Forget the apple, how about an avocado a day to keep the doctor away?
New research in the Journal of Nutrition—albeit funded by the Hass Avocado Board—suggests eating the fruit daily—yes, it is a fruit—can greatly improve gut health.
“We know eating avocados helps you feel full and reduces blood cholesterol concentration, but we did not know how it influences the gut microbes and the metabolites the microbes produce,” Sharon Thompson, graduate student in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois and lead author on the paper, said in a news release.
Researchers studied 163 adults ages 25 to 45 who were either overweight or obese, but otherwise healthy. They were split into two groups and given one identical meal per day, with a major exception—one group was given an avocado daily. The participants provided blood, urine, and fecal samples throughout the 12-week study.
The daily avocado eaters were found to have “a greater abundance of gut microbes that break down fiber and produce metabolites that support gut health,” the researchers found.
“Less than 5% of Americans eat enough fiber. Most people consume around 12 to 16 grams of fiber per day. Thus, incorporating avocados in your diet can help get you closer to meeting the fiber recommendation,” said Hannah Holscher, assistant professor of nutrition in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the U of I and senior author of the study.