Reader Question: What fruits and vegetables contain Cyanide?


Recently a reader sent in a question wondering what other fruits and vegetables besides cassava contain cyanide. Cyanide is a naturally occurring chemical, generally considered to be poisonous if consumed in large enough amounts. According to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry the following foods naturally contain cyanide:
  • almonds
  • millet sprouts
  • lima beans
  • soy
  • spinach
  • bamboo shoots
  • cassava
Additionally cyanide is found in most any fruits that have a pit, or core, like cherries, apricots, and apples. The site reports that no foods are consumed in large enough quantities to be toxic. Cyanide can also be produced by certain bacteria, fungi, algae, and as a by-product of industrial manufacturing and waste. If industry is producing cyanide in your area it may enter local water supplies. If this water is used to grow plants in your area, those plants will also absorb the additional cyanide, so take note of the water and industry in your area. The same risk, thankfully, does not exist for fish in cyanide polluted waters as they do not  absorb the cyanide. In general, it is import not to stress too much over cyanide in foods. Small amounts of cyanide may even be good for you by helping to lower blood pressure.



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