As you may be aware, avocados are pretty great. Besides being delicious and pairing well with just about any food (avocado chips, anyone?), avocados are a nutrient-bomb of good fat, fiber, and antioxidants. That's why this latest study from Penn State has us jazzed and, as if it were possible, loving avocados even more than we already do.
Researchers found avocado seed extract exhibited anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it could be "a potential source for new anti-inflammatory compounds that could be developed as a functional food ingredient or pharmaceuticals." In other words, avocado seed extract could be the future of fighting inflammation.
Needless to say, this discovery justifies further studies, especially given that researchers see implications for treating diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, colitis, and many more serious conditions associated with chronic inflammation.
Apart from being a major development for functional medicine, finding benefits for avocado seeds can even help tackle our increasingly threatening waste problem. At present, avocado pits are thrown in the trash and taken to landfills, so utilizing the seeds would both return value to avocado growers and reduce food waste.
"If we can reduce the amount of this material being dumped in landfills, that would be a good thing, given the huge amount of avocados that are consumed," Joshua Lambert, associate professor of food science at Penn State, notes. "This is encouraging because there is a market for other high-value sources of bioactive compounds we have tested in my lab, such as cocoa and green tea—whereas avocado seeds are essentially considered to be garbage."
While this research is ongoing, we're happy to see yet another powerful use for our favorite fatty fruit and even happier to celebrate a win for functional medicine and our dear planet. If you're craving an avocado now (like we are), read more about why you should eat them every day, their benefits, and how to make your avocado toast taste out of this world.