Are avocado seeds poisonous? (+5 facts)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer “are avocado seeds poisonous?” and discuss what’s in an avocado seed, how you can prepare avocado seeds for eating, why you should not eat avocado seeds, and what kind of health benefits you can get from eating avocado seeds.

Are avocado seeds poisonous?

No and also yes, avocado seeds can be both poisonous and healthy for you. Mostly they are poisonous so try to avoid eating them.

What’s in an avocado seed?

A hard- shelled avocado seed is enriched with nutrients such as antioxidants, fatty acids, dietary fibers, carbohydrates (mostly starch) and proteins. It is also enriched with phytochemicals that can be both healthy and harmful. 

Avocado seeds also contain bioactive chemicals such as persin that have many health impacts, both negative and positive.

Not only in seeds, persin is also present in avocado tree barks and leaves, and it is known to have caused toxic and sometimes fatal effects in livestock and some birds. However, Its effect on humans is currently under study. 

Tannins, saponins, oxalate and phytic acid are the antinutrients also present in avocado seeds. They reduce the absorption of certain essential nutrients such as iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium in your body. So, one may think twice before adding the avocado seeds in his nutritious drink or food.

Avocado seeds also have hydrocyanic acid and cyanogenic glycosides in small amounts that can cause cyanide poisoning when consumed in heavy quantities.

How you can prepare avocado seeds for eating?

Avocado seeds are very hard and they need to be treated before you can eat them. First, dehydrate the seeds in the oven and then make their powder by chopping in a blender or food processor. This powder can then be consumed in whatever way you like.

However, drying out the seeds can reduce their antioxidant properties so you cannot get all the nutrition you want.

Also if you are adding the powder in your smoothie, don’t forget to balance its bitter taste by adding some sweet fruit like banana.  

Another way to consume avocado seeds is by making “avocado seed water” by mashing and soaking the seeds overnight. 

Why should you not eat avocado seeds?

  1. If you are allergic to latex, avoid eating avocado seeds or also avocado fruit because it might trigger the allergic response.
  1. If you are on anti- cancer drugs, do not eat avocado seeds or fruit, as the chemical called persin can make your anti- cancer drugs become toxic to cells.

Also, there is no scientific evidence that eating avocado seeds is safe for humans. But if you still want to eat them, keep your intake to a minimum level so you may not get any harmful side effects. 

Do avocado seeds have some health benefits?

Yes, avocado seeds may have some health benefits but that doesn’t mean you should start eating seeds along with the fruit pulp. 

Avocado seeds may have antioxidants, fibers, potassium, Vit A, C, E, and monounsaturated fats. Several animal and test-tube studies have shown that eating avocado seeds may:

  • Reduce total cholesterol level and also LDL cholesterol (that is bad cholesterol)
  • Act as anti- dibetic medicine to reduce blood sugar levels
  • Relax blood vessels to lower blood pressure and prevent the risk of heart diseases
  • Exhibit antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal properties

To be fair, health impacts of eating avocado seeds on humans have yet to be scientifically proven so we don’t recommend putting yourself at risk when you can get the health benefits of avocado seeds from other safe foods. 

Do not risk your health and eat avocados without their seeds. Avocados are enriched with folate, potassium, Vit K, C, B5, B6, Vit E.  They also have Vit A, B1, B2, B3, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron and phosphorus in small amounts. 

  • Avocados have monounsaturated fats that are healthy for your heart.
  • Fibers in avocados are both soluble and insoluble that are great for weight loss and gut health.
  • Eating avocados can lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels in your body, which improves your heart health.
  • Fat content of avocados helps in absorbing antioxidants and certain fat-soluble nutrients from vegetable food sources.
  • Antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin improve your eye health and lower the risk of eye cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Eating avocados can reduce your symptoms of arthritis and may help in preventing prostate cancer.

Other FAQs about Avocado which you may be interested in.

Are brown avocados bad?

Are avocados bad for you?

Can you steam avocados?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered “are avocado seeds poisonous?” and discussed what’s in an avocado seed, how you can prepare avocado seeds for eating, why you should not eat avocado seeds, and what kind of health benefits you can get from eating avocado seeds.

References

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eating-avocado-seed
  2. https://www.thoughtco.com/are-avocado-seeds-poisonous-4076817
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado#TOC_TITLE_HDR_10