After a recent Facebook video went viral, purporting the health benefits of avocado pits, a growing number of blogs and websites—too numerous to count—jumped aboard. Now, when it comes to avocados, I agree wholeheartedly; they are one of nature’s wonder foods. But before I overtaxed my blender, I wanted more factual information. The reason I resist health fads is that once the “buzz” dies down, any initial benefits reported were at best a placebo or, worse, toxic. Another trend from the 70’s springs to mind surrounding apricot seeds as a preventative treatment and cure for cancer. This isn’t to say that I am not an advocate for alternative, homeopathic medicine. I am. Or that food in its purest form isn’t the body’s preferred medicine. It is. But it behooves one to do a little research before leaping on the latest health-craze bandwagon.
In reviewing the research, this is what we know so far. Recent studies published in Scientific World Journal, California Avocado Commission, and Today’s Dietitian debunked these sensationalized claims. Seeds, like apricot, apple, peach, cherry, and even avocado, contain trace elements of amygdalin that converts to cyanide in the gastrointestinal tract and are considered toxic. If someone rests their hypothesis on, if the fruit is good, then the seed must be better—without investigative research—is anchored to a slippery slope. With that said, I’ll defer to the experts, and adjourn to enjoy the rich buttery flavor of avocados and their bioavailable nutrients, and wait for more compelling scientific evidence before hitching my wagon to the pits.