What Happens To Your Body If You Eat An Apple Core

An apple a day really does keep the doctor away. Apples have many health benefits, and eating them with the peel on them is the best way. The peel is where all the fiber is (via Eat This, Not That). If you peel your apple and throw away the skin, you're missing out on 30% of the vitamin C, half the fiber, over 300% more vitamin K, about 70% vitamin A, and 30% potassium and calcium. Apple skin also contains a prebiotic fiber called pectin, which is excellent for your gut health. 

So, what about the apple core? You most likely ditch the core because it's what you were taught to do as a kid. You may have heard that the apple seeds, located in the middle of the apple, are poisonous. The University of Illinois Extension explains that apples have five seed pockets, and each one contains seeds. How many seeds varies depending on how healthy the apple is and which variety. Should you eat the apple core? Will it poison you?

The average whole apple won't harm you

Apple seeds contain amygdalin, a plant compound that can be toxic. When chewed or otherwise crushed, amygdalin turns into hydrogen cyanide — a poisonous gas (via the University of Leeds). You've probably read some mystery novels about cyanide poisoning, but what does eating apple cores do? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, "The extent of poisoning caused by cyanide depends on the amount of cyanide a person is exposed to, the route of exposure, and the length of time that a person is exposed." But does an apple really contain enough to hurt you?

A 2019 study published in the Frontiers in Microbiology found that there's more to the nutrition in apples than antioxidants and fiber. Apples contain good bacteria that benefit gut health, most of which exist in the core, apple seeds, and stem. One apple typically has about 100 million bacterial cells, and if you don't eat the core, you only get about 10 million bacteria cells. The study also showed that organic apples had better bacteria than conventional apples.

At this point, it seems like eating the whole apple may not be such a bad idea. But what about the seeds? Nothing to worry about. While apple seeds can be poisonous, you would need to chew and swallow at least 150 apple seeds for them to be fatal. The average apple has about five to eight seeds. Swallowing such a small amount without chewing them is harmless (via Britannica).