Imagine – it’s Sunday night and you have a delicious smoothie sitting in front of you. You are enjoying every bite when suddenly – ouch – you chew on something hard. Oh no. It’s a seed that you did not remove. This actually happens to many people very often, especially when it’s a fruit as small as a cherry.
Although chewing a fruit seed may seem pretty harmless, you should know that it can cause you more problems than just a strange taste in your mouth and slight pain in your jaw. And that’s exactly what we want to educate you about. Stay tuned, because you will find this article very informative.
LET US START WITH WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SWALLOW A FRUIT PIT
Some of us do not like to waste anything in the kitchen. No, no, do not jump to conclusions. We do remove the pits from the cherries, but the syrup from the cherry pits is too delicious to throw away, is not it? So would it really be harmful to the body if we just suck on it a little?
Well, as long as the pit stays in your mouth, it should actually be fine. But if you accidentally chew and swallow it, you could be putting yourself in serious danger. The pits of fruits like cherries, apricots, plums, and peaches contain a compound called amygdalin, which turns into prussic acid if swallowed. And you know what hydrogen cyanide is, do not you?
SO, DOES THAT MEAN FRUITS WITH STONY PITS SHOULD NOT BE CONSUMED?
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), it’s okay to swallow raw whole seeds, even on purpose. Research proves that a 150-pound man can swallow 703 milligrams of seeds a day without harm.
In cherries, 200 cherry pits, or one ounce, contain 117 milligrams of hydrogen cyanide. In apricots and peaches, the amount is slightly higher: apricots contain 432 milligrams and peaches 203 milligrams of these substances. So you can do the math pretty well.
The Food Safety Guide says that hydrogen cyanide does not really survive cooking because it’s not a substance that can remain stable over high heat. That explains all the calls for roasted stone fruit seeds!
But come to think of it, the whole idea is really confusing. Although research proves the existence of prussic acid in stone fruit kernels, the NIH states that it can not do harm in certain amounts. If you ask us, it’s probably wiser not to consume stone fruit seeds to be on the safe side. Do not you agree?
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you are stressed because you accidentally swallowed a fruit pit, you can relax. You can take comfort in the fact that this will not immediately end your life. And regardless of how delicious you think the fruit juice coating the pit is, keep in mind the danger you could be in if the small stone gets into your intestines.