You already know that avocados are a major food group—that’s just 101 stuff. Without guacamole and avocado toast (yes, you’d like to add extra avocado to that), you wouldn’t be able to maintain your life.
But there’s more to the avocado than meets your plate. Last year, some next-level avocado devotees introduced the idea of grinding up the avocado seed, or pit, and eating it for the potential added health benefits (also as a way to reduce food waste).
Now, scientists are suggesting that avocados have even more benefits than previously thought, and they’re where you’d least expect them: in the husk of the avocado seed. Byrdie points out that in August, researchers from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley presented some really interesting findings at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in Washington, DC.
“It could very well be that avocado seed husks, which most people consider as the waste of wastes, are actually the gem of gems.”
The researchers, led by Debasish Bandyopadhyay, PhD, took 300 dried avocado seed husks—the papery substance wrapping around the seed—and ground them down to a powder, which they then processed into both oil and wax. They found 116 compounds in the oil, including an ingredient used in antiviral medications, and another that could potentially inhibit tumor cell growth. The research suggests that avocado seed husks need to be studied and potentially utilized instead of being tossed, as they almost exclusively are now.
“It could very well be that avocado seed husks, which most people consider as the waste of wastes, are actually the gem of gems because the medicinal compounds within them could eventually be used to treat cancer, heart disease and other conditions,” Bandyopadhyay said in a release. The researchers also found a compound that is an antioxidant—and they’re still looking into all the compounds from the seed husk.
At a press conference, Bandyopadhyay suggested that the seed husk extraction could be commercially viable, and that people could easily drop off their avocado seeds to be “recycled” in the way they recycle cans and bottles. How fun does that sound? You guys, science is amazing.