To state the obvious, avocados are nutritious. But if you think the nutrition is confined to the yellowish-green flesh of the fruit that is devoured, with the skin and the seed often ending up in the trash, discard that thought. The peel is even more nutritious.
Apart from providing the fruit with natural resistance to pests and diseases, thanks to its antifungal properties that decrease as the fruit ripens,1 avocado peels are found to be storehouses of nutrients.
If you cut open a ripe avocado, you will notice the color of the skin varying from yellow near the seed to pale green in the middle and dark green closer to the skin. And when we talk about avocado peels being as nutritious or sometimes even more nutritious than the fruit itself, we are talking about this dark green side of it.
Nutritional Facts and Benefits of Avocado Peel
Carotenoids and Chlorophylls
Carotenoids act as antioxidants and have anticancer properties,3 and chrolophyll is a blood builder that detoxifies your body, combats bad odor, and prevents cancer.
The total carotenoid and chlorophyll pigment concentration in the fruit is found to be highest in the dark green part of the flesh, closest to the peel and farthest from the seed.
It was also noticed that the levels of carotenoids and chlorophylls did not change significantly during ripening.
Phenols and Flavonoids
The avocado peel is also rich in other bioactive compounds like phenols and flavonoids. Phenols are antioxidants that prevent oxidative damage to biomolecules such as DNA, lipids, and proteins. Oxidative damage plays a role in chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Plant phenols are capable of interfering with the cancer process, potentially resulting in the reduction of cancer risk.
Flavonoids are antioxidants that show anti-inflammatory, anticlotting, antidiabetic, and anticancer activities and protect the nerve cells from degeneration.
Avocado skin has significantly higher amount of bioactive compounds than the fruit. For every 100 g of the fruit, there was about 0.815 mg carotenoids, 410.2 mg phenolic compounds, and 21.9 mg flavonoids, while every 100 g of the skin had 2.585 mg carotenoids, 679.0 mg phenolic compounds, and 44.3 mg flavonoids.
How to Eat the Avocado Skin
Since it has been found that the content of these helpful chemicals increases as we approach the skin, do not peel the skin off. Instead, cut the fruit in half, remove the pit, and scoop the flesh out with a spoon. Don’t stop at the yellow fleshy part. Take the green signal, dig deeper, and scrape out as much of the green part as you can.
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Source: Healthy Food Plans
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