Is It Dangerous To Eat Avocado Pits?

If you're familiar with the TikTok phenomenon of papaya seeds curing parasites, you're probably thinking that the seeds of any fruit have super powers (via Very Well Health). And it has been stated that fruits like avocado, jackfruit, longan, mango, and tamarind have seeds that contain 70% more antioxidants than the edible fruit itself, per Vegalicious. Avocado pits have soluble fiber in them, and high amounts of phosphorus and potassium. They also can lower cholesterol and improve the function of the heart. But how do people eat such a rock-hard seed?

You'll need a pretty powerful blender to break down such a big seed. Housewife How-Tos states that carefully cutting it in half, then blending to chop it up is one way, while you can also sit the pit on a sunny windowsill for several days to dry it out before chopping into small pieces. From there, you can incorporate them into smoothies, salad dressings, sweets, sauces, soups, stews, oatmeal, and grain bowls, just like you would with nuts. Now that we've talked about the good, let's discuss the bad.

If consumed in high amounts, avocado pits can be dangerous

According to Livestrong, a plant toxin called persin is highly present in avocado pits, and highly toxic to a variety of animals such as cattle, horses, birds, rabbits, sheep, goats, mice, rats, and guinea pigs. When exposed, these animals experience toxic effects or even death. With such a large amount of animals at risk, you can't help but wonder the effect this same seed has on people.

The Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health states that avocado pits are full of chemicals that act as anti-nutrients. That's right, the bully to nutrients. In fact, these chemicals block nutrients from getting absorbed. To list a few, saponins, tannins, oxalates, and phytates are all present in avocado pits. These chemicals reduce the absorption of iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium — basically all the good stuff you want. So when you make a big green smoothie and decide to add an avocado pit, just know that the healthy ingredients aren't able to work their magic.

While you'd have to consume an outrageous amount of avocado seeds to experience toxic effects, California Avocado Commission recommends sticking to the pulp.