Are avocado seeds edible or poisonous?
It is well known that avocados are healthy. The flesh of avocados contains a variety of nutrients that are important for health. Additionally, it serves as the base for numerous recipes such as guacamole. However, what may be new to most people is that the avocado seed is also edible. Often, the seeds are simply discarded.
Avocado seeds are part of traditional Mexican medicine
In Mexico, the seeds are used in the treatment of rheumatism, asthma, infections, diarrhea, and intestinal disorders caused by intestinal parasites 1.
Combatting diseases with healthy plant compounds
Avocado seeds are rich in polyphenols (secondary plant compounds) that could have numerous positive effects on health due to their high antioxidant activity 2. Scientific research has shown that the seeds may be able to improve hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol levels) and be helpful in the treatment of hypertension, inflammatory diseases, and diabetes 3.
Avocado seeds contain four classes of polyphenols: monomeric flavanols, proanthocyanidins, hydroxycinnamic acids, and flavonol glycosides 4. According to researchers, the seeds can be used as a functional food ingredient or as an antioxidant additive. Another study confirms that they can be utilized as a source of antioxidants 5.
Minerals in Avocado Seeds
The exact nutritional values are not yet known, but it is certain that the seeds contain higher amounts of phosphorus and potassium. Calcium and magnesium, on the other hand, are only present in low concentrations 6.
Making Body Cells Happy with Avocado Seeds
Further study results show that avocado seed extracts have a significant influence on cell functions such as proliferation (cell multiplication), enzyme activities, and the differentiation of skin cells (healthy formation of epidermal cells) 7.
Are avocado seeds poisonous due to their bitter taste?
In large quantities, avocado seeds can be harmful to health. Like the flesh of the avocado, they contain persin, which is especially toxic to animals 8. In addition, the edible avocado seeds contain phytotoxins such as tannins (bitter substances) that are also present in green and black tea 9. The taste of avocados is slightly bitter and astringent due to the presence of tannins, which can cause digestive problems in high amounts and also interfere with iron absorption from food 10. However, adverse effects in humans from avocado seeds are not currently known.
Preparing and Using Avocado Seeds
Using a vegetable knife, the avocado seed can be easily cut through.
Avocado seeds can be grated like carrots or boiled until they are soft like potatoes. The seed is easier to grate after it has been dried for a few days and the skin has been removed from the seed. The grated seed can be used as an ingredient in tea or salad, for example.
The seeds are also suitable as an ingredient for green smoothies. Good blenders easily crush the seed.
If the taste is too bitter, you can add some agave syrup to the dishes and drinks to balance it out.
In addition, the starch extracted from the seeds can be used as a thickening and gelling agent in food production 11.