Avocados have become a huge part of my diet, but it’s hard to ignore the debate about the fat content and health factor of this yummy fruit that’s recently come to light—just last month, the FDA said they weren’t considered “healthy” under its current guidelines (what?!). However, a new study published in the journal Nutrients, is praising the fruit, saying that not only is it extremely nutritious and beneficial in our diets, but it also has the ability to boost fertility.
Researchers studied data comparing pregnant women who followed a Mediterranean diet (plant-based foods, legumes, whole grains, and healthy fats, including avocado) to pregnant women who followed the recommended U.S. dietary guidelines for pregnant women. The results revealed that the Mediterranean diet followers were able to get pregnant more easily and the babies were generally healthier with fewer defects.
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The study’s authors noted: “Avocados are unique among fruits and vegetables in that, by weight, they contain much higher amounts of the key nutrients folate and potassium, which are normally under-consumed in maternal diets. Avocados also contain higher amounts of several non-essential compounds, such as fiber, monounsaturated fats and lipid-soluble antioxidants, which have all been linked to improvements in maternal health, birth outcomes and/or breast milk quality. The objective of this report is to review the evidence that avocados may be a unique nutrition source for pregnant and lactating women and, thus, should be considered for inclusion in future dietary recommendations for expecting and new mothers.”
Registered dietician Marci Clow, MS, and senior nutritionist at Rainbow Light, says, “I don’t think any of my dietician friends would disagree that avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense fruit and a great addition to anybody’s meal plan, including those looking to boost fertility. But, as far as avocados being singled out as a specific contributor to boosting fertility and leading to healthier babies, that might be a bit of a stretch. My thought is that avocado should certainly be included as part of a wide-variety of foods for pre-conception, but a more direct cause-and-effect study is needed to confirm a specific role for avocado in maternal health. It should also be noted that although the conclusions reached in this review were those of the authors, the research was funded by the Hass Avocado Board.”
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