Some health experts are not giving a green light to a growing food trend, "healthy flour" (made with crushed avocado pits), despite the various health benefits of eating avocados.
Creamy and delicious, avocados contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, loaded with more potassium than bananas, and can help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. So why not eat the pit?
First, the pit -- or rather "stone" (considering avocados are a fruit) -- does not have any known positive health effects. The California Avocado Commission says there is simply not enough research to characterize an avocado seed as healthy. "Health benefits and risks are poorly characterized," the Commission said.
According to Xavier Equihua, CEO of the World Avocado Organisation, the sudden surge of avocados harkens back to 2002-03 when Gen Xers started taking notice of the versatile fruit. Equihua told Standard that avocados "became popular long before millennials began posting filtered Instagram shots of avo on sourdough."
Avocados have become a point of criticism to property bros like millionaire Tim Gurner. Avocados are a growing "epidemic" to Gen Xers who apparently face housing woes due to frivolous spending on avocado toast, as Gurner said in a "60 Minutes" interview.
Young Americans are finding innovative ways to enjoy avocados. Pulverizing avocado seeds into flour to be made into smoothies and baked into brownies is currently taking off in the U.S. Proponents believe we are missing out on the most important nutrients of avocados, which can only be found in the pit and around the skin.
But head to the FAQ section of California Avocado's website and you'll see a warning:
"The California Avocado Commission does not recommend consumption of the 'pit' or seed of an avocado," the website reads. The pit apparently contains elements not intended to be eaten. To go further, researchers in a 2013 study found that compounds in avocado seed extract were toxic to mice in high enough doses.
The bottom line: The potential benefits of eating the avocado seed are not fully fleshed out yet, so until more research establishes the safety and benefits, stick to eating the flesh of an avocado.