Avocado is a super food—but so too could be its large seeds. They have anti-inflammatory qualities that could treat gut problems such as ulcerative colitis, say researchers.
They are hoping the seeds will eventually be developed as a functional food to fight a range of other inflammatory diseases, too, such as arthritis, heart disease and some cancers.
Researchers from Penn State have been developing seed extract for the past decade as a food colourant of "a vibrant orange colour". But they also discovered that the seeds had anti-inflammatory properties.
These tests have so far been carried out in laboratory cell cultures and the next step will be research using rodents before they are eventually tested on people.
The anti-inflammatory properties have been seen at low levels that suggest they could be developed as a functional food ingredient, says lead researcher Joshua Lambert.
The seeds are currently thrown away with the garbage—and so instead of being piled into a landfill, the seeds could one day be another therapeutic agent to help treat a wide range of inflammatory diseases, he said.
(Source: Advances in Food Technology and Nutritional Sciences, 2019; 5: 8)