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Are apple seeds poisonous?

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"An apple a day keeps the doctor away," goes the old saying. But if you accidentally swallow an apple seed, do you need to go to the emergency room?

It's true that apple seeds are poisonous, but you would need to chew a lot of them to do any real harm. There is a type of cyanide in the seeds of fruits like apples, pears and cherries. Cyanide can be dangerous when it metabolizes or has a chemical reaction in your digestive system. Since the poison is only released if the seed is crushed, swallowing a whole seed won't hurt you. In fact, some nutritionists recommend eating the whole apple – seeds, core and all!

Of course, if you find yourself in the middle of a fairy tale and you take an apple from a suspicious-looking old woman, that's a completely different story...

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