You’re probably already aware that avocados are one of the most nutritious foods around – these creamy fruits are great for weight loss, healthy skin and hair, balanced blood sugar levels, increased nutrient absorption and digestive health.
However, most avocado lovers aren’t aware that they are throwing away the most nutritious part of the fruit – the seed! Yes, you can eat that big, brown rock-like seed that represents up to 18% of the whole avocado.
How to Eat Avocado Seed
Before we delve into exactly why you should be eating this potential superfood, let’s see how to prepare an avocado seed for consumption. This 60-second video explains the simple process:
6 Reasons Why You Should Eat Avocado Seeds
Some benefits of this often overlooked component of the avocado fruit include:
1. A Rich Source of Antioxidants
In 2003, researchers at the National University of Singapore tested the seeds of several common fruits including avocado, mango, tamarind and jackfruit.
They discovered that the seeds showed a much higher antioxidant activity and phenolic content than the edible portions. In fact, the seeds contain around 70% of the fruit’s total antioxidant content.
A 2013 report published in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design indicates that the phenolic compounds and antioxidants in the fruit may be the reason that avocado seed has so many health benefits.
2. High in Dietary Fiber
The avocado seed is among the best sources of soluble fiber in the diet, according to many health experts.
Along with maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, soluble fiber balances blood sugar levels, meaning avocado seeds can help you avoid those peaks and dips in energy frequently experienced after eating a carbohydrate-rich meal. Controlling blood sugar is key to avoiding the development of type 2 diabetes.
Fiber rich foods are also hugely important in improving your levels of satiety and staving off hunger pangs. Other sources of soluble fiber in the diet include oats, beans, apples, barley and psyllium.
3. Naturally Anti-Microbial
These seeds demonstrate fungicidal and anti-microbial activities meaning they can boost immune function and protect you from illness.
A 2009 test-tube study highlighted the ability of avocado seed extract to inhibit fungus such as Candida and the Aedes Aegypti – a mosquito that carries the tropical Yellow Fever disease.
4. Reduce Cholesterol Levels
The pulp of the avocado isn’t the only part of the fruit found to lower high cholesterol levels, 2012 research shows that the seed can too!
The animal study, published in the journal Plant Foods in Human Nutrition, found that mice with high cholesterol experienced a reduction in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels when given avocado seed flour. They were also protected somewhat against arterial plaque formation. The researchers believe that these benefits come from the seed’s antioxidant content and high percentage of fiber.
Dr. Tom Wu, who has earned awards from the United Nations for his work with diabetes and cancer, recommends heart disease patients eat avocado seed for their soluble fiber which binds to the fat and excess cholesterol.
5. Digestive Health
For many years, avocado seeds have held an important place in traditional American Indian medicine, particularly in terms of their impact on digestive health – the seeds been used to treat digestive problems like gastric ulcers, dysentery, constipation and diarrhea.
Although these aren’t proven benefits of avocado seeds, their high fiber content, antimicrobial powers and levels of antioxidants mean it can’t hurt to add some to your diet to see if your digestion improves. After all, our digestive system is essential to our overall health – especially as it houses around 80% of our immune system.
While inflammation is a normal and healthy response to trauma or bodily invaders, sometimes this inflammation can get out of control and persist long after the threat is gone. If this occurs, it is termed chronic inflammation – something believed to be behind a huge number of health problems such as asthma, allergies, heart disease, cancer, premature aging and more.
Antioxidants, like those found in avocado seeds, are one of the body’s best weapons against inflammation. These help to quell the inflammatory response and reduce pain and swelling.
4 Ways to Use Avocado Seed
Now that you know why to eat avocado pits, you may be struggling to find exactly how to enjoy these super-seeds. Never fear, here are four deliciously easy ways to utilize your avocado seeds for better health!
Blueberry and Avocado Seed Smoothie
Avocado pits work best in smoothies, as the sweet flavors of the other components help to mask their slight bitterness. To make a tasty and nutritious avocado seed smoothie, blend one cup of almond milk, a half cup of blueberries, a banana, a half teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional), ice and the powder of half an avocado pit. Enjoy!
Super Charge Your Green Smoothies
If you already have a favorite green smoothie recipe, then simply add your prepared avocado pit to the mix. Use one pit per two person serving. You may need to blend in a little more liquid to get your usual consistency.
Avocado Pit Tea
Boost your digestion after a particularly heavy meal by brewing up a cup of this tea. Just mix a tablespoon of the seed powder in a cup of hot water. If you don’t have your seeds dehydrated and ground yet, you can boil the whole seed in a pot of water for 20 minutes and drink the liquid.
In Sauces and Dips
Add a spoonful or two of the ground-up pit to your sauces or dips, such as guacamole, for an added nutrient hit. Be aware that the pit has a slightly bitter taste so you definitely don’t want to add it to anything that is meant to be light or sweet. This Red Mole Sauce recipecalls for avocado pit to be slow cooked with the peppers and onions for a deep and satisfying flavor.