Did you know that by discarding the avocado stone, you’re throwing away 70% of its nutritional value?* That’s right! Here we all are, going crazy for ‘avo toast’ while ignoring the little powerhouse of nutrients held in its stone. So just what are the benefits of eating avocado pips and how on earth do we eat them?
Really? The stone has all the nutrients in?
It’s crazy isn’t it? We add avocado flesh to smoothies (making sure we scrape all the nutrient-filled dark flesh from it), turn it into chocolate mousse and slather it on bread. Yet, we’re ignoring 30% of this lush green fruit.
The pip or seed of the avocado has more antioxidants in it than most other fruit and vegetables. According to a study by Pennsylvania State University into the benefits of avocado seeds, they discovered that phenolic antioxidant compounds contained within the seed, may improve heart health by lowering high cholesterol and high blood pressure, as well as boosting immunity and reducing inflammatory condition – it is thought that excessive inflammation is the culprit behind many chronic diseases, including arthritis, stroke and heart disease.
They also found that the seeds have insecticidal, fungicidal and anti-microbial properties. As if that weren’t enough for one little seed, it is also high in levels of soluble fibre which can help reduce digestive problems.
Did you know, in ancient South America, these seeds were used to treat many ailments, including dysentry, gastric ulcers and other digestive issues. It’s not been proven that these little seeds can cure these illnesses but we do know that the antioxidants and fibre found in them are beneficial for the digestive system; one avocado seed contains more soluble fibre per ounce than almost any other vegetable. As your digestive system is responsible for your overall health, keeping it in good working order is essential. Much of your immunity comes from the health of your digestive system so nurturing beneficial gut flora and providing a healthy environment for them is required so that they can combat bacteria and viruses that can negatively impact your health. Adding avocado seeds to your diet can improve your gastrointestinal tract.
So why aren’t we eating them?
This is what some of our Healthy Living London writers’ first reactions when we discussed eating avocado seeds:
“No, I wouldn’t eat one because they are big – I struggle to swallow a larger than average vitamin tablet!!! Unless it had miraculous properties then I wouldn’t put myself through that!”
This was Amy’s first reaction. And we agree – the thought of chewing your way through an avocado stone doesn’t sound appealing.
Ashlie’s reaction was:
“No, and only because I didn’t know you could / should! So how should I eat it / what should I do with it?”
As you can see, we’ve never really thought about eating the pips! Avocado pips aren’t exactly the kind of thing you can easily get into your mouth – you have to prepare it first. And no one really seems to know how to do that. Plus, many people don’t even think they’re edible. Which brings us onto our next question…
Are avocado pips poisonous to humans?
Avocado seeds do contain a fungicidal toxin called persin, which is harmful to domesticated animals but not to humans generally. This toxin is found in the leaves, bark and pits of avocados. So keep them away from your cats and dogs!
What does it taste like?
Bitter. They’re not the kind of thing you’d want to snack on alone.
How to eat avocado seeds?
There’s several different ways to eat avocado seeds, some of which requires some equipment. We’ve detailed our favourite ways to use avocado seeds in food so have a try and let us know your favourite. Or if you have another method, let us know in the comments below.
Researching avocado seeds has totally opened our eyes as to what we’ve been doing wrong all these years. With so much avo toast being made, it makes us cringe to think how many nutrients have been thrown away. It’s also made us want to research what other food is out there that we’re unwittingly wasting. Know of any? Let us know! But seriously, if you’ve not done so already, have an experiment with avocado seeds and if it’s not your thing, send them our way 🙂