Updated: Dec 13, 2018
Are avocado seeds a new amazing super-food or are they unsafe to eat? I wanted to find out.
There is a lot of talk on the internet about health benefits of avocado seeds and pros and cons of using them. Since I am always interested in new superfoods, I wanted to learn more about this subject. I personally love avocados and eat them daily, but always throw the seeds away. Seems like a waste, doesn’t it? Well, most likely it is.
When I started reading about it, I found out that a number of studies have been done showing amazing health benefits of avocado seeds from preventing tumors to being used as an aphrodisiac. It turns out that there is a long tradition of using the pits for various medicinal purposes. Here is a list of just some of them taken from the article by Rosetta Slone “20 Ways to Use Avocado Seeds” on ToughNickel:
“ They are chock full of antioxidants— more than most other fruits and vegetables. The pits contain more than 70% of the antioxidants found in the entire fruit. Antioxidants boost the immune system and help prevent cardiovascular disease, regulate high blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and prevent strokes.
The pits and skins contain high levels of antioxidants like catechins and procyandins that act as anti-inflammatories. They reduce joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of joint function associated with arthritis.
They also have lots of antioxidant phenolic compounds that can play a significant role in preventing various degenerative illnesses, tumor growth, and cardiovascular disease. They may also help reduce inflammatory conditions, diabetes, and boost immunity.
They even have insecticidal, fungicidal, and anti-microbial properties.
Like green tea, the seeds contain polyphenols, which are micro-nutrients that may play a role in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
They have more soluble fiber than almost any other food, which is great for high cholesterol, bowel inflammation, and diarrhea. In South America, they're used to treat dysentery and other issues in the GI tract.
The pit is very high in potassium. The younger (less ripe) the fruit is, the higher its levels of potassium. It also contains significant levels of phosphorous, but not as significant as the potassium.
They contain a condensed flavonol that may prevent tumor growth.
They are great food for your hair and skin. Those antioxidants can help rebuild collagen, repair damage caused by free radicals, and improve the appearance and texture of your skin.”
However, some sources, including The California Avocado Commission, say that you shouldn’t consume the seeds. So, the question naturally arises: are these seeds safe to eat? As I was reading about the reasoning behind both arguments, I found out that most of the nay-sayers state so due to insufficient amount of research being done on consumption safety of avocado seeds. Another research shows that avocado seeds contain low levels of amygdalin, which contains cyanide, and that high doses of the seeds can be toxic in mice.
Even though the research is still inconclusive, the benefits seemed to outweigh the risks, so I decided to try it. I dried some of the seeds, then ground some of them in a coffee grinder. I used the seeds for making avocado seed tea and was drinking it for a few days. I have to say that my personal agenda in trying the seeds was the claim that they are anti-microbial and anti-fungal and can reduce the amount of mucus produced in your body. Anyone who has sinus infections like I do will certainly find it beneficial. After drinking the tea for a few days, I did notice the reduction in mucus, which was very exciting. So, I will continue using the seeds and see what happens next.
If you would like to give it a try, I would recommend starting from small doses to see how your body reacts to it, and then decide if you want to continue or not. Here are some of the uses for avocado seeds:
1. Avocado seed tea
Wash and dry avocado pits on your kitchen counter or a windowsill for 5-7 days. You will know the seeds are dry when the skin will be crinkled and break off easily. You can also dry them in the oven at 200 degrees F for about two hours. Once dry, peel off the skin. The seed will be somewhat soft. You can cut it in pieces and grind in a coffee grinder or a food processor (ground seeds will turn dark orange in color), or simply cut the seed in half.
To make the tea, place 1 Tbsp. of ground seeds or 1 halved pit in a cup of boiling water and boil for 10-12 minutes, then drink slowly. You can also add some ginger or turmeric root and sweeten the tea with stevia or raw honey.
The seeds taste a bit bitter and reminiscent of a tree bark.
2. Smoothies and sauces
Add ground avocado seeds to your smoothies and sauces, but be careful, because it will add orange color. Start from a small amount and adjust as needed.
3. Face scrub
You can incorporate ground avocado seeds into homemade face or body scrub or a facial mask. Grind one pit and add one mashed banana and one tablespoon of coconut or almond oil. Apply to skin and gently exfoliate before rinsing well.
4. Natural food dye
You can add ground avocado seeds to your foods when you want to achieve deep orange color. That is so much better than unnatural chemical dyes!
Please let me know if you tried the seeds and what your experience was. I am curious to know. Thank you for reading.
Love you all,