no chances of you getting sick.

What are the benefits of eating black beans?

Black Beans

Black beans are extremely rich in antioxidants, proteins, fibers, and other micronutrients. This makes them the top choice for every health-conscious person. Let us discuss the benefits of eating black beans in detail.


Being legumes, black beans are a good source of protein for both vegetarians and nonvegetarians. People who find it difficult to fulfill their protein requirements of the day can rely on black beans as an effective and efficient source of plant-based protein.

Unlike animal sources of protein, black beans have no cholesterol. Rather, they are rich in amino acids which are required by the body for the growth of cells. Therefore, black beans will provide you with the much-needed proteins if you consume them once they are cooked.


Black beans also satisfy your fiber needs. Two bowls of black beans are sufficient for a grown-up woman to get the fiber quantity of the day. Black beans are composed of both soluble and insoluble fibers that help a great way in improving the functioning of the digestive tract. Cooked black beans also cure the problems related to constipation and being rich in fibers, black beans also maintain the blood glucose levels of the body.


Black beans also exhibit antioxidant properties. The number of antioxidants present in black beans is nearly the same as other food items such as apples and cranberries, however, apples and cranberries are not a source of proteins, which black beans are.

The antioxidants that the black beans are composed of play a major role in reducing the risk of deadly diseases such as cancer. Black beans also reduce the chances of getting heart-related diseases and they help in building up the cells of the body too.


Important micronutrients such as calcium and iron are highly present in black beans. The presence of iron in the black beans helps to cure and prevent anemia. Calcium present in the black beans helps in building bones.

Black beans are also composed of potassium which helps to regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Not only this, but black beans are also rich in micronutrients such as zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and folate.

What if you eat raw black beans?

Especially for those who are sensitive and food allergic, raw beans can be a cause of serious sickness they have to suffer from. Raw beans are composed of a toxic substance known as phytohaemagglutinin, which if intaken raw can result in spreading the toxins in your body and the toxins can further cause major illnesses to you.

Preferably, it is advised that you cook the raw black beans properly before eating them. Doing that would ensure that no harmful substances thus remain in the black beans and that the black beans become safe to consume.

Also, try not to cook the dried black beans in a slow cooker because the slow cooker cooking is not enough to break the phytohaemagglutinin present in the raw black beans, and then the purpose would remain unfulfilled.

How much raw black beans can make you sick?

Black beans do not need to be eaten too much in number to see the visible symptoms of sickness in your body. If consumed raw and uncooked, only four to five raw black beans are enough to trigger the symptoms of sickness in your body.

Four to five black beans are sufficient to make you sick. If you are allergic to raw food or beans, then only 1 or 2 can cause you health problems. As a result, it is always advised that you only intake black beans once they are properly boiled or cooked.

How can you check if the black beans are undercooked?

Once the black beans are added to the water for boiling, you need to keep checking the bowl or the pan in which they are getting boiled after every five to seven minutes. The sign of cooked black beans lies in the fact that they get soft when they are cooked.

Undercooked black beans do not turn out to be tender. They remain hard and they still contain phytohaemagglutinin which can harm your health if consumed in excess or if the black beans are eaten raw.

To check whether the black beans are cooked or not, you can use a fork to poke the black beans. If the beans get poked and you are conveniently able to insert the fork into the black beans, it denotes that the beans are properly cooked and they are ready to eat.

Is eating undercooked beans safe?

No, it is not at all safe to eat undercooked beans. Eating undercooked or raw black beans can lead to lectin poisoning. Lectin poisoning happens when the concentration of a compound called phytohaemagglutinin increases in your body.

Phytohaemagglutinin is a toxic substance that is present in raw or uncooked beans. It is not at all released or removed from the beans until and unless the beans are not cooked or boiled properly.

It is thus the case that eating undercooked beans is not a safe choice. It can trigger symptoms related to food poisonings such as nausea, vomiting, slight fever, weakness, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Even 4 to 5 raw beans, if eaten can cause food poisoning.

