Chances are, it has invaded your social media feeds too – the viral story about the health benefits of eating avocado seeds. Many articles, infographics, and videos boasting the benefits of eating avocado seeds have been circulating on the Internet. One video in particular has over 25 million views since being published on March 13.
As described by Health, the video “claims the seed is the most nutrient-dense part of the fruit, and that by drying it, chopping it up into pieces, and blending it, you are left with a powder-like substance that you can mix into smoothies or use for baking, adding an extra nutritional boost to your diet.”
Turns out, this news is too good to be true– at least for now.
Current research on avocado seed consumption is very limited, which means we don’t have enough information to determine whether it’s safe or beneficial to eat avocado seeds. The studies that do exist have all concluded with scientists determining further research would be necessary to come to a clear decision on the nutritional value of the seed.
“I’m a huge avocado fan. I eat them daily, and recommend them to my clients, but I have reservations about eating the seeds,” Health’s contributing nutrition editor, Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD explained, “While there is some research about beneficial compounds in the seed, the safety of ingesting it hasn’t been established, so the risks versus benefits aren’t fully known.”
In fact, most studies on avocado seed research have only focused on the potential benefits of avocado seed extracts, not the consumption of the seed itself.
Nutritionist Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LDN added to the Health article, “There is a body of evidence exploring potential health benefits in extracts of the avocado seed, but these potential benefits versus risks of eating the avocado seed are not well fleshed out.”
Big names in the avocado industry have also backed this information with clear statements of their own. On its website, The California Avocado Commission writes that it does not recommend eating the avocado pit because the seed “contains elements that are not intended for human consumption.”
On that same note, Hass Avocados openly answers questions on Twitter regarding avocado pit consumption. In a recent tweet, Hass Avocados stated, “We don’t advocate eating the seed or pit. All nutrition research has been done on the green flesh of the avocado.”
At Stonehill Produce, we agree with the facts and other industry experts: While the nutritional value of avocado seeds isn’t yet available, we can still enjoy eating the avocado’s green flesh, which is full of nutrient-boosting qualities such as healthy fat, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
And don’t throw away your stockpile of seeds just yet! Although we can’t knowingly safely consume avocado seeds, we can still save them for other uses.