Most nutritionists recommend that we should eat an apple with its skin, so we could get the benefit from its fiber. However, don’t eat apple with its seeds. Apple’s seed contains amygdalin that can be changed in our digestive organs into hydrogen cyanide. This substance is toxic. Of course if we only eat one apple, the toxic effect from the seed will be small.
Apple is not the only fruit that contains amygdalin. Other fruits that contain the substance are apricot, peach, plum, almond and quince. Amygdalin level in apple is small and its seeds should be chewed well to make the substance gone. Amygdalin is toxin glycoside that if it is joined with digestive enzyme, it will create hydrogen cyanid, the poison is also called as Cylon B. This poison used in genocide in concentration camps in World War II.
However, fruits or seeds that contain amygdalin can be processed to remove the toxin. For example, cassava has high cyanogen level, but it can be processed as tapioca flour. Cooking also can make cyanogen in cassava becomes dangerous. In other case, poison that is found in almond can be removed with another process.
Amygdalin that has been changed into hydrogen cyanide can be dangerous because it will reduce the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen. Even though body can remove small amount of hydrogen cyanide, but high-level of hydrogen cyanide can cause fatal effects. Someone who is poisoned with it will suffer shaking, limp, nausea, throw up, heart beats fast and headache. High amount of hydrogen cyanide will cause blown, coma, respiratory failure, low blood pressure, lung damage and even death.
But, you don’t have to worry if you just eat one seed of apple because it won’t get us poisoned. Rough seed surface keeps the poison remain in the seed, so it can be digested safely. However, don’t try to bite the seeds. And, you should be aware if your children might accidentally eat the seeds since children could have low tolerance toward amygdalin.
To make everything safer, remove the seeds before you eat or give an apple to your children.