The next time you use an avocado for guacamole or to top off your salad, hold on to that seed that’s in the center. It may surprise you, but you can actually eat this seed, and the health benefits that it offers are truly impressive.
Some people might be wondering if the seeds of an avocado are truly safe to eat. While seeds from other fruits such as apricots and cherries contain cyanide, and can be dangerous if consumed in large amounts, the pit of an avocado contain tannins, which are mildly toxic. Avocado seed is not only safe, but also rich in nutrients—one would have to consume several seeds before any negative health effects occur.
Nutrients and Health Benefits of Avocado Seed
Antioxidants fight cancer – avocado seeds contain flavonoids that inhibit the growth of tumors in the body. A study published in 2013 in Pharmaceutical Biology showed that extract from avocadoes (including the seed) can cause leukemia cells to self-destruct.
Fights heart disease – a 2012 study published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition showed a decrease in cholesterol in mice that were fed avocado seed flour. Research also suggests that avocado seeds may reduce plaque buildup in the arteries. It is also believed that avocado seeds can reduce hypertension and inflammation, and may also prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the body.
Improves digestion – the seeds of avocadoes have been used to treat gastric ulcers, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. It is believed that the fiber and antioxidants found in the seeds are responsible for this digestive assistance.
Immune support – catechins and procyanidins are two of the antioxidants found in avocado seeds that most support the immune system. These particular antioxidants can reduce inflammation throughout the body, which helps keep the immune system working top-notch. Early research also suggests that these seeds may have anti-fungal properties.
Fights signs of aging – avocado seeds can reduce the appearance of wrinkles by increasing collagen in the skin.
How To Eat It
By now, you’re convinced that eating the avocado seed is worth a try. However, you probably still need some help figuring out how to turn the relatively large (and very hard) pit into something edible. Very, very carefully use the knife tip to grab the seed and slowly twist it out. Place the pit into a plastic bag and seal it up; then, begin smashing the seed with a hammer until it is crushed into small pieces. Simply incorporate the seed into your smoothie, or other dishes if you have a high-powered food processor.
Take advantage of the whole avocado and use half the fruit and half the seed in each smoothie for a powerful nutritional boost.
You can make a smoothie with the avocado and its seed, plus 1 cup of almond milk, 1 ripe pear, ½ apple, 1 cup of spinach, and a dash of grated ginger; blend until everything is smooth and thoroughly combined.
For a great green drink recipe, take ½ an avocado, ½ the avocado seed, 1 pear, ½ mango, ½ head of leaf lettuce, 1 cup almond milk, and about 3 tablespoons of flaxseeds. Toss it all in the blender until everything is nice and smooth; pour over ice and enjoy.
Anytime you use an avocado from now on, be sure you hold on to that seed. Whether you use it right away or hold on to it (in a bag, in the refrigerator) for a smoothie tomorrow, you definitely don’t want to toss out this goldmine of nutrients.