Around 61% of people in the U.S. have one or more GI-related symptoms in a given week, as found in the National GI Survey (which interviewed over 71,000 people). These symptoms range from heartburn right through to abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
One of the main causes of poor digestive health is a lack of diversity in the healthy bacteria that live in the gut. This situation occurs when we consume low-fiber diets that are rich in unhealthy refined, processed foods.
Recent findings have shown that poor gut health not only causes digestive symptoms, but rather, can also hamper human mental health (since low levels of certain gut bacteria are linked to depression). If you have little time to prepare healthy meals every day, but you’d like to improve your gut health, why not add an avocado a day into the equation, and ensure you are consuming the enzymes you need for optimal health?
Just One Avocado Does The Trick
A new study from the University of Illinois has found that consuming an avocado daily can help improve human gut health significantly. Avocados are a high-fiber, Omega-3 essential fatty acid-rich food that has a positive impact on gut microbes. They also increase the sensation of fullness and reduce blood cholesterol concentrations.
However, the study was specifically concerned about this food’s effect on the gut. They found that people who embraced avocado-rich diets had more abundant (and more varied) gut microbes. These break down fiber and product key metabolites (molecules that aid the metabolism and boost gut health).
Avocado A Rich Source Of Enzymes
It is important to consume enzymes that specifically boost digestion in order to have healthy, varied gut bacteria. You can achieve this by following a Mediterranean diet and by eating plenty of fiber. If for any reason you cannot consume high-fiber foods, then your doctor may be able to advise you on the suitability of supplementing your diet with full-spectrum enzymes.
Just a few enzymes you need to digest food include lactase (which breaks down lactose in dairy products), lipase (which breaks down fat into fatty acids), and proteases (which break down proteins into fatty acids). Avocado is an optimal source of lipase, which can help ease digestion after a fatty meal.
Backing It Up With A Fiber-Rich Diet
A fiber-rich diet comprising nuts, legumes, whole wheat products, fruits and vegetables is key to good gut health. This is because fiber forms vital ‘food webs’ that healthy bacteria need to grow upon. Diets which are high in sugar and refined starches but low in fiber, on the other hand, reduce the ability that some bacteria have to produce short fatty chain acids. These play an important role in keeping inflammation (which is linked to many diseases) at bay.
To enjoy good physical and mental health and wellbeing, ensuring your gut bacteria are thriving and varied is vital. To achieve this goal, a Mediterranean, high-fiber diet is ideal. Try to include lipase-rich avocado in your meals as often as you can, as it has many additional benefits, apart from aiding in digestive health.