Are seeds in grapes OK to eat?

Grapes are one of the most popular fruits, known for their sweet, juicy flesh and unique shape. While most of us happily pop grape after grape into our mouths, have you ever wondered about those little hard bits inside – the seeds? Are grape seeds safe to eat or should they be avoided?

Quick Answer: Are Grape Seeds Edible?

Yes, grape seeds are edible. In fact, grape seeds are rich in nutrients and contain various health benefits. While they have a bitter, chalky taste, grape seeds can be consumed either raw or processed into grapeseed oil, extracts, and flour. Most people don’t chew grape seeds when eating grapes, but swallowing a few seeds whole is generally harmless.

Are Grape Seeds Toxic?

Grape seeds are not toxic or poisonous. However, some people may experience negative effects from eating too many grape seeds, primarily digestive issues like stomach upset. This is due to grape seeds’ high tannin content. Tannins are plant compounds that can irritate the digestive tract when consumed in large amounts. But overall, grape seeds are considered safe for consumption.

Nutritional Profile of Grape Seeds

Here is an overview of the nutrients found in grape seeds (per 100 grams):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 543
Fat 28.8 g
Protein 8.4 g
Carbohydrates 60.6 g
Fiber 16.7 g
Vitamin E 24.8 mg
Thiamin 0.1 mg
Riboflavin 0.2 mg
Niacin 0.6 mg
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg
Folate 14 mcg
Calcium 52 mg
Iron 3.3 mg
Magnesium 69 mg
Phosphorus 346 mg
Potassium 594 mg
Zinc 0.9 mg
Copper 0.7 mg
Manganese 1.2 mg

As you can see, grape seeds contain a good amount of fiber, healthy fats, protein, vitamin E, and important minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. The calorie count is also fairly high due to the high fat content.

Potential Health Benefits of Grape Seeds

Here are some of the key potential health benefits associated with eating grape seeds:

  • Antioxidants – Grape seeds contain powerful antioxidants called proanthocyanidins that can help counteract oxidative damage from free radicals.
  • Heart health – The antioxidants and healthy fats in grape seeds may support lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Blood sugar control – Animal studies have found grape seed extracts may help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.
  • Wound healing – Applying grape seed extracts to wounds may promote faster healing, minimize scarring, and reduce inflammation.
  • Cancer prevention – Early research indicates grape seed extracts may have anti-cancer benefits, inhibiting tumor growth and inducing cancer cell death.
  • Skin health – The antioxidants in grape seeds can help protect the skin from sun damage. Grape seed oil is also used in some cosmetic products.

However, more research is still needed, especially large-scale human studies, to confirm these potential health benefits of grape seeds.

Are There Any Risks or Side Effects?

For most people, eating grape seeds in normal food amounts is unlikely to cause negative side effects. But some potential risks and considerations include:

  • Choking hazard for small children if swallowed whole due to the seeds’ small size.
  • Digestive issues like stomach pain, diarrhea, or constipation when consuming high amounts of grape seeds.
  • Allergic reactions in those with grape or grape seed sensitivities.
  • Surgery complications if eating grape seeds before surgery since they can affect bleeding and blood clotting.
  • Grape seed oil risks like high omega-6 content and possibly unsafe manufacturing methods.
  • Drug interactions with blood thinners like warfarin and NSAIDs like ibuprofen.

Pregnant women may also want to exercise caution with grape seeds and avoid supplements due to lack of safety research.

Are Grape Seeds Better Raw or Roasted?

Grape seeds can be consumed either raw or roasted:

  • Raw – Raw grape seeds retain more nutrients since roasting can damage heat-sensitive compounds. But they have a bitter, unpleasant taste.
  • Roasted – Roasting grape seeds improves their flavor by reducing bitterness and bringing out nutty notes. However, some nutrients are lost in the process.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference whether to eat raw or roasted grape seeds. Roasting enhances the taste but slightly lowers the nutrient content. Those who can tolerate the bitterness may opt for raw seeds to maximize nutrition.

Do You Have to Chew Grape Seeds?

