But did you know that some fruit seeds can be extremely dangerous for your health?
A quick example.
In July 2017 Matthew Crème, 28, a young father of three from Blackpool, UK, had been savoring some delicious cherries when he bit into a cherry pit (also called stones sometimes: that’s the hard thing inside each cherry). The pit broke open, and Matthew found a seed inside: he tried it out and found it delicious. He broke two more pits and ate the little seeds inside.
In 10 minutes, Matthew was on the verge of death. He was rushed to the emergency room and taken good care of, no worries. But the moral of this story remains valid: not all fruit seeds are good for you. Some are, literally, quite the killers, because they contain amygdalin.
Amygdalin is a natural biochemical that’s made of cyanide and sugar, roughly speaking. And yep, cyanide, in case you didn’t know, is one of the most dangerous substances in the world.
What is cyanide and what it does?
Cyanide is among the top 10 deadliest toxins known to science, with a lethal dose of 1.5 mg/kg of body weight. And the initial symptoms of toxicity start from 0.3-0.5 mg/kg of body weight. Wonder how it feels like?
Cyanide poisoning feels pretty much like you’ve suddenly hiked to some kind of absurd height. Symptoms include (but aren’t limited to):
- Shortness of breath
- Headaches and dizziness
- Bizarre, strange behavior, anxiety
- Extreme sleepiness and coma
Everything starts just a couple of minutes after you ingest the stuff and progresses at astonishing rates. If an antidote isn’t administered promptly, it’s the end of the line for the hapless pal. No getting around it, and hardly coming back.
I bet that’s not exactly what you want and expect from snacking on seeds, right? Right. There should be better ways to keep your appetite and cravings at bay.
Now, let’s take a look at the top 5 fruit seeds you should never eat if you want to stay healthy and alive.
Seed #5: Pears
Okay, let’s start slowly: pears. I know a lot of people who stack on them as a snack because a single pear can destroy your hunger almost instantly. That’s no wonder, taken the 8 g of pure sugar in every gram of the fruit, plus 1.5 g of dietary fibers. Not the best choice for someone striving to lose weight, but great if you’re just looking for a natural way to chase your hunger away.
That’s cool, but stay away from pear seeds: they contain 1.3 mg of amygdaline in every gram. That’s a bit less that one mg of amygdaline in each seed—not exactly dangerous, but potentially harmful if you decide to pass on the fruit and stay with just the seeds. Don’t fool yourself: these seeds aren’t healthy at all.
Seed #4: Peaches
No matter how you look at it, peaches aren’t the best option to control your appetite. With whole 8 g of sugar in each 100 g of the fruit, you will get full quickly, but not for long. Simple sugars are processed extremely fast in your body, so hunger will return soon enough to persuade you into another snack (and more sugars, of course).
Nevertheless, peaches are also rich in Magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and dietary fiber. So, they actually have their own health benefits you should consider, but not their seeds. With 2.2 mg/g of amygdalin, this is a relatively low amount (wait until you read about the seeds number 2 and 1 on this list), but should still be avoided, especially in children and the elderly.
Seed #3: Red Cherries
Hands down, cherries are great and super beneficial for you. These beauties contain a terrific amount of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fibers, carotenoids, and all sorts of other nutrients that could improve your health.
That’s the all-win scenario of consuming cherries, but only if you keep away from the seeds. Remember the story of our buddy Matthew at the beginning of this article? Chances are he didn’t know cherry seeds have a whopping 3.9 mg of amygdaline per gram of seeds.
Most likely, it will be hard to die of cherry-seed-cyanide-poisoning, but getting sick as hell won’t be a problem at all if you eat a couple of the little fellas.
Seed #2: Apricot
God, I love apricots. They’re fabulous in jams, make terrific pies, and in dried form are among the best on-the-go snacks to carry with wherever you go.
But whatever you do, don’t eat what’s inside their pits. Apricot seeds are the second best killer on this list. If I mentioned that the amount of amygdaline in cherries is whopping, then there’s no adjective to describe apricot’s 14.4 mg/g. That’s almost 4 times deadlier than a cherry!
True, it’s not that often that you break an apricot pit accidentally while eating the fruit, but the danger might come from a somewhat different source. You see, the pits of ripe apricots might open by themselves, as if “preparing” to let go of the seed. And certain overly curious folks might look inside the broken pit, find a pretty seed and assume it’s safe to eat.
Eating apricot seeds is a terrible idea; 3 or 4 of them might actually kill you.
Seed #1: Greengage
Sweet and juicy, this seasonal green fruit is loved all around and features in hundreds of delicious recipes. But guess what? None of them contains greengage seeds, for one simple reason.
Their amygdalin amount is absurdly high, about 17.5 mg/g of seeds. Eat a couple of those, and you’re definitely in for feeling sick as hell. Eat a bit more, and you’re likely to end up in the emergency ward (at best).
Nothing to add here. Pure danger. Keep away from greengage seeds, seriously.
6 tips to safely control your appetite
If you’re trying to control your food intake, try these alternatives to eating seeds:
Drink a lot of water
One of the factors that contribute to the development of hunger is the state of your stomach’s walls. When they are stretched (full stomach), your hunger is suppressed. When the stomach is empty and its walls relaxed, hunger is much more likely to strike. If you don’t like to drink tap water, you could get a filter, but never substitute it with sodas.
Fibers, fibers, fibers
These are a special type of carbs that aren’t digested by your body, BUT they help you to keep your stomach full and your sugar metabolism at bay. Of all available options to control hunger, fibers are among the best ones.
Choose complex carbs over simple sugars
Sugars give you a brief spike of energy and fullness which will most likely vanish in the following hour or two. Complex carbs (starchy vegetables, oats, legumes) will provide you with a lot of energy over an extended period of time, so you will be less likely to feel hungry soon.
Don’t eat what you’re not sure of
This is one of the main problems with the seeds listed in this article: people just aren’t sure of what they’re eating, but eat it nevertheless. That’s not very wise. Never eat something you don’t know what consists of. Who knows? Maybe it has a lot of sugars, fats, or even some nasty amygdalin.
Try out a powerful hunger-killer
Instead of snacking on dubious foods and fearing that this still won’t be enough to maintain your hunger, you could try out a diet that’s famous for its hunger-suppressing properties. A bright example is the time-tested HCG diet, to control appetite and let the numbers speak for themselves: less than 1% of people experience significant hunger when following the protocol. My guess is that’s the main reason why this is one of the most effective diets ever created.
The logic behind this advice is simple: sleep replenishes your energy resources, and so does food. If you get less energy from one of these sources, the second one will try to persuade you to draw vigor from it. Sleep bad – feel hungry. – crave less!
To wrap it up
Fruits are great, and so are many seeds. However, these seeds are an absolute no-go regardless of the situation: greengage, apricot, cherry, peach, and pear. Most of them aren’t likely to kill you but can ensure you’ll feel sick for a good couple of days.
If you want some fabulous seeds to snack on and control your hunger, try this out instead: chia, hemp, flax, sunflower, pumpkin. Eat them as-is, add them to your yogurt or salad, make some crunchy low-carb cookies. The options are endless, and they’re all amygdalin-safe.
Want to learn about balanced nutrition and take vacations at the same time? Try a yoga and cooking retreat and get to see the benefits of these and more seeds!
Have questions? Contact Gracy on G+.