Eating avocados can have serious health consequences

Avocados have become very popular in the UK over the past few years. And yet, hardly anybody knows what you need to consider before and whilst eating them.

Eating avocados can have serious health consequences
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Eating avocados can have serious health consequences

There’s no denying that avocados are delicious, but they are also very healthy since they, among other things, lower your blood sugar and insulin production. But before eating them, you should always remember to wash them. Lots of people believe that you don’t have to clean avocados before you eat them because you don’t eat the skin. But this isn’t true.

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Bacteria can get into the flesh

If you cut into an avocado with a knife, the bacteria and pesticides that linger on the skin can get inside. According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, these harmful substances ultimately end up in the stomach and can make you seriously ill.

An avocado’s skin is very uneven and therefore provides bacteria with lots of space to settle and breed. Henry Avocado Corporation has, in the past, been forced to recall a batch as a result of Listeria, a type of bacteria that can cause infections.

Children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with a weak immune system are particularly at risk. By ingesting this bacteria, they could start to experience high fevers, headaches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

To remove the germs and bacteria from an avocado, you need to wash them under cold or lukewarm water and clean the skin properly. If you want to be on the safe side, you could also spray a mixture of a spoonful of vinegar and some lemon juice over the bowl and let it sit for ten minutes. Then, wash the avocado again and it will be ready to cut open.

And what about the pit?

There is also a rumour going around on the internet that the pit inside an avocado contains a particularly large number of nutrients and therefore, can also be eaten. But the pit also contains toxins, especially a bitter substance called Persin. This is critical in large quantities and can even be toxic for pets too. For this reason, the California Avocado Commission advises against eating it.

You should never give your dog avocado. Small quantities of Persin could also be present in the flesh and lead to diarrhoea in sensitive dogs. Getty Images
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