Avocados provide monounsaturated fats, the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linoleic acid, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, beta-sitosterols, and vitamin E… all of which add up to equal a heart healthy addition to your diet rich in antioxidants to reduce inflammation.
However, all the above refers to the flesh of the avocado. What about the large seed, which most of us tend to scoop out and throw away?
An avocado seed can be consumed by removing the fine layer of brown skin and then grating it or using a coffee bean grinder to grind it into a powder.
This powder can then be added to soups, salads, stews, pasta/rice dishes, smoothies and baked goods.
A viral Facebook video showed how to peel, chop, and pulverize the seed adding fuel to the idea of the avocado seed being a type of “super food”.
There is some argument regarding the positive health benefits of avocado seeds.
Avocado seeds contain protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, flavonoids, and phenols.
The potassium content of an avocado seed benefits blood pressure levels by working to balance out the sodium in your diet. Current dietary guidelines recommend 4.7 grams of potassium each day.
The soluble fiber from avocado seeds helps promote lower cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol and removing it from circulation. For every 1-2 grams of daily soluble fiber consumes, LDL cholesterol is lowered 1%.
Healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels both reduce your risk for developing heart disease, while the antioxidant properties of avocado seeds combat inflammation to further reduce risk.
Even though the potential health benefits make it tempting to include avocado seeds in your diet, it is not recommended at this time.
There is not enough research to confirm their safety.
While consuming small amounts now and then is probably safe, the effects of regular consumption of large amounts is unknown. A 2013 study on mice found high doses of avocado seed extract (concentrations starting at 500 mg/kg) to have acute toxic effects.
The California Avocado Board states the avocado seed “contains elements that are not intended for human consumption”.
Research on avocado seeds continues. A study published April 2015 found potential for a compound – Avocatin B – within the seed to show anti-cancer properties. However, at this time, be cautious and skeptical if you see or read anything implying avocados are the next super food to cure all your ills. Let’s give researchers a bit more time to sort out the pros and cons of including the seed as a regular part of your diet.
There are many other foods and nutrients you can use to lower blood pressure levels. Sign up for my free e-course to learn more options.