Pile on the guacamole: Study shows avocados are good for gut health

6 Health Benefits of Avocados. Avocado is one of the most unique fruits. Here are 6 of its surprising health benefits. 1. Avocado is highly nutritious, rich in vitamin K, folate and vitamin C. 2. Avocados have more potassium than bananas, offering 14% of the recommended daily allowance. . 3. 77% of an avocado's calories come from heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. . 4. Avocados are loaded with fiber, with a 3.5-ounce serving contains 27% of the recommended daily allowance. 5. Avocados can lower LDL cholesterol by up to 22%. 6. The green fleshy fruits are also full of lutein and zeaxanthin, powerful antioxidants that protect your eyes

Guacamole lovers can add better gut health as a benefit of devouring the avocado-based dip.

New research from the University of Illinois shows that consuming the Mexican fruit once a day can lead to improvements for your digestive system.

“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, ”said Sharon Thompson, a graduate student in the division of nutritional sciences at the school and lead author on the paper in a Dec. 15 news release.

The document, which was published in the Journal of Nutrition, revealed that people who ate an avocado as part of a meal every day had a profusion of gut microbes that break down fiber and create metabolites that promote gut health. Additionally, they had more microbial diversity than people who didn’t eat an avocado with their meals.

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

During the 12-week study, 163 adults between the ages of 25 and 45 years with overweight or obesity were divided into two groups. Each group received one meal per day to consume as a replacement for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner. One group ate an avocado with each meal and the other, which was the control group, ate a similar meal but without the avocado. Throughout the study, participants gave blood, urine, and fecal samples and reported how much of the provided meals they ate. Every four weeks, they recorded everything they consumed.

Participants were not restricted in what they could eat and were not required to change their diet; they only needed to replace one meal they ate each day with one provided by the study team.

“Our goal was to test the hypothesis that the fats and the fiber in avocados positively affect the gut microbiota. We also wanted to explore the relationships between gut microbes and health outcomes,” said Hannah Holscher, the study’s senior author and assistant professor of nutrition in the department of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois.

Holscher also pointed out the importance of fiber. A medium avocado has 12 grams of fiber, which has a considerable effect on reaching recommended fiber consumption goals. The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 28 to 34 grams of fiber a day.

“Less than 5% of Americans eat enough fiber,” said Holscher, who noted fiber is not only good for us but essential for the microbiome. “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.”

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