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  • Rose Kadende-Kaiser, Ph.D

Five Reasons Why Avocados, Flesh and Seeds Are Good for You!

Did you know that you can eat both the flesh and the seeds and they each offer different benefits? Avocado seeds are edible and in fact, they might contain more beneficial compounds than the flesh.

Let me explain why next time you eat an avocado, you should not throw away the seed. The first reason is that most of the anti-oxidant benefits of the avocado may actually be in the seed and not as much in the flesh. According to a 2003 study at the National University of Singapore avocado seeds, have an even greater level of antioxidant activity than the commonly eaten flesh. “The seeds may contain more than 70% of the antioxidants found in the entire fruit,” the study says. Dr David Wolf confirms this when he writes: “Don’t trash avocado seeds: They’re an antioxidant-filled super food.” Wolf adds: “These anti-inflammatory seeds contain more soluble fibers than most other foods on our planet! This superfruit is also sure to keep you full and help control blood sugar levels.” Dr Wolf refers to a study published in Food Chemistry, that states that avocado seeds showed a “much higher antioxidant activity and phenolic content than the edible portions.”

Avocado seeds are also full of soluble fiber which is beneficial for the heart and the gut. Dr Tom Wu, who was recognized by the United Nations with the “World Famous Doctor” award for his breakthroughs with diabetes and cancer says that he always eats the avocado seed. He adds that “the avocado seed is among the highest naturally-occurring sources of soluble fiber, which helps to lower the bad cholesterol…. This soluble fiber binds to the fat and excess cholesterol…[to] improve heart function naturally.” When this soluble fiber binds to the cholesterol in the intestinal tract, it prevents it from being absorbed.   The avocado seed is also considered to be a good source of potassium, another heart-friendly mineral.


Avocados are also a good source of fat known to support belly fat loss. One study referred to on the Authority Nutrition website looked at the dietary habits and health of people who eat avocados. The study analyzed data from 17,567 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in the U.S. Avocado consumers were found to be much healthier than people who didn’t eat avocados. They had a much higher nutrient intake and were half as likely to have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that include heart disease and diabetes. People who ate avocados regularly also weighed less, had a lower BMI, significantly less belly fat, and more HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. Besides, fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K, along with carotenoid anti-oxidants need to be consumed with fat to be utilized by the body. Avocados are one good source of fat that increase the nutrient value and antioxidant absorption of other plant foods you eat by up to 15-fold.


While a number of studies address avocado and avocado seed benefits, few indicate how much to consume and how often to get all the benefits it offers. I suggest we all exercise caution and refrain from overindulging in the seeds in particular. Avocados and the seeds are a superfood but no one food is to be consumed as if it were a miracle foods. However, according to a blog on the Doctors Health Press website, “you would have to consume several [avocado seeds] before you’d notice any negative health effects. In a 2013 study published in the Scientific World Journal, researchers concluded that avocado seed extract was safe. Others have found that avocado seed extracts in fact, do have antifungal and antibiotic effects that could “inhibit harmful pathogens such as candida along with other fungi, signs of a weakened immune system” according to an in-vitro study, published in the journal Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical in 2009 and referred to by David Wolf.


Avocado seeds can also be used as natural food additives. In a 2011 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers concluded that the antimicrobial and antioxidant effects of avocado seeds may help with food spoilage prevention.


Here are five ways that I enjoy ripe avocados and their seeds.  Let me share five ways that I enjoy ripe avocados and their seeds:


  1. I slice it, scoop the flesh out of the skin and add it to food on my plate. I works well with most foods including salads.

  2. I snack on the flesh with a drizzle of olive oil, a bit of lemon juice, a dash of cayenne and/or ginger and a little sea salt

  3. I make a spread that I call Guac’hummus, a blend of guacamole and hummus that works well also as an added source of fiber and good fats to food on my plate. It works also as a dip with your favorite snacks such as baby carrots, celery sticks, or crackers and as a spread on a sandwiches to replace mayonnaise.

  4. I add it to a green smoothie for a creamy and satisfying drink

  5. I use the seed in similar ways as the avocado flesh. Here is how I prepare the seed: I place the avocado seed in hot water in a small pot and let the skin crack open. This makes it easy to remove the seed without using a knife to peel it. It also breaks in half easily and then I slice up one half and add to food. I store the other half in a small jar and eat it the following day. You can add it to your smoothie, grate it and add to soup or a salad as well. Since I started eating avocado seeds off and on for a few years now, I have not experienced any side effects.

So, next time you eat an avocado, don’t throw away the seed. Eat it instead with your meal, a sandwich, soup, salad or even your smoothie. Warning: It is bitter! But that’s good news as well. Bitter foods are beneficial for your gut as the good bacteria thrive on the fiber in the seed. The bad bacteria thrive on sugar instead, and the avocado seed can help counter the negative effect of sugar on your body. I hope that next time you will eat your avocado whole, flesh and seed!


To Your Nourishment!


Rose Kadende-Kaiser, Ph.D Integrative Nutrition Health Coach


Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/254258-health-benefits-of-avocado-seed/ https://www.davidwolfe.com/avocado-seeds-health-benefits/ http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/food-and-nutrition-articles/health-benefits-of-eating-avocado-seeds https://authoritynutrition.com/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado/

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