Avocados are delicious fruits that are rich in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are widely used in salads, smoothies, dips and desserts. But did you know that you can also eat the seed of an avocado? Yes, the large brown pit that you usually throw away can be consumed and may have some health benefits. However, before you start munching on an avocado seed, there are some things you need to know. In this article, we will explain how to eat avocado seed, what are the potential benefits and risks, and answer some frequently asked questions.
- Avocado seeds contain fatty acids, dietary fiber, starch, protein and phytochemicals that may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-cholesterol, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- However, the evidence for these benefits is based on test-tube and animal studies, and there is no human research to confirm the safety and effectiveness of eating avocado seeds.
- To eat avocado seed, you need to dry it in the oven, peel off the skin, chop it into small pieces and blend it into a powder. You can then add it to smoothies, juices, soups, salads or baked goods.
How to Eat Avocado Seed
Eating an avocado seed is not as simple as eating the flesh. The seed is hard, bitter and has a tough skin. You need to prepare it properly before you can consume it. Here are the steps to follow:
- Remove the seed from the avocado as you normally would. You can use a knife to tap it and twist it out of the fruit.
- Rinse the seed under running water and pat it dry with a paper towel.
- Place the seed in an oven-safe dish and bake it at 120°C (250°F) for 1.5 to 2 hours. This will dehydrate the seed and make it easier to peel and chop.
- Let the seed cool down completely before handling it. Then peel off the dry outer skin and discard it.
- Cut the seed into small pieces using a sharp knife or a food processor.
- Transfer the pieces to a blender or a coffee grinder and blend them into a fine powder.
- Store the powder in an airtight container in a cool and dry place. You can use it for up to 3 months.
You can use the avocado seed powder as a supplement or an ingredient in various recipes. You can add 1 teaspoon of it to smoothies, juices, soups, salads or baked goods. You can also sprinkle it over yogurt, oatmeal or cereal. However, be aware that the powder has a bitter taste and may change the flavor of your food.
Potential Benefits of Eating Avocado Seed
Avocado seeds are considered to be a waste product of the fruit industry, but they may have some hidden benefits for your health. According to some studies, avocado seeds contain various bioactive compounds that may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-cholesterol, antibacterial and antifungal properties . Here are some of the potential benefits of eating avocado seed:
- Cholesterol: Avocado seed flour has been shown to reduce total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol in mice . This may help prevent or treat cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease.
- Diabetes: Avocado seed may lower blood sugar levels in diabetic rats. One animal study showed that it was as effective as an anti-diabetic medication . This may help control diabetes and its complications such as nerve damage and kidney failure.
- Blood pressure: Avocado seed extracts may help relax blood vessels, which helps to reduce blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
- Antioxidant: Avocado seed extracts have been shown to have strong antioxidant properties in test-tube studies  . Antioxidants protect your cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which can damage your DNA and cause aging and diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
- Antibacterial: Avocado seed has been found to inhibit the growth of Clostridium sporogenes, a spore-forming bacteria that can cause food poisoning and gas gangrene. It may also prevent the growth of other harmful bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium.
- Antifungal: Avocado seed has been shown to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans, a yeast that often causes infections in the mouth, throat, skin and genitals. It may also fight other fungi such as Aspergillus niger and Penicillium chrysogenum.
Potential Risks of Eating Avocado Seed
While eating avocado seed may have some benefits, it may also have some risks. There is no human research to confirm the safety and effectiveness of eating avocado seed, and there are some concerns about its potential toxicity and side effects. Here are some of the potential risks of eating avocado seed:
- Stomach upset: Eating avocado seed may cause stomach upset, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea in some people. This may be due to the high amount of fiber or the bitter taste of the seed. You should start with a small amount and increase gradually to see how your body reacts.
- Allergic reaction: Eating avocado seed may trigger an allergic reaction in some people who are allergic to avocados or latex. Symptoms may include itching, swelling, hives, rash, difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis. You should avoid eating avocado seed if you have a known allergy to avocados or latex.
- Interaction with medications: Eating avocado seed may interact with some medications and affect their absorption or metabolism. This may increase or decrease the effectiveness or side effects of the drugs. You should consult your doctor before eating avocado seed if you take any medication, especially blood thinners, blood pressure drugs, diabetes drugs or antibiotics.
- Toxicity: Eating avocado seed may expose you to some toxic compounds that could harm your liver or kidneys in large doses. These include persin, a fungicidal toxin that can cause damage to the heart and lungs in animals; tannins, a type of polyphenol that can interfere with iron absorption and cause liver damage; and cyanogenic glycosides, a group of chemicals that can release cyanide in the body and cause poisoning. The amount of these compounds in avocado seeds is not well known, and it may vary depending on the variety, ripeness and processing of the fruit.
Eating avocado seed may have some health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as fighting bacteria and fungi. However, there is no human research to confirm these benefits, and there are some potential risks, such as stomach upset, allergic reaction, interaction with medications and toxicity. Therefore, you should consult your doctor before eating avocado seed, especially if you have any medical condition or take any medication. You should also start with a small amount and monitor your reaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it safe to eat avocado seed raw? No, it is not safe to eat avocado seed raw. The seed is very hard and bitter, and it may contain some toxic compounds that could harm you. You need to dry it in the oven, peel off the skin, chop it into small pieces and blend it into a powder before you can eat it.
- How much avocado seed can I eat per day? There is no clear recommendation on how much avocado seed you can eat per day. However, since there is no human research on its safety and effectiveness, and there are some concerns about its potential toxicity and side effects, you should be cautious and limit your intake. You can start with 1 teaspoon of powder per day and see how your body reacts. You should not exceed 3 teaspoons per day.
- Can I eat avocado seed during pregnancy or breastfeeding? There is no evidence on whether eating avocado seed is safe or beneficial during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, since there are some potential risks involved, you should avoid eating avocado seed during these periods. You should also consult your doctor before eating any new food or supplement during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- Can I give avocado seed to my children or pets? There is no evidence on whether eating avocado seed is safe or beneficial for children or pets. However, since there are some potential risks involved, you should not give avocado seed to your children or pets. The seed may also pose a choking hazard for them.