You may have taken some precautions while eating this crunchy snack as word on the street is that their tiny seeds can kill you!

Well, it turns out that’s not completely true. You’d have to try really hard to feel any negative effects from swallowing apple seeds. Keep reading to find out how apple seeds got their deadly reputation and why this fruit is far from fatal under normal circumstances.

A Seed of Truth

Apple seeds contain amygdalin, which is a cyanogenic glycoside composed of cyanide and sugar. When amygdalin is metabolized by the body, it disintegrates into HCN, otherwise known as hydrogen cyanide (in fancy terms). HCN is highly poisonous and can result in death within a few minutes — if enough is consumed.

Luckily for apple lovers, the amygdalin in apple seeds is only active if the seeds are crushed. Plus, the human body can process HCN in small amounts, which means it would take a ton of seeds to actually do damage — anywhere between 100 and 500 to be exact.

Appley Ever After

To put it in perspective, one apple contains approximately 5-8 seeds, which is nowhere close to the hundreds that can cause illness or death. A few whole apple seeds that are swallowed on accident will simply pass through the digestive system without harm.

To err on the side of caution, we recommend avoiding apple seeds if possible. Although, continue to eat your apple a day because they do provide lots of nutritional benefit and of course, a delicious taste!

By Sam McCormack, contributor for


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