Can you eat raw soybeans?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “can you eat raw soybeans?”. It also talks about the potential negative consequences of eating it raw. 

Can you eat raw soybeans?

No, you must not try to eat them raw. Soybeans are high in ascorbic acid, Ca, Fe,  proteins & fiber. The level of cholesterol present in them is also less. 

Still, it must be eaten cooked because they have the capacity to make you sick and toxic enough to be the cause of your death. The stiff and bitter pods of soybeans make them unsuitable to consume raw. Experts advise people interested in trying it to reconsider and at the very least steam them first.

Many plant foods are completely fine to consume raw, but soybeans aren’t one of them. Some of the components included in raw soybeans can cause digestive troubles in the short term, as well as long-term health problems. 

Some of the harmful health effects of raw soybeans can be mitigated by cooking or fermenting.

Is it true that raw soybeans are poisonous?

Yes, raw soybeans can be poisonous. Raw soybeans are dangerous, thus they must be cooked. 

Tofu, soy milk, and a variety of dairy and meat replacements all contain soy. It’s also found in fermented foods like miso, natto, and tempeh, all of which are popular in Asian countries. Soybeans can be eaten whole, and the immature varieties are referred to as edamame

Nutritional information

Soybeans are mostly made up of protein, but they also include significant amounts of carbohydrates and fat. 

The following nutritional information for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of boiling soybeans:

  • 173 calories
  • 63 percent water
  • 16.6 g of protein
  • 9.9 g of carbohydrates
  • 3 g of sugar
  • 6 grams of carbs
  • 9 g of fat
  • saturated fat is 1.3gm
  • 0.6 gm of omega-3
  • 4.47 g Omega-6

What will happen if you consume raw soybeans?

Effects of Lectin

Lectins, glycoproteins that bind to carbohydrates in cells, are found in soybeans. In the gastrointestinal tract, this can cause cell death or injury. Lectins can adhere to the intestinal walls, causing cell damage and nutritional absorption problems as well as gastrointestinal side effects in the short term.

Because lectins aren’t broken down by enzymes in the colon like most proteins, the body can’t use them. Lectins can disrupt the usual balance of microorganisms in the colon as well as the digestive system’s immune system.

Soybeans contain saponins.

Because heating does not break down this toxin like it does lectins, saponins, a component found in soybeans, can induce negative effects either eaten raw or cooked. 

Saponins, on the other hand, can be broken down by enzymes used in fermentation. Saponins, like lectin, can harm intestinal cells if consumed in large quantities. 

It also gives raw soybeans a harsh taste. Some of the saponins in soybeans can be leached away during cooking, reducing the bitter flavor.

Inhibitors of Proteases

Protease inhibitors are proteins found in raw soybeans that prevent specific enzymes from working. Raw soybeans can inhibit the pancreatic enzyme elastin, which aids digestion by breaking down proteins in meat. 

According to the textbook “Food Safety and Toxicity,” cooking soybeans at 212 degrees F for 15 to 30 minutes boosts their nutritional value since protease inhibitors are heat-sensitive.

Potential Negative Consequences

Raw soybeans include lectins and saponins, which can produce severe nausea, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Ingestion in significant amounts can result in weight loss, failure to thrive, or death. 

If you eat a lot of raw soybeans, it can harm your organs and tissues in the long run. Raw soybeans contain lectins, which can cause agglutination, or clumping, in red blood cells, resulting in hemolytic anemia and jaundice.

According to the American Nutrition Association, certain components in raw soybeans, including lectins and saponins, may impact thyroid function.

Severe Gastric Distress

Raw soybeans can induce a variety of symptoms in different persons. The stomach and intestines are responsible for the majority of the symptoms. 

Raw soybeans cause a lot of diarrhea. Instead of nausea or vomiting, stomach ache is often experienced by few people which is followed by nausea/vomiting.


When raw soybeans are consumed, some people develop dizziness. It’s unclear whether dizziness is the only symptom or if nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea are also present.

Read: Other Toxic Raw Vegetables

Inhibitors of Enzymes

Protease inhibitors found in soybeans prevent digestive enzymes from operating properly. Food is broken down by digestive enzymes so that it can be digested. 

The food is indigestible if these enzymes are prevented from operating. That’s why raw soybeans cause so much stomach discomfort. The protease inhibitors in soybeans are destroyed after cooking, allowing them to be digested.

Nutrients are blocked by phytic acid.

Phytic acid is present in soya beans in large amounts, which prevents the body from absorbing nutrients. Because phytic acid is destroyed during cooking, soybeans provide absorbable nutrients.

Other FAQs about Soybeans that you may be interested in.

Can you eat soy on keto?

Does Natto Go Bad


In this short article, we answered the question, “can you eat raw soybeans?”. It also discussed the potential negative consequences of eating it raw. 


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