Are avocado pits nutritious?

Avocados for Healthy Weight GainAmanda writes:

I’m seeing a lot of  claims about health benefits of eating avocado pits, but I’m having a terrible time finding solid nutritional information for them. Have you got any data?”

Amanda’s note was the first I’d heard about eating avocado pits. (My first thought was: How on earth do you eat one?) But a quick Google search reveals that adding avocado pits to smoothies is indeed a trending topic among the nutritionally ambitious.

None of the the standard nutritional databases I rely on include nutrition information on avocado pits, which are traditionally regarded as “inedible refuse.” However, I was able to dig up a couple of obscure papers on the nutritional value of avocado pits. (Thanks to my friends at the Hass Avocado Board for the assist.)

A lot of the excitement has to do with the fact that the antioxidant activity  of the pit is much higher than the antioxidant capacity of the part you usually eat. More antioxidants = more better, right? Actually not so much.

No siempre mas?

There is a point at which consuming more antioxidants doesn’t provide any additional benefit (and may even do some harm).  That threshold is much lower than most people think.  If you’re eating at least five servings of fruits vegetables a day (including avocado), you’re probably already at that threshold. So, I don’t think it’s worth asking your poor Nutribullet to chew up avocado pits purely for the sake of the extra antioxidants.

If, on the other hand, you just love the taste and texture of pulverized avocado pits, or you’re taking your campaign to reduce food waste to the next level, here’s what you can expect to get from an average sized pit.

Nutrition Information for Avocado Seeds

(per average sized pit)

  • 95 calories
  • 25 g carbohydrate
    • 17 g starch
    • 6 g fiber
    • 2 g sugar
  • 1.5 g protein
  • 0.5 g fat
  • 240 mg vitamin C     (400% DV)
  • 163 mg potassium     (5% DV_
  • 16 mg magnesium     (4% DV)
  • 7 mg calcium              (0.7% DV)

Sources:

Antioxidant activity and phenolic content of selected fruit seeds. Food Chemistry (2004) 88(3): 411-417.

Antioxidants in ‘Hass’ Avocado. South African Grower’s Association (2007) 30: 17-9.

Avocado (Persea americana) seed as a source of bioactive phytochemicals. Curr Pharm Des (2013) 19(34): 6133-40.

Variations in the Composition of Avocado Seed.  California Avocado Society (1951) 35: 139-152 .

 

8 thoughts on “Are avocado pits nutritious?

  1. I love this. My mom has been taking this for years now and I had no idea what she was benefiting. I think I’m adding this gem to my diet

  2. When I have at least 8 seeds, I bake them at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Peel the outer skin off and then cut them into smaller pieces before pulverizing them in the food processor. Put the powder in a tight sealing jar and add a tablespoon or two to my protein shake. The flavor is mild. I hope it’s doing me some good!

  3. I just leave the pit sit out on the counter for several days and the pellicle will crack and peel very easily. By baking them you could be loosing some of the nutritional value in the pit.

  4. Amazing blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring
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  5. Like all other seeds and nuts I allow them to just sit and soak for a day or two and then blend them in my smoothie… 1 per smoothie.

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