If you spend any time on social media, then you have likely seen the buzz that is currently surrounding the benefits of eating avocado. Seen as the current ‘miracle food,’ experts and enthusiasts in nutrition, the avocado is credited for improving digestion, decreasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, depression and heart disease, promoting healthier hair and complexion, aiding in weight loss and increasing energy. All of that in a single food source? No wonder health-conscious Americans are including this stone fruit in their regular diets.
Now some experts are saying we may actually be throwing out the most beneficial part of the fruit, and you may have never guessed just what part that is – the seed in the middle!
The movement towards discussing the consumption of avocado seeds really took off when a video was posted on the Facebook page Nourish Me Whole. To date the video has over 28 million views and 475,000 shares, reaching all corners of the globe. It walks viewers through the process to prepare the seed for consumption, from baking to creating a powder which can easily be added to items like smoothies.
Unlike some fruits, where the seed is a tiny little piece in the middle of the fruit that one can almost overlook, the seed of an avocado is of a considerable size, and new research shows that it contains the bulk of the fruit’s health benefits. That’s right, the seed makes up approximately 18% of the avocado, and contains over 70% of its antioxidant power. Yet we have been discarding this antioxidant powerhouse, allowing it to be discarded with the rest of our household waste! Furthermore, it has also been found to contain insecticidal, fungicidal and anti-microbial properties.
The higher level of antioxidants found in the avocado seed makes it a great natural anti-inflammatory. While inflammation does serve an important purpose in our body, protecting us against foreign bodies such as viruses and bacteria, and promoting healing following an injury, when it gets out of control, it can cause some serious health problems. Inflammation has been associated with heart disease, stroke, arthritis and even cancer.
This anti-inflammatory benefit has been endorsed by a number of well-known experts. Dr. Tom Wu, recipient of the ‘Remarkable Contribution’ award from the American Cancer Society and the ‘World Famous Doctor’ award from the United Nations has been quoted saying, “Any heart disease patient must eat the avocado including the seed.”
Not only does the avocado seed offer a number of great health benefits, a study published in the ‘Journal of Food Science’ discussed the effectiveness of the crushed seed as an orange pigment, replacing potentially harmful food colorants. Not only is the pigment stable throughout a wide range of temperature and pH conditions, but it doesn’t carry the concerns that many commercially used pigments today bring to the table.
It is important to note that the research into the safety of avocado seed consumption is still minimal. A number of researchers point to this lack of information as a reason to hold off on adding the seed to your daily morning smoothie, stating that we may not yet be aware of the potential risks. However, while there haven’t been a lot of studies completed, those that have been are incredibly promising.