You might want to stop and rethink what you are about to do the next time you plan to bite into one of your favorite fruits as it could lead to your death. That old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t necessarily always true. If you aren’t careful when consuming your next piece of fruit, you could actually end up at your doctor’s office, or worse, at your own funeral. Yes, you read that correctly, I said your own funeral.
You know those pesky seeds and pits inside of apples, cherries, peaches and apricots? Yes, those nasty, bitter seeds that you want to avoid biting into at all cost. Well, it turns out they are bitter to us for good reason. They can be toxic and if you ate enough of them, they could kill you. Those seeds contain amygdalin and after meeting the acids in our digestive system, it turns into cyanide (Nosowitz, 2015). Yes cyanide, that lovely chemical that can be fatal to humans (Nosowitz, 2015). Needless to say, you don’t want to go around chewing on the pits and seeds of these fruits for your midnight snack. You actually don’t even want to suck on the seeds as that could be enough to cause the production of cyanide.
If you enjoy an occasional BLT, salad with all the fixings or anything that could have that tomato fruit in it, you’ll want to take precautions as well. The tomato itself isn’t the issue but you’ll want to watch out for the roots, leaves and stem on these delectable pieces of fruit. They contain tomatine, an alkaloid that can be toxic to humans, and eating enough of it could be fatal (Nosowitz, 2015). Sure, accidentally eating one leaf or seed probably isn’t going to kill you, but I would prefer not to take that risk.
It may seem obvious, don’t eat the seeds and pits of cherries, apples, peaches and apricots; don’t eat the stems, leaves and roots of a tomato, they’re not pleasing to the taste buds anyway, but it might not be that simple to some. If you were unaware of the possible toxicity of these fruits, when throwing together an apple pie or biting into a mouthwatering bowl of cherry jubilee, you could ingest the seeds in that mouthful of deliciousness without hesitation. What you thought was just a normal afternoon snack could end up with a stay in the hospital. In an article published by the US National Library of Medicine (2010), the average time to notice symptoms of cyanide intoxication after ingesting apricot seeds was only 60 minutes. Their study was done on 13 different patients. Luckily, all patients survived the toxicity but convulsions and even comas were experienced by some. Who would have thought that you could be put in a coma because of a fruit that you consumed? We are constantly told “eat your fruits,” they provide your body with the nutrition it needs and help you keep on keeping on but it is clearly imperative to take precautions when eating them.
If you have small children, this could be dangerous as well. Their small bodies can handle even less than adults can and if you weren’t paying attention, some of these potentially toxic seeds could enter their digestive tracts. This could warrant a trip to the ICU in some cases. That tiny child that was just skipping and dancing around could end up in INTENSIVE CARE because of a fruit that they consumed, if they happened to eat the wrong part of it. There are lots of garden plants that’s toxic as well.
It may seem silly, I’m certain you and everyone you know have probably been eating fruits your entire life and nobody you know has died from it yet but knowing that you could, if you aren’t careful, is enough to put anyone on alert. The seeds and pits inside many of the fruits you or your family consume on a daily basis are no joke. The cyanide that is created from ingesting them has been proven to be lethal, and that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Of course, you should still eat your fruits and give your body those wonderful vitamins it so badly desires but always make sure to be careful before ingesting them. The next time you mix up that fruit smoothie or bite into that plump piece of fruit, make sure you aren’t eating the seeds with it. I’m sure you don’t want that meal to be your last.