Is It Safe To Eat Lemon Seeds?

sliced lemon on cutting board
sliced lemon on cutting board - Debbismirnoff/Getty Images

Maybe you've heard that apple seeds contain cyanide — which is true, although it isn't enough to be harmful unless you eat at least 150 of 'em in one sitting. In the case of apples, the fruit is delicious and mild, even if the seeds are ultimately harmless (albeit not very tasty). Chances are probably pretty low that you would ever choose to bite into a lemon's sour flesh at all unless you're chasing a shot of vodka. Why would a person intentionally eat lemon seeds? Hence, the advantages of cooking with seedless lemons.

Don't get it twisted, we aren't trying to sell you on lemon seeds as a delicious new-age health food. All we're saying is that lemon seeds are safe to eat in moderation and can even lead to a few health benefits. That bitter taste comes not from toxicity but from the salicylic acid, a prominent ingredient in Aspirin.

Lemon seeds are naturally rich in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system. They also boast impressive antioxidants, which aid in skin health and acne healing, promote kidney health, and prevent fungal and bacterial infections. Thanks to their uniquely high flavonoid content compared to other plants and high dietary fiber content, lemon seeds can help regulate digestive health and maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. In short, it's time to start saving the seeds when cooking with lemons.

Read more: 13 Simple Tricks To Pick The Best Fresh Fruit Every Time

Lemon Seeds Aren't Just Safe To Eat, They're Loaded With Tart Flavor And Nutrients

Lemon and lemon seeds
Lemon and lemon seeds - Gado/Getty Images

The peel, pith, and seeds of a lemon have roughly 500% of the nutritional benefits of the juice alone. Using the whole lemon can be part of both a healthy lifestyle and a zero-waste kitchen. Additionally, eating lemon rinds isn't bad for you at all and can actually be good for your health. To reap the nutritional benefits, you can't swallow lemon seeds whole. They'll pass straight through the digestive tract without seeping the nutrients. You have to chew them or steep them in boiling water or tea -- any more than three lemon seeds per day is probably too many.

Halve them with a sharp knife and steep 'em in your next cup of tea. This works especially well in the mornings, as this is the time when the body is the most naturally primed to absorb nutrients. Complementary tea flavors like lemon, ginger, honey, or goji berry work especially well for this ingestion method. Alternatively, you could halve them and infuse them into a glass of water, or blend them into a smoothie.

Lemon seeds aren't just for beverages. You could incorporate a blend of crushed lemon seeds and juice into baked goods like lemon bars, lemon posset, or lemon meringue pie, or savory lemon recipes like baked chicken or tikka masala. This mixture would also blend well into lemony sauces, marinades, oils, or vinegar for a subtle tart, zesty flavor.

Read the original article on Tasting Table