Eating Avocado May Help Support The Microbiome, Study Says



The study, which was published in the Journal of Nutrition, sought to find out how eating avocado every day might influence gut health. While the high dietary fiber content of avocado—and the associated gut health benefits of eating fiber—have been pretty well known, understanding how daily avocado consumption might influence the microbiome was still something of a mystery.

A team of researchers at the University of Illinois found that daily avocado intake led to an increase in the microbial diversity, a higher concentration of the microbiomes that work to break down fiber, which help produce the metabolites that support our overall gut health.

“Our goal was to test the hypothesis that the fats and the fiber in avocados positively affect the gut microbiota,” explains Hannah Holscher, Ph.D., senior author of the study. “We also wanted to explore the relationships between gut microbes and health outcomes.” 

Participants were between 25 and 45 years old who were considered either overweight or obese based on BMI. After being split into two groups, they were all given similar meals to consume each day, though one group had avocado, as well. Over the course of 12 weeks, participants provided blood, urine, and fecal samples and reported all the foods they ate.

From the results, the researchers found evidence “this nutrient-dense food affects digestive physiology, as well as the composition and metabolic functions of the intestinal microbiota.”

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