Avocados are enjoying superfood status these days and a lot of people ask, are avocado seeds safe to eat? We checked the facts to see if they are edible and nutritious or poisonous and unsafe to eat.
If you want to grow your own using a simple method, see How to Grow Avocado from Seed.
Are Avocado Seeds Safe to Eat?NEW! Click play to listen:
With Trends Comes Misinformation
Avocado | Genus: Persea
Avocado Houseplant Growing Tips
• Light: Full, indirect sun
• Humidity: Moderate to high
• Soil: do not dry out
• Fertilizer: 7-9-5
• Shape: Pinch back top leaves to encourage new side shoots
• Room Temperature: 60° to 85°F (16° to 30°C)
• For Fruit: Start with a grafted tree
• For Fun: Grow seed into non-fruiting houseplant
If you’ve been watching food trends over recent years, you know avocados are insanely popular. Rated as a good fat, with many health benefits, these little darlings can do no wrong.
For food uses, guacamole has always been popular but now avocado toast is taking over. Many of us have enjoyed it for years, but when it starts appearing on restaurant menus, that’s a whole other level.
And, with so much avocado consumption, it’s inevitable that alternative uses will start showing up.
Have a look at this video from Facebook:
It has over 28 million views and 42,000 comments!
And it’s just about using avocado seeds as a food supplement.
But is this actually safe, nutritious, and recommended? Or, is avocado seed poisonous?
Exploring Health Benefits of Avocado Seeds
Avocado seeds, also called pits or stones—or, the big thing in the middle of the avocado—can be about 15% of the entire weight of the fruit and are largely disposed of as a waste product.
With millions of tons of avocados produced every year, that adds up.
Mexico, Central and South America are the biggest producers, and avocado seeds have been used for medicinal purposes in the Aztec and Mayan cultures going back a long time. Historical uses (whether they worked or not) include toothache, dandruff, snakebite, arthritis, even as a contraceptive, among others.
What to do With All Those Leftover Seeds
So, put those two things together—waste and medicinal uses—and it was probably inevitable that sooner or later it would be recommended that we eat the seeds, even though no one is suggesting that they taste very good.
And, there are modern scientific studies that suggest that some of the chemicals in avocado seeds may be beneficial to humans, for everything from cancer and diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease.
So, it’s not a ridiculous idea.
But, hold your horses.
Do Not Eat the Seeds
Scientists are a long way from suggesting that people should be eating avocado seeds.
Most of the work that’s been done has—at best—been on laboratory rats and often just in test tubes and Petri dishes. And what they’re investigating is whether chemicals extracted from avocado seeds may have health benefits, not whether you should be eating whole seeds.
There are a lot of compounds in the seeds, some of which may not be so good for you, and there’s really no evidence at this point that you should be eating them.
Even the California Avocado Commission says they don’t recommend eating the seeds, adding that “there is not enough research to support consuming” them.
Sow the Seed or Compost It
So, at this point, the answer is no. The possible risks of eating avocado seeds are unknown, which means, don’t do it. We are rating this one as a garden myth.
Any part of an avocado can, however, go right in your compost bin (see Composting 101 Tips), along with the discarded skin of the fruit. Both are slow to decompose, but it’s a much better alternative than sending them to landfill sites.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
- Is It Safe and Healthy to Eat the Seed of an Avocado? | Healthline.com
- Avocado (Persea americana) Seed as a Source of Bioactive Phytochemicals | Researchgate.net
- Is it Safe to Eat the Avocado Seed? | California Avocado Commission