Be careful friends, it turns out that there are at least 5 kinds of delicious fruit that we often consume whose seeds contain cyanide! So, hearing the word cyanide, our minds will come back to an incident in 2016 where a person died from drinking coffee mixed with cyanide poison. Danger, isn’t it? Especially if the ones containing cyanide are delicious fruits and we usually consume them, how about that? Don’t worry, in this article we will provide detailed information about what cyanide is and which fruits contain it.
What is Cyanide and Why is it Deadly?
As quoted from several health sites, the term cyanide refers to chemicals that contain carbon-nitrogen (CN) bonds. Many substances contain cyanide, but not all of them are lethal poisons. Sodium cyanide (NaCN), potassium cyanide (KCN), hydrogen cyanide (HCN), and cyanogen chloride (CNCl) are deadly, but thousands of compounds called nitriles contain the cyanide group but are not toxic. This substance consists of several forms, some are solid, liquid, or gas. There’s hydrogen cyanide, there’s cyanogen chloride, there’s calcium cyanide, and potassium cyanide.
It turns out that cyanide has a long history and its designation is not used as a weapon as it is today. This substance was originally used in the mining world, namely as a binder for the precious metal gold. Miners use this substance by amalgamation technique. By using cyanide, the gold content that can be obtained can reach 89 – 95%. This is certainly much better than other methods which only reach 40 – 50%.
When the world war broke out, scientists looked at other potential uses of cyanide. Then this substance was transferred to its function as a dangerous chemical substance and began to be used for genocide and suicide poison. In other words, this substance is included in an effective chemical weapon to destroy opponents.
Related to the body being exposed to cyanide, there is a chemical compound called cyanide ion (CN-). This substance will prevent the body’s cells from using oxygen to produce energy molecules. In this cyanide this compound can bind to iron atoms in cytochrome C oxidase in mitochondrial cells. This poison acts as an irreversible enzyme inhibitor or prevents the cytochrome C oxidase present in mitochondrial cells from doing its job, transporting oxygen as an energy carrier. Without the ability to use oxygen, mitochondrial cells cannot produce energy carriers. Whereas tissues such as heart muscle cells and nerve cells, need this energy carrier. If not, then all the energy will run out. If a large number of critical cells die, humans will also die.
Here Are 5 Delicious Fruits Whose Seeds Contain Cyanide
After we know what cyanide is and how it affects the body, then it’s time for us to talk about fruits that we usually consume but in fact can contain this substance. But you don’t need to worry, because only the seeds contain cyanide. While the fruit is harmless and even very beneficial for the body. What are these fruits? Let’s check it out.
Pears or pears are one of the fruits with a sweet taste and have a lot of water content. This fruit contains a variety of important nutrients and minerals that the body needs. In 100 grams of pears contains about 60 calories and various nutrients, including:
- 15 grams of carbohydrates
- 10 grams of sugar
- 3 grams of fiber
- 115 potassium
- 12 milligrams of phosphorus
- 9 milligrams of calcium
- 7 milligrams of magnesium
- 25 IU of vitamin A
- 4 milligrams of vitamin C
In addition, pears also contain other ingredients, such as vitamin K, vitamin E, copper, and various types of antioxidants, including flavonoids, lutein and zeaxanthin.
However, this fruit that is rich in benefits actually has a poisonous seed part. Pear seeds have a potentially lethal cyanide compound. The seeds of this fruit contain cyanogenic glycosides which can turn into cyanide when ingested. When consumed in large quantities, pear seeds can cause nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Other symptoms that occur include sweating, fatigue, seizures, twitching and coma.
Apples besides tasting sweet and fresh, this fruit also contains various substances and minerals needed by our bodies such as:
Vitamins: Apples are rich in vitamins. Some vitamins contained in apples such as vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin C.
- Minerals: Apples contain lots of minerals. Minerals in apples include calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc.
- Phytochemicals: Apples also contain phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are antioxidants to fight free radicals that come from pollution or the surrounding environment. This substance also functions to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL) which can cause blockage of blood vessels.
- Rich in Fiber: Apples are rich in fiber, so they are good for people who are on a diet program. This is due to high fiber so as to prevent hunger from coming faster.
- Fiber to reduce fat and cholesterol: Apples contain fiber which is useful to bind fat and bad cholesterol in the body for further disposal.
- Tannins: Apples also contain tannins. Tannins are substances that function to clean and freshen the mouth, thereby preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
- Baron: Inside the apple is the baron. What is a baron? Baron functions to maintain the amount of estrogen in a woman’s body.
