Avocado Peel Benefits And Nutritional Facts

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Avocado Peel: Benefits And Nutritional Facts

The dark green part of the avocado near its skin is more nutritious than its yellow or pale green parts. It has the highest concentration of carotenoids, which are anticancer agents, and chlorophylls, which are blood builders and detoxifying agents. Rich in bioactive antioxidants like phenols and flavonoids, the peel can also help you fight oxidative stress and protect your nerves from degeneration.

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.2

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.4

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.5

It was also noticed that the levels of carotenoids and chlorophylls did not change significantly during ripening.6

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.7

Flavonoids are antioxidants that show anti-inflammatory, anticlotting, antidiabetic, and anticancer activities and protect the nerve cells from degeneration.8

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.9

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. 10

References   [ + ]

1. Adikaram, N. K. B., D. F. Ewing, A. M. Karunaratne, and E. M. K. Wijeratne. “Antifungal compounds from immature avocado fruit peel.” Phytochemistry31, no. 1 (1992): 93-96.
2. Lu, Qing-Yi, Yanjun Zhang, Yue Wang, David Wang, Ru-po Lee, Kun Gao, Russell Byrns, and David Heber. “California Hass avocado: profiling of carotenoids, tocopherol, fatty acid, and fat content during maturation and from different growing areas.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 57, no. 21 (2009): 10408-10413.
3. Leoncini E, Nedovic D, Panic N, Pastorino R, Edefonti V, Boccia S, “Carotenoid Intake from Natural Sources and Head and Neck Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Epidemiological Studies”, Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention, 2015 Jul;24(7):1003-11.
4. Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin. Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information Center
5. Lu, Qing-Yi, James R. Arteaga, Qifeng Zhang, Sergio Huerta, Vay Liang W. Go, and David Heber. “Inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth by an avocado extract: role of lipid-soluble bioactive substances.” The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 16, no. 1 (2005): 23-30.
6. Ashton, Ofelia BO, Marie Wong, Tony K. McGhie, Rosheila Vather, Yan Wang, Cecilia Requejo-Jackman, Padmaja Ramankutty, and Allan B. Woolf. “Pigments in avocado tissue and oil.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 54, no. 26 (2006): 10151-10158.
7. Hollman, Peter C. H. “Evidence for health benefits of plant phenols: local or systemic effects?.” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 81, no. 9 (2001): 842-852.
8. Flavonoids. Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information
9. Vinha, Ana F., Joana Moreira, and Sérgio VP Barreira. “Physicochemical parameters, phytochemical composition and antioxidant activity of the Algarvian avocado (Persea americana Mill.).” Journal of Agricultural Science5, no. 12 (2013): 100.
10. Ashton, Ofelia BO, Marie Wong, Tony K. McGhie, Rosheila Vather, Yan Wang, Cecilia Requejo-Jackman, Padmaja Ramankutty, and Allan B. Woolf. “Pigments in avocado tissue and oil.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 54, no. 26 (2006): 10151-10158.