Should We Be Eating Avocado Seed?

Hannah Popelka

Article Summary

In an online article written by Macaela Mackenzie and published on April 6, 2016, Women’s Health Magazine’s website makes the suggestion that women should "hold up" and think about if they should be eating the seed of the avocado. Avocados have been gaining popularity for their nutritious benefits and trendy use by restaurants and food bloggers; such uses are listed by Mackenzie as "avocado toast, avocado popsicles, avocado brownies, and just plain old avocados” (Mackenzie, 2016). The seed of the avocado (endearingly referred to in this article as “the giant hard pit”) has thus far only been regarded as the obstacle one must hurdle in order to slice or scoop the fruit of the avocado to consume. However, Mackenzie states that the seed of the avocado contains nutritional benefits as well: antioxidants and polyphenols described to be “disease fighters” (Mackenzie, 2016). This article even provides women with instructions, even including a video, from a food blogger (Sophie Sonnenwirth from Nourish Me Whole) on how to make the seed edible by dehydrating it in the oven for a couple of hours, slicing it, and blending it to make a powder one can add to foods, such as smoothies. Mackenzie’s final tip is to mix the powder in something that is able to overpower the seed’s bitter taste, such as creating an “avocado seed chocolate shake” (Mackenzie, 2016).
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Article Critique

Women's Health Magazine is a long-standing, popular media platform that provides women with information and advice on anything from health and beauty to relationships and sex. Many women have been relying on information from this magazine for years as truth. However, part of the appeal of Women’s Health Magazine is that its writers have a goal to give readers information and tips that are new and trendy, while also providing wit and comedy. The problem with this is that the information the magazine provides to make it fresh and cool may not have enough scientific research behind it to be factual. In the article “Hold up—should we be eating the avocado seed?”, Macaela Mackenzie (2016) writes that the sources she is using to tell readers that avocado seeds have nutritional benefits and could be eaten are “a handful of foodies and even one study”. Scientists and specialists would be skeptical about claim something as factual with only one study supporting it, but the woman waiting at the doctor’s office reading Women’s Health Magazine may read this article, consume avocado pit smoothies daily, and then wonder why she is still catching upper respiratory infections when the seeds were supposed to be providing her with antioxidants and polyphenols. However, Macaela Mackenzie does utilize the magazine’s website to provide readers with links to the scientific study that supports this claim. This research article entitled “Avocado (Persea americana) seed as a source of bioactive phytochemicals” (2013) was published in Current Pharmaceutical Design and can be found in PubMed’s database. If a woman reader takes the time to look at the abstract of the journal article, she can see that Mackenzie accurately summarized the research findings in an easy-to-understand, witty manner for Women’s Health Magazine. Therefore, while it can be argued that Mackenzie is making a quick claim to draw women's attention to Women's Health Magazine, she did her research about this topic and provides access to the research article so readers can do the same.

References

Dabas, D., Shegog, R. M., Ziegler, G. R., & Lambert, J. D. (2013). Avocado (Persea americana) seed as a source of bioactive phytochemicals. Current Pharmaceutical Design. Retrieved April 06, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23448442

Mackenzie, M. (2016, April 06). Hold Up-Should We Be Eating the Avocado SEED? Retrieved
April 06, 2016, from http://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/avocado-seed