If you’re like most avocado lovers, you go straight for the good stuff: the creamy, green flesh that makes the perfect guacamole, a delicious sandwich topping, or– with a little lime juice and salt– a healthy snack all by itself. The hard, golf-ball-sized seed goes in the compost bin or even the trash. What many people don’t realize is that avocado seeds not only can be eaten, they should!
The seed of Persea americana is an exceptional source of dietary fiber. In fact, the Livestrong Foundation’s website calls avocado seeds “among the highest naturally-occurring sources of soluble fiber,” the type of fiber that helps lower cholesterol. If you want to lower your cholesterol and are getting tired of oatmeal every morning, you can grind up an avocado pit and add it to a tasty breakfast smoothie for a super boost of soluble fiber.
Avocado pits also contain flavonoids, a type of phytonutrient (plant chemical) that has been shown to have “antioxidative activity, free-radical scavenging capacity, coronary heart disease prevention, and anticancer activity” according to research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. While flavonoids have been shown to be beneficial, it is important not to confuse “food containing a chemical with anticancer properties” with “magical guaranteed cancer inoculation.” Avocado seeds, like other fruits and vegetables, are a healthy source of flavonoids. Having an avocado seed cookie for dessert every night, however, doesn’t mean you’re free to spend hours in a tanning booth or smoke a box of cigars. It can lower your cholesterol and keep you regular.
The best reason to eat avocado seeds is that soluble fiber. If you’re convinced, your next question is probably “How?” There are a number of options for making these woody nuggets of health more palatable.
- You can, as mentioned above, grind one in a food processor in order to add the powder to smoothies, hot cereal, or baked goods.
- The pit of the avocado does have a very bitter flavor, so adding it to something sweet is your best option. Only use a food processor to grind the pit if you have a powerful model such as a Vitamix; the hard pit could potentially damage a cheap blender.
- Boiling the pits ahead of time can soften them, but it may leach out some of the beneficial nutrients.
- Another option, per Elena Wilkins at Vegalicious, is to dry the seed, put it in a bag and smash it with a heavy hammer or similar. (Wilkins also provides a recipe for a mango green smoothie using avocado pit.)
One important point to remember when preparing avocado seeds is that they are hard, smooth, round, and– when fresh out of the avocado– slippery. Attacking one with a knife could lead to serious injury, so be mindful of your safety. Make a fine powder, add it to your favorite sweet snacks, and enjoy the health benefits!
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See more posts by author Alex Jordon.