Avocados are everywhere these days, to the point that they even had their own Super Bowl commercial this year. The ad itself was a little too weird for me, but I cannot deny the deliciousness of avocados. I was fortunate enough to grow up traveling a lot because of my dad's job, but I didn't have my first encounter with avocados until I moved to Venezuela in high school. It was love at first bite.
With their rich, creamy texture and mild flavor that adapts to whatever they’re used with, avocados are pretty much perfect on everything: tacos, rice and beans, burgers, and even served up in a sweet smoothie. Maybe it's just me, but it feels as if over the last 10 to 15 years, avocados have gone from being mostly a Mexico/California thing to being beloved by the masses just about everywhere.
Taste alone is not what brought the humble avocado to such global heights. Avocados also boast a rich suite of healthy nutrients like vitamins B, C, E, and K, along with a rich dose of healthy monounsaturated fats. Any way you slice them, avocados are just plain good eatin'. Recently, I discovered that alongside the delicious flesh, there's another part of the avocado that's packed with nutrients ... and we've all been throwing it in the trash! Read on to find out more.
Avocados have been cultivated in Central America since at least as early as 5000 B.C.E. and are thought to have originated from the Puebla region of Mexico. There are at least 14 officially recognized varieties of avocados grown throughout tropical regions worldwide.
Fun fact: The word "avocado" comes from the Spanish name for them, "aguacate." That, in turn, comes from the indigenous Nahuatl word for avocados, "ahuacatl," which some linguists believe was also the Nahuatl term for a certain part of the male anatomy bearing resemblance to avocados.
Avocados are perhaps best known (and loved) in the form of guacamole. According to an estimate by the California Avocado Commission, Americans ate over 139 million pounds of avocados in the form of guacamole during Super Bowl 50 this year.
Personally, much as I love the guac, I can't stop drooling over these delicious avocado toasts. Now that's how you start the morning right!
Avocados - which are technically a fruit, by the way - are a great source of healthy fats and other key vitamins and minerals. But, what if I told you we were all throwing the most nutritious part of it in the trash?
As great as the flesh is, though, the real treasure trove is in the seed/pit. When looking at an avocado as a whole, as much as 70 percent of the valuable nutrients are actually in the seed!
The avocado seed is densely packed with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation, which makes it great for staving off the effects of arthritis.
The high antioxidant levels and anti-inflammatory properties of the seed aid with digestion by reducing swelling in the gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, the seed has a lot of fiber, which is always good for digestive issues.
The oils contained in the avocado seed promote collagen levels in the skin, reducing wrinkles, and helping you look younger. It also gives a nice shine to your hair.
The fiber and healthy fats in the avocado seed also help you stay full and feel energized for longer - reducing cravings and helping you shed those unwanted pounds.
Additionally, the avocado seed has also shown promising results in reducing tumor growth in cancer patients and even causing certain cancer cells to self-destruct.
What's that you say? You're sold on the seed, but don't know how to extract it? Fear not, my friends. I'm here (or rather, this video is).
Once you've got it out, what’s next? You could potentially try to grate it into a fine powder, but that could take a while.
You could always shove it into a blender like this guy, but only if your blender is a serious, heavy-duty power beast. The seeds are pretty dense, so most regular blenders probably won't manage if you're plopping in a whole seed.
The best way for most folks to use the seed would be to first extract it using a knife, as shown above. Then, whack the seed (with the knife still attached) down so it splits into two. Next, proceed to chop it up into smaller pieces until you think it's at a level your blender can handle. You can also try drying the seeds first so you get a finer powder when you grind them. Add the powder to any smoothies or food as you see fit.
The taste of the seed isn't quite as yummy as the flesh, though. It's not gross, but it's a bit strong, so you definitely want to add some fruits and other stuff to your avocado seed smoothies to make it more palatable.
Don't forget to SHARE these avocado tips with your family and friends.