Why you should think twice about throwing out avocado pits

We've all probably heard the phrase "waste not, want not" sitting around the dinner table at some point, specifically when you didn't want to eat something. But as we seek to reduce food waste, this phrase is gathering more steam, especially as it relates to using the whole food. For example, avocados are a proverbial superfood. At just 50 calories in 1/5 of a medium fruit, an avocado can help you get about 20 different vitamins and minerals to fuel your body. Not to mention they taste good, they are cholesterol-free, and they are the most important ingredient in everyone's favorite guacamole (via California Avocado Commission).

But not too long ago, questions started popping up about the health benefits the avocado pit might contain. Per Healthline, the bulbous seed makes up anywhere from between 13 to 18 percent of the fruit, and is thought to have several promising health benefits; however, none have been proven. The California Avocado Commission — the umbrella association for avocado growers — echoes the thought that there is promise, but does not recommend eating the avocado pits citing safety concerns and the need for more research. Still, you may want to think twice before you toss the seed — and here's why.

Avocado pits have several uses

Avocado pits actually have several uses and while there are certainly recommendations on the internet about ways to consume them, we are sticking with the non-edible recommendations. The California Avocado Commission suggests using your avocado pit to plant a tree, and even offers up instructions about the proper way to do so and how to care for it. This is always a great option because planting trees contributes to the preservation of our environment by producing oxygen and better air quality (via Save a Tree). But if a green thumb isn't in your wheelhouse of skills, Ruth Singer suggests using the avocado pit and the skin to make a natural dye for your fabrics (just like Chipotle is doing now). She offers step-by-step instructions and apparently, it turns fabrics various shades of pink. Who would have thought?

Avocado pits also have a place in our beauty regimen. You can take the avocado pit and grind it up into a powder to create a face mask to brighten your complexion (via Avo Bite). Or if your hair is feeling frizzy, you can take some ground-up avocado pit and use it to create a shampoo to get luxurious silky and soft hair (via Garden College). If you are feeling itchy, you can also smash the seed and add the grinds to an oil to create a soothing salve (via ToughNickel). This combination can then be applied to the irritated skin. 

So before you toss that pit, think twice about all the ways you can use it.