“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)
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 .