Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The avocado seed, there is more to it than meets the eye.

Avocados are often referred to as nature's own butter. We are lucky in North Queensland; they are grown at our doorstep, the Atherton Tableland, mainly in Mareeba and Tolga, and we get them fresh from the tree. The two main varieties are Hass and Shepard.   The Shepard avocados are grown on the Atherton Tableland and in Bundaberg, Queensland - the only places Sheppard avocados are grown in the world!

I love to eat avocados and their big seed was always a throw-away – but not anymore.
I came across an interesting article, in which I learnt something I didn’t know about this otherwise nutritious fruit.  Source:  Danica Collins. So I thought to share it with you and I hope you find it as interesting as I did. I had my first smoothie with a quarter of an avocado seed which gave it a slight bitterness, but this was easily overcome with honey. As I always say: “If I haven’t learnt something new every day, I wasted a day”. Werner
Did You Know that avocado seeds are the most nutritious part of an avocado?
  These last few years, avocados have definitely been getting the love.  Studies have shown that the fruit of an avocado can help optimize heart health, calm chronic inflammation, and revitalize lacklustre skin and hair.  But you know that the most nutritious part of this fruit (yes, avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable!) gets discarded as waste.

An avocado seed actually makes up 18% of an avocado,
and contains over 70% of the fruit's total antioxidant power.  In fact, Food Chemistry published a study that showed that avocado seeds have a "much higher antioxidant activity and phenolic content than the edible portions."

A recent Pennsylvania State University study confirmed the potent antioxidant capacity of avocado seeds.  Researchers found that antioxidant compounds in the seeds may help reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and inflammation, and strengthen immune function. Research also shows that the seed are... Insecticidal, Fungicidal  and  Anti-microbial. It's time to stop throwing away the pit and start grinding it up into your diet, and Lower Disease-Instigating Inflammation.

Systemic inflammation is the cause of many chronic diseases,
including arthritis, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer.  Avocado seeds contain high concentrations of catechin and procyandin antioxidants that help to lower inflammation and alleviate associated pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of joint mobility.  Catechins and procyandins have also been found to help boost heart health and blood circulation.

Optimize Digestion.
South Americans have used avocado seeds as a digestive aid for centuries.  They act as a palliative tonic for dysentery, gastric ulcers, constipation, diarrhoea, and other digestive complications.  Because an avocado seed has more soluble fibre per ounce than almost any other fruit or vegetable, it helps satiate hunger and keeps you fuller for longer.  So if you are trying to lose weight, don't be put off by the high-fat content of avocados or avocado seeds—avocados support your weight loss goals wholeheartedly!

Digestive health also influences your overall wellness, including immune function.  Here's an interesting fact: 70% of your immune system resides in your digestive tract. That means the healthier your gastrointestinal system, the stronger your immune system.

Kick Cancer to the Curb.

A 2013 study published in Pharmaceutical Biology from the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Columbia suggests that avocado seeds have some pretty powerful cancer-fighting properties.  Research showed that an extract of the seed and fruit of Hass avocados helped trigger apoptosis (cancer-cell death) in leukaemia cells, while leaving healthy cells unaffected. The secret weapon?  A phytochemical  flavonol, which has also been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer tumours.

Keep That Heart Healthy.
Avocados are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and the seeds also contain amino acids and fibre that help lower cholesterol and prevent the accumulation of arterial plaque. Dr. Tom Wu, recipient of the "World Famous Doctor" award from the United Nations for his breakthroughs with diabetes and cancer, says: "This soluble fibre binds to the fat and excess cholesterol.  Then we can lower cholesterol and improve heart function naturally. Soluble fibre is tough to get in our diet. Oatmeal has some, but it cannot compare with the avocado seed."

Cracking the Seed.
You can split an avocado seed in two using a heavy chef's knife and then chopping it up into smaller pieces, which you can easily blend into a rich, creamy smoothie.  You can also grind up an avocado seed and sprinkle into your salads or on top of yogurt. You can even put the avocado seed in a bag and hammer it into a powder.  Just don't throw that seed away!

PS: I found that this is a hard “nut” to crack, and a hammer with the seed in a plastic bag is the best option to crack it. – Werner

More reading.

12 proven benefits of avocado.
Images of the Atherton Tableland.
My thought for today. - Werner
It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. Harry S Truman
How to post a comment!


Irene and Gavin said...

Thanks for that Werner, very interesting. You must have known we were out and about yesterday with our daughter! We stopped at an avocado orchard and bought five bags of avocados! Each bag contains either four or five avocados for $2 a bag! They take a couple of days to ripen but are lovely. We love avocados too. Way to go!! This orchard is on the Mareeba-Atherton road just beyond the Rocky Creek Memorial Park, on the left, in case you are up this way.

Ulla said...

Thanks very much Werner.
Your blogs about nutrition are always very helpful; Moringa got my old cat a new lease on life.
I love avocados and eat them often, but threw away the seeds - now I know better. My hammer is ready for the next! Good for my cat as well, I suppose.

Avocado Lover said...

Thanks, Werner for this very interesting posting. We certainly look at avocados in a different light now and, consume the lot. Why has it taken so long for this to come to the surface? Your blog is a real treasure trove, with very interesting and informative reading.

Julian T said...

G'day Werner, I do love avocados, that link was certainly fascinating to read!

Health Activist said...

I wouldn't have thought to eat the avocado seed - but it makes sense because seeds of other fruits also have cancer fighting properties.

For example, apricot seeds, which contain Vitamin B17 or Laetrile, have been used for many years by many people to prevent or cure cancer. Of course, because Laetrile works it's been banned as a therapy in countries like Australia and the USA. Health authorities in these countries are in cahoots with Big Pharma. There's too much money being made in the cancer industry for there to be any room for a cheap, natural, safe cure.

Proof of that is the treatment suffered by Dr Stanislaw Burzynski, who has been pursued by authorities in the USA for over 15 years now, because he discovered a cheap, safe cure which has saved the lives of a significant number of cancer sufferers who had been given up on by mainstream medicine. So all the fund raising for a 'cure for cancer' is a wasted effort, because authorities clearly aren't interested in a cure.

Disgusted Aussie Mum said...

The Health activist “is right on the money”, they are my sentiments as well. We could think that we live in Stalin Russia or Hitler Germany, as our lives are controlled by government and big business – in the health sector the pharmaceutical companies. It is absolutely shameful that they hold sway over our governments and persuading them to ban natural remedies, because they cut in their profit which is all they are interested in.

Natural remedies have been used by mothers long before the pharmaceuticals came into play. When I was young, we never saw so many chemical tablets around and Mum used natural remedies, to cure our ills, and we hardly needed to see a doctor. All the pharmaceuticals are just interested in is, not to cure us, but to keep us alive as dead people are not profitable to them.

Grateful Mum said...

Werner you are amazing, all your postings make compelling reading. You endeavour to help people to good health and good nutrition. You research everything so well and the links you put in are also interesting and informative. All your various subjects are extremely interesting and informative, and never boring. I totally agree with all the wonderful comments and, I had a chuckled reading that your “Moringa” posting helped Ulla’s cat – how wonderful. I had my first smoothie with half an avocado seed. I followed your instruction and had a “smashing time” with a hammer. Keep up your good work.

Unknown said...

Hi Werner,
I have just read this blog about the wonderful Avocado seed. I will try some in my next smoothy. Wow what a wonder food it is!
Donna Waldman

Christine Lamont said...

You're a wonderful man......always thinking of others. I'm privileged to know you. Thanks for the info. I'm in Melbourne...hope to catch you home soon.Criss Lamont