It’s not necessary to intentionally chew grape seeds – you can swallow them whole if preferred. Chewing brings out more of the bitter, astringent flavor. As long as you swallow them, the digestive system is well equipped to break down the seeds.

With that said, accidentally chewing a few grape seeds while eating grapes is harmless. Just try to avoid chomping down on a mouthful of seeds, which could lead to digestive upset.

What Part of Grapes Can Dogs Eat?

Here’s a quick overview of what parts of grapes dogs can and cannot eat:

  • Flesh – Dogs should NOT eat the grape flesh. Grapes are toxic to dogs and can cause kidney damage.
  • Seeds – Grape seeds may be safely eaten by dogs since they contain lower amounts of the toxic compounds. But seeds pose a choking risk.
  • Stems – Grape stems are fibrous and can cause gastrointestinal irritation or blockages.

In summary, it’s best to avoid feeding any part of grapes to dogs. And be very cautious with raisins as well, since they’re dried grapes.

Do Grape Seeds Contain Cyanide?

No, grape seeds do not naturally contain cyanide. While there are trace amounts of cyanogenic glycosides like amygdalin present in grape seeds, the quantities are negligible and not a health concern.

Cyanide poisoning has occurred in the past from improperly processed grape seed extracts. But in whole grape seeds cyanide exposure is virtually non-existent. Eating a few seeds while consuming grapes is perfectly safe.

Tips for Eating Grape Seeds

Here are some tips for consuming grape seeds:

  • Start slowly – Try just a few seeds at first to see how your digestion handles them.
  • Chew well – If chewing seeds, ensure they’re ground very finely to prevent choking or irritation.
  • Drink water – Stay well hydrated to help move seeds smoothly through your system.
  • Avoid green seeds – Unripe, green grape seeds are higher in potentially irritating tannins.
  • Watch portions – Stick to a handful or less of seeds per day to avoid digestive troubles.
  • Look for roasted – Seek roasted seeds for better flavor if planning to eat seeds on their own.
  • Soak before eating – Soaking raw seeds briefly can soften texture and reduce bitterness.

How to Remove Grape Seeds

Here are some tips for effectively removing grape seeds if desired:

  • Cut grapes in half – Slice grapes lengthwise to expose and easily remove seeds.
  • Use hands – Gently squeeze each grape over a bowl to pop seeds out.
  • Try special tools – A grape seed remover or cherry pitter helps quickly extract seeds.
  • Use a sieve/colander – Press halved grapes against a fine sieve to separate pulp and seeds.
  • Make juice – Seeds are separated when making grape juice in a blender or juicer.
  • Freeze first – Freezing grapes helps release the pulp from seeds when thawing.

For minimal effort, simply chew the grapes well and swallow the seeds whole if you don’t mind them.

Grape Seed Recipes

Here are some recipe ideas for using grape seeds:

Roasted Grape Seeds


  • 1 cup grape seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt, pepper, other spices to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Toss grape seeds in oil and desired spices.
  3. Spread in single layer on baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 20-25 minutes until browned and crispy, stirring halfway.
  5. Eat as snack or sprinkle on salads, yogurt, etc.

Grape Seed Flour

Make nutrient-packed flour from grape seeds to use in baking.


  • 1 cup grape seeds


  1. Spread seeds in single layer on baking sheet.
  2. Bake at 170°F for 1-2 hours until very dry.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool.
  4. Grind seeds to a fine powder in blender, food processor, or coffee grinder.
  5. Sift flour if desired.
  6. Use in recipes or store in airtight container.

Grape Seed Butter

Make a nutritious spread from antioxidant-rich grape seeds.


  • 1 cup raw grape seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Soak grape seeds overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse seeds well.
  3. Blend very well in food processor with oil and salt until smooth.
  4. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  5. Enjoy on toast, waffles, muffins, etc.


While most people simply eat around grape seeds, the seeds themselves are edible and nutritious. Grape seeds contain fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and other important nutrients. Consuming a small amount of seeds while eating grapes is perfectly safe for most people. Larger portions may cause digestive issues due to the tannins. Overall, grape seeds can be a healthy addition to your diet, whether eaten raw, roasted, or processed into flour, butter, or oil.

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