Taking care of your gut microbiome—the collection of microorganisms making your gastrointestinal tract work the way it’s supposed to—is a key part of living your best life. A healthy gut can fight off sickness, reduce inflammation, nourish your skin, boost your mood, and much more. Now, researchers have found a surprisingly delicious way to improve the health of your microbiome: eating avocado every day is great for your gut.
A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that the microbiomes of people who consume avocado daily have more of the helpful microbes key to digestion than their non-avocado-eating counterparts. (This can be just one more reason why avocadoes will never be on our list of the unhealthiest foods on the planet.)
The study looked at 163 adults ages 25-45 with BMIs that place them in the overweight or obese category (though it’s worth remembering that BMI is bogus). Study participants were broken into two groups and each provided one meal a day. One group was given avocado in their daily meal, and the other wasn’t. By the end of the study’s twelve-week period, the avocado group had more of the microbes that we need to break down fiber and create metabolites that promote gut health than the control group.
“Avocados are full of nutrients, including fiber and healthy fats that help support gut health by feeding your microbiota,” explains Hannah Holscher, the study’s senior author and assistant professor of nutrition in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at University of Illinois.
In addition to promoting healthy fiber digestion, daily avocado consumption also made participants’ bodies absorb less fat from the food they ate. Plus, the avocado meals upped participants’ increased short-chain fatty acid production, which can help keep your immune system in balance, regulate your appetite and your blood sugar, and decrease your risk of heart disease, according to the journal Current Nutrition Reports.
Basically, you now have scientific permission to start every day off with avocado toast. After all, it’s what your microbiome wants. Alternatively, if you get bored eating the same meal over and over, try these 29+ Best Avocado Recipes for Every Meal (Even Dessert!).