Can You Eat Apple Cores?

We all know the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." And this old adage has some truth in it — especially if you enjoy the apple with its skin on, which has much higher concentrations of vitamins and fiber than its sweet flesh (via WebMD). In fact, this fruit is touted for warding off certain diseases and improving heart, lung, and bone health. 

But what about the forbidden center of the apple? Well, when it comes to the core of the apple, there is the concern of cyanide poisoning, which is the biggest reason why people have avoided eating the core of an apple for most of history, per Britannica. The amygdalin content in the apple seeds becomes processed as hydrogen cyanide once the seeds are chewed and digested. To stay safe, you probably end up maneuvering your teeth around woody seeds to get as much fruit as you can. But what if you were able to skip all the hassle and eat the whole thing, stem and all? 

Yes, but it's probably not worth it

Apparently, the seeds of an apple are edible and so is the branch-like stem, although there is little to say about how delicious these parts really are. The core of the apple contains most of the gut-healthy bacteria in the apple, similar to those you would find in probiotic foods like yogurt, kombucha, and kimchi, per a 2019 study in Frontiers of Microbiology. These bacteria are incredibly important for gut health and overall health since they can promote a healthy digestive tract, prevent lung infections, and improve immunity against diseases, according to Healthline. That being said, apple cores can be added to the list of foods that diversify your microbiome.

As for the cyanide issue, thankfully, humans can digest tiny bits of cyanide without any harmful effects. So having one or two whole apples a day isn't fatal, but if you tend to eat around 20 apples a day, that could potentially lead to cyanide poisoning (per Britannica). In the end, eating the core of an apple is definitely possible, but having yogurt might be a much more pleasurable experience that gives you a comporable amount of healthy gut bacteria.