Do black beans need to be cooked before eating?

Yes, it is extremely important and necessary to properly boil and cook the black beans before eating them. Uncooked black beans can lead to lectin poisoning which can severely worsen your body and health.

Although the concentration of the toxic compound phytohaemagglutinin is lesser in black beans than in other beans such as kidney beans, the amount is enough to hinder your health.

Although black beans are an amazing source of protein, antioxidants, micronutrients, and fiber, these are only effective if the black beans are properly cooked and boiled before they are consumed to eat.

They have many benefits as long as your health is concerned, but these benefits only come into effect when the black beans are boiled and cooked properly before eating. Undercooked beans can result in lectin poisoning or food poisoning.

How to cook black beans?

The first step in cooking black beans is to boil the beans. The beans need to be boiled and simmered for about 1 or 1 and a half hours. You need to constantly check that the beans get tender before you move to the next step. It nearly takes 90 to 100 minutes to make the black beans tender. The water used for boiling can be plain or salted as per your requirements.

Furthermore, once the beans are boiled and cooked properly, you can add salt, pepper, and the vegetables of your choice to enhance the taste and flavor of the cooked beans. You can add sauces to the beans too. Also, you can eat black beans with rice or any other thing you like.

Is it OK to eat raw black beans?

According to a US-based study, it is absolutely inappropriate to eat raw black beans. It is not OK to consume raw black beans. This is for the reason that black beans, if raw, contain phytohaemagglutinin. Phytohaemagglutinin is a toxic compound that can trigger symptoms of lectin poisoning and food poisoning if it is intaken by a person.

As a result, it is never advised eating raw black beans directly without cooking them. Black beans should undergo the necessary process of being cooked and boiled, only then they should be considered ideal for eating by an individual. At times, even undercooked black beans can cause sickness. Therefore, always ensure to cook the beans properly before eating them.


1) Can Black Beans Give You Food Poisoning? What are raw black beans poisoning symptoms?

1) Yes, if raw or uncooked black beans are consumed by an individual, he or she is likely to experience the symptoms that are clearly associated with food poisoning. Having eaten raw black beans can trigger the following food poisoning symptoms-




•Abdominal cramps



Therefore, it is always suggested and advised to eat black beans only when they are properly boiled and cooked.

2) Ate Raw Beans? Here’s How to Avoid Lectin Poisoning.

2) If you have eaten raw beans there are likely chances that you will get lectin poisoning. Lectin poisoning shows symptoms like vomiting, nausea, stomach ache, slight fever, and weakness.

Raw beans contain phytohaemagglutinin which is the major reason behind a person getting lectin poisoning. To avoid lectin poisoning, you can follow the given steps-

•Use high heating methods, that is boiling or stewing the beans under the influence of high temperature so that the phytohemagglutinin present in the black beans is killed and removed and nothing toxic remains in the black beans.

• Always ensure to properly cook the raw black beans before eating them. Half-cooked beans can result in sickness and illness too. Therefore, cook the black beans until they become tender and soft.

3) Can you eat black beans from a can without cooking them?

3) No, black beans should not be eaten directly from a can without being cooked. Uncooked black beans are seen to cause lectin poisoning even if only 5 to 6 beans are consumed. However, black beans are a healthy choice for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, but none should consume them raw or uncooked.

Black beans should be properly boiled and cooked at the desired temperature to ensure that the toxic substance phytohaemagglutinin is removed from the black beans and they have become safe to eat.

Final Thoughts

Black beans are very rich in proteins, fibers, micronutrients, and antioxidants. You just need to ensure that the black beans are properly cooked. You should only eat the black beans once they get soft and tender.

If the black beans are left uncooked, it can lead to severe illness and sickness.

Symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea can be seen in a person if raw black beans are consumed. 4 to 5 black beans are enough to trigger the symptoms of sickness in your body.

Thank you for reading this article. If you have any queries regarding this topic please feel free to contact us we will be more than happy to help you.

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