- Flavoids: One of the ingredients in apples that is good for preventing disease is flavoid. Flavoids are substances that function to reduce the risk of cancer.
- D-glucaric Acid: What is D-glucaric Acid? D-glucaric acid is a substance that can lower cholesterol levels. D-glucaric acid is also found in apples.
- Quercetin: Quercetin is a substance needed to increase antioxidant levels so that the body feels healthier and prevents various diseases. Apples contain quercetin.
- Tartaric acid: An apple also contains tartaric acid. Tartaric acid which can nourish the digestive tract, because this substance is able to kill bacteria in the digestive tract.
But in this apple, it turns out that the seeds contain a toxic substance that can be deadly. Apple seeds contain a substance called amygdalin. In the stomach, amygdalin is exposed to digestive enzymes which release cyanide. The new cyanide compound will come out when the apple seeds have been bitten. According to a study, one apple seed contains about 0.7-gram of cyanide and an average apple contains about 3 grams.
Peach or overseas known as peach is a fruit that contains lots of vitamins and nutrients needed by the body. Peaches are rich in nutrients that are good for health. One of the main ingredients of this sweet fruit is vitamin C.
In addition, peaches also contain other nutrients, including:
- Vitamins E and K
Not only that, this fruit also has low sugar levels so it is good for consumption by diabetics.
If the fruit contains many substances that are beneficial to health, then the peach seeds are the opposite. Peach seeds contain amygdalin which can then turn into cyanide poison. Amygdalin in peach seeds also becomes dangerous when it releases cyanide after being exposed to digestive enzymes in the stomach.
If calculated, 30 raw peach seeds which are equivalent to one ounce contain about 204 mg of hydrogen cyanide, exceeding the safe limit of cyanide that can be tolerated by the body.
Cherries or cherries in English are small fruit with a beautiful red color. This fruit has the Latin name Prunus cerasus L. and Prunus avium L. Usually, people serve this fruit as candied fruit or garnish for other foods. Friends can also enjoy this fruit in a serving of cherry juice.
Despite their small shape, cherries actually contain a lot of nutrients that benefit the health of our bodies. In 100 grams of cherries, contains various nutrients as follows:
- Protein: 1.1 grams.
- Fat: 0.2 grams.
- Carbs: 16 grams.
- Sugar: 13 grams.
- Calcium: 13 mg.
- Iron: 0.23 mg.
- Potassium: 222 mg.
- Thiamin (vitamin B1): 0.027 mg.
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 0.033 mg.
- Niacin (vitamin B3): 0.154 mg.
- Vitamin A: 3 mcg.
- Choline: 6.1 mg.
- Vitamin C: 7 mg.
- Folate: 4 mcg.
- Vitamin K: 2.1 mcg.
- Vitamin E: 0.07 mg.
With a lot of nutritional content as above, of course, this fruit has many benefits for our body.
But apart from the benefits, this fruit, especially the seeds, actually contains poison. The poison in cherry seeds is also the same poison as apple seeds and peach seeds, namely amygdalin which can then turn into cyanide poison. The seeds of the cherries contain 0.17-grams of cyanide. Therefore, friends must be careful when consuming cherries, don’t forget to remove the seeds. Or if you want to be safer, you can buy seedless cherries, namely cherries whose seeds have been removed.
Slightly different from the 4 types of fruit above, apricots are still not well known in Indonesia. This is because this fruit cannot or cannot be cultivated in our country because of the climate that is not suitable.
This fruit has a sweet and refreshing taste, so some people prefer to eat it directly. But to make it more varied, not a few people process apricots into juice, fruit salad, or as a mixture of cereals. By consuming 100 grams of apricots or about 2 pieces, you can get:
- 1.2 grams of protein
- 2 grams of fiber
- 10 grams of carbohydrates
- 15 mg calcium
- 250 mg potassium
- 10 mg magnesium
- 20 mg phosphorus
- 0.4 mg of iron
Not only that, this apricot fruit which is low in calories and does not contain saturated fat also contains a lot of water and is enriched with various antioxidants and vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin B, folate, vitamin C and vitamin E.
And like the four fruits discussed earlier, this apricot also has seeds that contain poison. Apricots have seeds that are quite large, so friends can easily find them and throw them away. The seeds of this fruit also contain a kind of pear and will turn into cyanide when consumed by the body.
That’s the information about 5 fruit seeds that contain cyanide poison. And therefore, we should not consume it. Stay tuned and get more information about health on Elfatica Blog!