Another Reason to Love the Trendy Avocado

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Avocados, anyone? 

A recent study from the University of Illinois concluded incorporating avocados into our daily diets improves our gut health. 

The research indicated that people who ate avocado as part of a meal daily led to an increase in gut microbes, which break down fiber and produce metabolites. Those people also had greater microbial diversity, compared to people who didn’t incorporate avocados in their daily meals. Avocados are high in dietary fiber and monounsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy fats. 

“Microbial metabolites are compounds the microbes produce that influence health,” lead author Sharon Thompson said. “Avocado consumption reduced bile acids and increased short chain fatty acids. These changes correlate with beneficial health outcomes.” 

The trial, which lasted 12 weeks, tracked the health and diets of 163 overweight adults. The adults ranged between 25 and 45 years of age, with overweight or obesity—defined as a BMI of at least 25 kg/m2. One group was asked to eat one Hass avocado — a specific variant of the fruit — a day. The other group did not. 

Researchers noted positive changes in gut bacteria, including increased bacterial diversity, in the group that ate the avocados. Adding fermented foods and whole grains to your diet can also improve diversity in your gut microbiome. 

The trial was supported by the Hass Avocado Board. 

“We’ve known for some time that people should eat more fiber for gut health, but now there’s research to prove it when it comes to the green goodness we all know and love: avocados,” Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RD, a California-based registered dietitian and the author of “Instant Pot For Dummies,” told Verywell.com. 

“Not only did the participants improve their gut health with avocado consumption, but they did not have to adhere to a restrictive diet and eliminate foods.” 

The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition.

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