Can Eating Apple Seeds Make You Sick?

At this point, you've probably heard the old saying that "eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away." While this isn't the case for everyone, there is some truth to this expression. Apples have a variety of health benefits and are loaded with fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, according to Healthline. The delicious fruit has even been linked to decreasing your chance of getting certain diseases like diabetes and cancer.

If you're looking to add more apples to your diet, Nutritionist Sara Gold Anzolovar recommends adding them to salads or incorporating them into a grilled cheese sandwich, per Everyday Health. We recommend trying our easy apple grilled cheese recipe, which is sweet and savory, featuring gooey cheddar and crispy Rave apples. Anzolovar also suggests adding the fruit to desserts or pairing them with pulled chicken in the slow cooker.

"All apples offer benefits, though the nutrition and antioxidant content will vary slightly from one apple to another — the best one to eat is the kind you enjoy," she explained. But while we know they are nutritious and taste great, is there danger if you eat the apple seeds found inside?

Apple seeds contain low amounts of hydrogen cyanide

Even though it can be scary to accidentally swallow some seeds while you're enjoying an apple, it's most likely not dangerous. Medical News Today reports eating a few is completely safe — it's only if you've ingested large quantities of mashed or crushed apple seeds that it could be deadly. The fruit's seeds do have low doses of hydrogen cyanide in them, which accounts for 0.6 milligrams. However, for hydrogen cyanide to be lethal, you'd have to ingest around 50 to 300 milligrams, or, as Healthline claims, about 200 apple seeds, chewed, or around 40 cores of apples.

So while apple seeds can be fatal or cause some sickness if swallowed in large amounts, eating the quantity found in an apple won't likely be an issue. If you do, however, experience any type of food poisoning symptoms like a high fever or vomiting that prevents you from keeping liquids down, the CDC recommends contacting your doctor right away. But again, don't worry if you've just eaten a few!