Lentils and other legumes are dangerous when eaten raw because all beans, including lentils, contain lectins which can be harmful to humans. They can be made safe to eat by either cooking them thoroughly or sprouting them.
The simple answer is yes, undercooked or raw lentils are harmful to the human body.
A frequent query we ran across in our research was “What happens if you eat undercooked lentils?”.
It is best not to consume raw or undercooked lentils When lentils are raw, they contain lectin protein that sticks to the digestive tract and results in various unpleasant reactions. Raw legumes are estimated to cause around 20% of food poisoning cases worldwide, and eating raw lentils can leave you vomiting or diarrhea.
Can you eat a whole lentil?
Despite their versatility in meals, you can’t necessarily eat lentils in any form. Like other legumes such as beans, lentils are not eaten raw, unless they are sprouted first. You’ll also gain the nutritional benefits by cooking mature lentils and eating them plain.
Technically speaking, lentils can last a few years on a shelf and will not make you sick even if they are past their expiry date, they will still be safe to eat. The main problem is that the texture will not be the same.
Do lentils have lectins in them?
Beans, including lentils, contain a glycoprotein called lectins. While some lectins are not harmful to humans, those found in raw or undercooked beans are. And though many vegetables are more nutritious raw, beans become more nutritious when cooked and must be boiled to destroy the lectins which makes them safe to eat.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of lentils?
They have a deep, earthy flavor, firm texture and are especially good in salads. There are no disadvantages of eating pulses such as lentils. The more lentils you eat, the more health benefits you’ll receive. Lentils contain a wealth of B vitamins as well as minerals necessary for your health.