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Should You Eat Avocado Seeds?

By: Bulletproof Staff

Avocados are a mainstay of the Bulletproof Diet, providing you with plenty of monounsaturated fat, fiber, vitamins B6, E, and C and potassium. And that’s just from the creamy fruit. What about the avocado seeds? Have we all been tossing a nutrient powerhouse into the compost this whole time?

That slimy sphere you carefully remove and discard makes up about 13-18% of the avocado, and some claim that it’s the most antioxidant-rich part of the fruit. [1]

A recent viral video demonstrated the process of chopping, oven drying, and pulverizing the avocado seed into a powder that you can add to smoothies or baked goods for a nutrient boost.

But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Let’s take a look at what science says about adding powdered avocado seed to your superfood arsenal.

 

The potential benefits of eating avocado seeds

Avocado seed extract contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols that ward off oxidative stress and associated diseases like cancer, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. Antimicrobial and antifungal compounds in the seed may help kill yeast or bacterial overgrowth and support immunity. [2]

Some preliminary research examines avocado seed extract (but not the whole seed) as an effective therapy for high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. [3,4] Anti-inflammatory procyanidins and catechins in the seed also protect against chronic conditions like obesity, metabolic syndrome, and depression. [5]

 

The potential pitfalls of eating avocado seeds

The idea of getting powerful nutrition from unassuming sources is pretty badass, but the research behind eating avocado seeds just isn’t there. While research does exist on the seed’s extract, the extraction process involves a series of steps including the distillation and concentration of the substance under a vacuum. Not quite the same chemical composition as that of the DIY version. [6]

Avocado seed extract contains impressive amounts of antioxidants and other potent plant compounds…but extracts are, by definition, many times more concentrated than their source. It’s hard to say whether you’ll get meaningful amounts of the good stuff from eating avocado seeds themselves. Plus, heating the seed above 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or for a long time at lower temperatures) degrades its polyphenol content, suggesting that drying your seed in the oven may destroy its nutrient potential. [7]

As for the safety of eating the dried avocado seed, the jury is out. It contains a couple toxic compounds, but the devil is in the dose. The quantity of toxins could be irrelevant – or not. [8]

Maybe avocado seeds do nothing for you. Maybe they introduce toxins to your system – or maybe eating them gives you a high dose of nutrients the rest of us are missing out on.

With so little research, the takeaway isn’t too satisfying here. Try the seed if you feel inclined. It’s bitter, so you’ll probably want to powder it and mix it into a shake or spice-heavy dish.

Avocado seed alternatives

If you want guaranteed polyphenols, you can just brew a strong cup of green tea or Bulletproof Coffee and enjoy the antioxidants from something tastier than a giant powdered seed. (9) Good sources of polyphenols are:

  • green tea
  • coffee
  • black tea
  • avocado (the green fruit portion)
  • chocolate
  • oregano
  • hazelnuts
  • red wine (be sure it’s biohacked!)

And if you want the fiber you get from avocado seeds, here are good alternatives:

  • avocado fruit
  • artichoke
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts

For a more complete guide to foods that enhance your performance, take a look at the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap. Thanks for reading and have a great week!

[1] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814604001293

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19448924

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23448442

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26812783

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23448442

[6] http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2013/245828/

[7]https://www.researchgate.net/publication/257908799_Thermal_stability_antioxidant_activity_and_photo-oxidation_of_natural_polyphenols

[8] http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2013/245828/

[9] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11453788

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