Can You Eat Potatoes Raw?

Fozia Sherazi, Dr of Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences

Written by Fozia Sherazi, Dr of Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences. Updated on March 12, 2023.

The potato, scientifically known as Solanum tuberosum, is a perennial plant that belongs to the Solanaceae, or nightshade family. It is most often cultivated for its edible starchy tuber.

The nightshade family also includes eggplants, bell peppers, and tomatoes.

Regarding fresh food, potatoes are the fourth most extensively farmed crop in the world after rice, wheat, and maize.

Native to the Andes in South America, the potato has been an important food crop for centuries.

The potato is believed to have originated in the region of modern-day Peru and was taken to Europe by the Spanish in the late 1500s.

In the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors brought potatoes back to Europe from their travels in Peru and Chile.

By the early 1700s, potatoes had become a staple food in Europe and the British Isles. This was due to their versatility, affordability, and ease of cultivation.

Potatoes quickly spread across the world, becoming a popular staple food due to their hardiness and ability to grow in cold climates.

It is estimated that over 4,000 varieties of potatoes exist in the world today, and they continue to be a staple in many diets due to their versatility and nutritional value.

Potatoes have become a dietary staple in many cultures worldwide and have played an important role in global food production and nutrition.

They have been known for their extensive culinary uses, ranging from classic potato chips, mashed potatoes, and French fries to a wide range of creative recipes.

Potatoes are normally consumed and cooked in a variety of ways, such as baking, boiling, frying, grilling, and roasting.

Eating raw potatoes may be hazardous to your health due to the presence of indigestible components.

What To Do If You Eat Undercooked Potatoes?

Eating raw or undercooked potatoes can cause health problems as the potatoes contain compounds such as solanine and chaconine, which are difficult to digest.

Furthermore, consuming raw or undercooked potatoes can also result in digestive issues such as nausea, abdominal pain, and cramps.

To avoid potential health problems, it is important to always cook potatoes thoroughly before consuming them.

When cooking potatoes, it is important to ensure they have reached an internal temperature of at least 165°F or 74°C. This can be done by boiling, baking, roasting, or microwaving the potatoes.

Additionally, it is important to check for doneness with a food thermometer to ensure that the potatoes have reached the necessary temperature.

If you have consumed undercooked potatoes, you are at risk of food poisoning from bacteria such as Salmonella or E. coli.

If you experience any of the symptoms associated with food poisoning, such as abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and/or fever, seek medical attention right away.

Can Eating Raw Potatoes Give You Worms?

Consuming raw potatoes is not known to cause worms, but it can result in food poisoning if the potatoes are not cooked to a safe temperature.

Potatoes need to be cooked to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit in order to kill harmful bacteria.

If not cooked to a safe temperature, consuming raw potatoes can result in foodborne illness, which may cause symptoms such as abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and/or fever.

Furthermore, raw potatoes contain enzyme inhibitors that can interfere with digestion. For these reasons, it is important to cook potatoes to ensure they are safe for consumption thoroughly.

Benefits of Eating Potatoes

Despite the risks associated with consuming raw potatoes, there are many benefits to eating them cooked. Cooked potatoes are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.

Potatoes contain many essential nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C.

Some of the health benefits of eating potatoes are given below:


Potatoes are also rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that can protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

These antioxidants include flavonoids such as quercetin and anthocyanins, which are believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties as well.

Immunity-Boosting Properties

Potatoes contain vitamins and minerals that can help boost your immune system, including vitamin C, copper, and iron.

Vitamin C is essential for producing white blood cells, key immune system components that help fight off infection.

Copper and iron are important for producing red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body to help boost energy levels and fight fatigue.

Digestive Health

Potatoes are also a great source of dietary fiber, which is important for keeping your digestive system healthy.

Fiber helps keep your gut bacteria balanced and aids in digestion, which can help to prevent bloating, gas, and other digestive issues.

Neurologic Health

Potatoes are rich in vitamin B6, which is important for neurological health.

Vitamin B6 plays an important role in producing serotonin and other neurotransmitters, which regulate mood, appetite, and sleep cycles.

Additionally, vitamin B6 helps your body produce norepinephrine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), both of which are neurotransmitters that may help reduce stress and anxiety.

Side Effects of Eating Potatoes Raw

Eating potatoes raw can also cause digestive issues, as raw potatoes contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase that is responsible for producing toxins.

This can lead to stomach cramps, bloating, and diarrhea if consumed in large amounts. Additionally, the consumption of raw potatoes has been linked to nutritional deficiencies.

Raw potatoes contain very little protein and are high in carbohydrates, so they can lead to malnutrition if they become a staple of one’s diet.

For these reasons, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers of consuming raw potatoes.


Potatoes belong to the nightshade, or Solanaceae, family.

They are grown for their edible tubers. Potatoes originated in Peru thousands of years ago and spread worldwide due to their versatility and nutritional value.

Potatoes are an incredibly versatile crop, with over 4,000 varieties worldwide.

They can be eaten boiled, mashed, fried, or baked and are used as an ingredient in soups, stews, casseroles, and many other dishes.

Potatoes are also a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.

Eating potatoes raw can be dangerous, as some varieties contain toxins that can cause illness if consumed in large quantities.

For these reasons, cooking potatoes thoroughly before consuming them is important.

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