Question: Do avocado seeds lower blood pressure?
Answer: Avocados provide monounsaturated fats, alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid), vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, beta-sitosterols, and vitamin E… all of which add up to equal a heart-healthy addition to your diet rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation.
However, all the above refers to the flesh of the avocado. What about the large seed, which most of us tend to scoop out and throw away?
An avocado seed can be consumed by removing the fine layer of brown skin and then grating it or using a coffee bean grinder to grind it into a powder.
This powder can then be added to soups, salads, stews, pasta/rice dishes, smoothies and baked goods.
A viral Facebook video (from March 2016) showed how to peel, chop, and pulverize the seed adding fuel to the idea of the avocado seed being a type of “super food”.
Avocado seeds contain protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, flavonoids, and phenols but there is still some argument regarding their positive health benefits.
Potassium to lower blood pressure
The potassium content of an avocado seed promotes healthy blood pressure levels by working to balance out the sodium in your diet. Current dietary guidelines recommend 4.7 grams of potassium each day.
The soluble fiber from avocado seeds helps promote lower cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol and removing it from circulation. For every 1-2 grams of daily soluble fiber consumed, LDL cholesterol is lowered by one percent.
Healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels both reduce your risk for developing heart disease, while the antioxidant properties of avocado seeds combat inflammation to further reduce risk.
Is it safe to consume avocado seeds?
Even though the potential health benefits make it tempting to include avocado seeds in your diet, it is not recommended at this time.
There is simply not enough research to confirm their safety.
Consuming small amounts occasionally may not be harmful but the effects of regular consumption of large amounts is unknown. A 2013 study on mice found high doses of avocado seed extract (concentrations starting at 500 mg/kg) to have acute toxic effects.
The California Avocado Board states the avocado seed “contains elements that are not intended for human consumption”.
(If you don’t want to waste the seed, consider growing your own avocado houseplant.)
Research on avocado seeds continues. A study published April 2015 found potential for a compound – Avocatin B - within the seed to show anti-cancer properties. However, be cautious and skeptical if you see or read anything implying avocados are the next super food to cure all your ills. Let’s give researchers a bit more time to sort out the pros and cons of including the seed as a regular part of your diet.
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You should know: The answer above provides general health information that is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment recommendations from a qualified healthcare professional.
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