Avocados are a popular ingredient in many dishes. Salads, sandwiches and homemade guacamole with nachos are just some examples. The seed is however often neglected and thrown away. We’ve all done it and now it’s time to stop. Avocado seeds have long been a staple in traditional medicine and have many benefits, that we’re missing out on.
Cherries, plums, and apricots all have toxic seeds, so it’s understandable if you’re cautious. There is no need to worry, however, as the avocado seed has been proven as safe. The seed does contain tannins, a mild toxin. But, you’d need to consume quite a few seeds to experience any negative side effect.
The avocado seed abounds in healthy compounds and nutrients. It contains about 70% of the overall antioxidants in the avocado. In addition, the seeds are rich in folates, Vitamin B, fatty acids, triterpenes and glucosides from abscisic acid. The list doesn’t stop here, as the seeds also contain bioactive phytochemicals, such as proanthocyanidins and flavonoids and it’s rich in phytosterols. Finally, the seeds are considered to be one of the best natural sources of soluble fiber.
This results in a plethora of beneficial properties including antifungal, antibiotic, antimicrobial, insecticidal, antihypertensive, larvicidal, amoebicidal, giardicidal and hypolipidemic properties.
Excellent immunity booster
When disease attacks it’s our immune system that takes the first hits and protects us from sickness. To strengthen it and help prevent colds and the flu, make sure to consume avocado seeds and skins. They are both rich in antioxidants and have high amounts of procyanidins and catechins, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
This means that, in addition to being an immunity booster, avocado seeds can help with joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Researchers have also discovered that the seeds have anti-fungal and antibiotic properties. As part of an in-vitro study, researchers discovered that avocado seed extract can inhibit pathogens such as Candida and other fungi, as their heightened activity is linked to a weakened immune system. (Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical, 2009).
Since they are rich in antioxidants and fiber, both instrumental for proper digestion, avocado seed can better your digestive process. As a part of traditional medicine in South America, avocado seeds are used for a number of problems related to the digestive tract, such as severe and acute diarrhea and gastric ulcers.
Heart disease benefits
A study done in 2012 (Plant foods for Human Nutrition), claims avocado seeds may prevent the formation of arterial plaque. In addition, the fibers found in avocado seeds have been linked with lowering cholesterol levels. Apparently, while still in the intestinal tract, the fiber binds to the cholesterol and prevents its absorption. In addition to fighting high cholesterol, consuming avocado seeds helps with hypertension, diabetes prevention, and inflammation.
Several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of avocado seeds in fighting different types of cancer. One study, published in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology and carried out by researchers from the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, found that an extract from the seeds causes auto-destruction of leukemia cells. Another study in the Cancer Research journal claimed that a compound in the extract, avocation B, proved efficient against acute myeloid leukemia cells. During this study, around 800 natural remedies were tested against these types of cells.
This benefit is more on the cosmetic side, but it’s still an important one. A study has found that the avocado seeds contain oil which can help replenish collagen in the skin. Collagen is what gives the skin it’s elasticity, which means that avocado seed oil could be very useful in reducing visible wrinkles. Moreover, the oil can be used to soothe acne break-outs.
The benefits are quite numerous and following are some less known ones:
– By boiling the seed you can prepare avocado seed tea. Water should be brought to boiling and the seeds left in boiling water for 30 to 40 minutes.
– We mentioned that avocado seeds have anti-microbial and antioxidant properties. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food chemistry in 2011 discovered that these properties mean the avocado seed can be used for food preservation. Simply crush the seeds, add them to your meals and know your food is safe from spoiling.
– Another cosmetic use is homemade facial masks. The seeds need to be frozen and the ground up finely. Add this to your usual mask and you have made an amazing exfoliating facial mask.
– If you tend to make too much guacamole, the seeds can be a real lifesaver. We wrote about how avocado seeds can prevent food from spoiling. So, just add a seed in your dip and it will keep it from going bad in the fridge.
-The seed can also be used to grow a new avocado plant. Plant it in your garden or a flower-pot and in a short time, you will have a nice ornamental plant for your house or garden.
How to safely remove avocado seeds
Removing the seed is a simple process, but you need to make sure to do it safely.
Firstly, slicing around the pit, half the avocado. Insert your knife in the pit lengthwise, then twist and pull gently. Remove the knife from the seed.
To use the avocado seed in cooking, you first need to crush it. Place the seed in a plastic bag and crush it with a hammer. Add this to your favorite dishes. Another option is a healthy smoothie. Combine the seed with dates, a banana, some spinach, and water. You can even use a more powerful blender to avoid crushing the seed.
Two of our favorite recipes for healthy smoothies
- 1/2 avocado seed
- 1/2 to 3/4 of a ripe mango
- 3/4 of a head of red leaf lettuce
- 1 ripe pear
- 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
- 2 1/2 cups of water or almond milk
How to prepare it
Crush the seed and mix with the other ingredients. Blend until you get a smooth mixture. Serve over ice and enjoy.
Perfect Avocado Smoothie
- 1/2 avocado seed
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 cup of organic spinach
- 1 small piece of ginger (grated)
- 1 ripe pear
- 1/2 apple
- 1 cup of almond milk or water
How to prepare it:
Smash the seed and mix all the ingredients in a blender. Pulse until the all the ingredients are incorporated smoothly. Serve over ice and enjoy!
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