Our bodies are amazing instruments. And just like musical instruments sound even better when they’re tuned up, your body will look and feel better when everything is aligned, too… right down to the tiny bacteria that reside in your gut.
As I often explain to you here, changes in your gut microbiome affect your health on every level—from managing anxiety, to weight loss, to regular bowel movements, and just about everything else imaginable in between.
It’s a balancing act, for sure. But the good news is, boosting your microbiome can actually be downright delicious…
Nourish your gut with avocados
A new study from the University of Illinois recently appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of Nutrition. And it shows that a daily serving of the original “superfruit”—the humble avocado—can work serious wonders for your gut health.
This research looked at 163 overweight or obese adults between the ages of 25 and 45 years—all otherwise healthy. (Or at least, as healthy as you can be with obesity.) Each subject received one replacement meal per day for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner for 12 weeks.
One group received an avocado with that meal—the other received a comparable meal without an avocado. There were no other significant diet changes throughout the course of the study.
And yet, by the time the study period ended, blood, urine, and fecal samples showed that subjects who ate an avocado daily had more fiber-digesting gut microbes, and well as more gut-supporting metabolites. They also had a more diverse microbial population than the subjects that didn’t eat an avocado daily.
Not only that, but avocado consumption lowered bile acids in stool and boosted levels of short-chain fatty acids—both improvements that can transform your whole body’s health for the better.
The magic is in the MUFAs
Here’s the part that I really loved about this study: The researchers point out that avocados play such an important role in supporting the gut because they’re so high in health-boosting monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).
Which is exactly what I’ve been saying since I wrote The Hamptons Diet over a decade ago. But I guess now that mainstream medicine is finally paying attention, it’s suddenly “news”!
Regardless, there’s no denying that avocados are packed with metabolism-revving MUFAs. Just for reference, macadamia nut oil—my very favorite oil and the centerpiece of every diet I’ve ever designed—has a whopping 80 percent MUFA content on average.
At 71 percent MUFAs, avocado oil comes pretty darn close. And its smoke point—the temperature at which heat begins to damage it—is the highest of any other plant oil.
That’s why avocado oil is my solid second choice as a cooking oil. And my first choice for anyone who can’t use macadamia nut oil. (Remember, I never recommend using unhealthy vegetable oils like soybean and canola oil, as I explain in the current issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter [“The latest Dietary Guidelines expose the USDA’s biggest bedfellow”].)
All things considered, it’s no wonder that previous research shows that regular avocado consumption is a dieter’s best friend—helping to keep you fuller for longer and to lower your cholesterol, to boot.
The fact is, if you don’t feed your body right, you’re basically inviting disease in. Because you are what you eat. And your diet choices absolutely do change the make-up of your body—and not just the fat to muscle ratios, but your gut microbiome, too.
So what are you waiting for? Adopt a healthy, balanced diet full of fresh, whole foods (like the humble avocado). And while you’re at it, get in the kitchen and whip up some guacamole. Or, simply enjoy your avocado sliced, diced, or straight off the spoon. There are so many ways to incorporate it into your homecooked meals. (In fact, I’ll be using the avocado as a star ingredient in one of my upcoming cooking shows. So, as always, stay tuned!)
Bottom line: Avocados get my personal seal of approval any (and every) day of the week.
“An avocado a day keeps your gut microbes happy, study shows.” Science Daily, 12/15/2020. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201215175758.htm)