An avocado a day may keep your gut healthy

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In a new study, researchers found that eating avocado as part of your daily diet can help improve gut health.

The research was conducted by a team from the University of Illinois.

Avocados are a healthy food that is high in dietary fiber and monounsaturated fat.

Previous studies have found that eating avocados helps people feel full and reduces blood cholesterol concentration.

However, it was not clear how avocados impact the microbes in the gastrointestinal system or “gut.”

In the study, the researchers tested 163 adults between 25 and 45 years of age with overweight or obesity—defined as a BMI of at least 25 kg/m2—but otherwise healthy.

They received one meal per day to consume as a replacement for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

One group consumed an avocado with each meal, while the control group consumed a similar meal but without the avocado.

The team found that people who ate avocado every day as part of a meal had a greater abundance of gut microbes that break down fiber and produce metabolites that support gut health.

They also had greater microbial diversity compared to people who did not receive the avocado meals in the study.

According to the team, microbial metabolites are compounds the microbes produce that influence health.

Avocado consumption reduced bile acids and increased short-chain fatty acids. These changes correlate with beneficial health outcomes.

The team says while other research on avocado consumption has focused on weight loss, participants in this study were not advised to restrict or change what they ate.

Instead, they consumed their normal diets with the exception of replacing one meal per day with the meal the researchers provided.

The researchers also found that while the avocado group consumed slightly more calories than the control group, slightly more fat was excreted in their stool.

Greater fat excretion means the research participants were absorbing less energy from the foods that they were eating.

This was likely because of reductions in bile acids, which are molecules our digestion system secretes that allow us to absorb fat.

Different types of fats have differential effects on the microbiome. The fats in avocados are monounsaturated, which are heart-healthy fats.

Soluble fiber content is also very important, the team notes. A medium avocado provides around 12 grams of fiber, which goes a long way toward meeting the recommended amount of 28 to 34 grams of fiber per day.

Avocado is an energy-dense food, but it is also nutrient-dense, and it contains important micronutrients that Americans don’t eat enough of, like potassium and fiber.

One author of the study is Sharon Thompson.

The study is published in the Journal of Nutrition.

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