So I was just munching on some berries, when I chewed particularly hard on one and felt the crunch as I bit through the seeds. Having never really paid attention to the seeds in berries, my paleo-danger sense immediately turned on. This raspberry doesn't want me to destroy its seeds. Am I correct to assume that, just like in other seeds, berry seeds contain toxins and anti-nutrients? When eating berries, is it optimal for one to just give a light chew then swallow to ensure the seeds go through undamaged as the berry intended? And, is it common for these small "sharp" seeds to cause problems over time by irritating the stomach/intestine?
The strawberry wants you to swallow the seeds but not chew them. Yeah, who knows, probably is a few molecules of something less than perfectly healthy in these tiny seeds should you actually chew them up. And yes, they pass through whole, if you don't chew them, so I guess if you have intestinal upset or weak gut issues, there is a chance they might irritate that. I haven't noticed anything personally. I suspect a healthy gut handles them easily. If you look at the scat (poop) of any wild omnivores, you will typically see a lot of little seeds in there, among other things (like tufts of hair from that rabbit it ate).
My understanding is that seeds in fruit want to be eaten because animals will deposit them on the ground in a nice pile of fertilizer. I am guessing poisons in the seeds would prevent this activity over the long run, so I doubt the fruits we eat have lots of toxins.
CHEW YOUR SEEDS!!! It is vital, if you want to get the maximum nutritional value of berries chewing through the seedcoat is necessary to get into the endosperm. The endosperm is where all the the starches and other chemical goodies that make berries the nutritional powerhouse they are.