What to Do About Old Age Aches and Pains: Avocado Pits

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I have what I call my “old age aches and pains” prevention strategy. Basically, it’s a regimen of supplements that allows me to combat the dangerous inflammation that begins to invade all of our bodies as we reach our 40s and 50s and beyond. Recently I inadvertently added a new and powerful antiaging weapon to my old age prevention arsenal—an avocado pit.

You’re likely saying to yourself, “I like a good avocado like the next guy, and I love a good guacamole, but is an avocado pit even edible?” It turns out that not only are they edible, they’re actually really good for you. In fact, that little one pit a day has seemingly solved my old age aches and pains problem.

What’s the Deal with Avocado Pits?

Up until recently, our biggest concern with the avocado pit has been how to remove it from the flesh of the avocado and discard it. But is it time to stop chucking the pit into the trash can and to start taking advantage of its nutrient-dense properties? Turns out avocado pits are loaded with antioxidants (e.g., polyphenols, catechins, and flavonols), which are significantly more abundant in the pit than in the flesh itself. In addition, the pit also has loads of soluble fiber.

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My Old Age Aches and Pains Vanish by Adding the Pit!

Regrettably, I have some really bad genes. On both sides of the family, adult-onset (type 2) diabetes is more the rule than the exception. Now that I’m in my 50s, I’ve decided that I need a stricter diet to avoid this fate. Why? As a physician I know that an adult with type 2 diabetes has a dramatically increased risk of sudden-death heart attack, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and a shortened activity span. In fact, if there’s one thing you can do that will increase your chances of being a very active 80-year-old (and not dying from a heart attack before then), it’s avoiding diabetes at all costs.

To help accomplish the goal of beating my genetically coded, diabetic fate, I have begun to substitute a vegan shake for breakfast and/or dinner, which stabilizes my blood sugar nicely. I always add avocado to that shake, more to make it smooth and creamy but also because it’s a healthy fat. About two months ago, I accidentally let the pit fall into the blender, which I decided to just blend in rather than trying to fish it out. About the same time, I had noticed that my normal regimen of supplements, diet, and exercise was no longer keeping up with my aging body. However, that day, going up and down the stairs in our office was a bit easier. So the next day I threw the pit in again (this time on purpose) and got the same result.

Could the pit be that good? I searched the Internet and there was a bunch of health news on the benefits of the pit, so I continued and even noticed when I skipped the pit, my old age aches began to return a bit. Over the last few months, I have begun to swear by my daily avocado pit. Is there any research on this? .

What Does My Review of the Avocado Pit Science Say?

I ran some searches in the US Library of Medicine, and this is what I found about what we know about what makes up the pit:

Eating a phytonutrient-rich food (like an avocado) doesn’t increase nasty oxidative stress on your cells, but the same number of calories coming from ice cream or sugar does. Avocado can even get rid of the proinflammatory effects of eating a hamburger! Avocado can also reduce inflammation in skin cells and can help repair UV damage.

ASUs to the Rescue

One of the things in avocado (and soy) that we’ve known about for awhile is unsaponifiables (ASUs), which act as a potent anti-inflammatory. ASUs have been shown in vitro to reduce inflammation and protect cartilage cells. More importantly, a large 2014 randomized controlled trial published in the British Medical Journal showed that ASUs were able to reduce the progression of hip arthritis in real patients. This is a nice review article on the topic.

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My New Old Age Aches and Pains Regimen

So now my anti-ache game plan includes the following:

The upshot? Who knew an avocado pit could pack so much punch? I guess it makes sense, given that the seed is usually the part of the fruit or vegetable that nature considers the most important. In the meantime, you may want to consider adding in an avocado pit to your daily regimen. You can throw it into a shake or I’ve heard of people grating it and then adding it in to a salad. While it’s not the best taste known to man, the health benefits may outweigh the knowledge that you’re eating that big old, slimy thing that usually gets thrown away!

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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