Is Your Avocado Habit Ruining Your Sleep?

A nutritionist gives us the truth about this alarming suggestion.

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Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Even though pretty much every story about avocados these days must, by convention, include a mention of millennials and better still its purported effect on their ability to buy a house (there, done), you don’t have to be of that generation to be a devotee of the creamy green fruit.

I think we can all agree: Avocados (on toast, in salad, scooped up with a tortilla chip) are da bomb.

So what to make of recent reports that eating avocados could be messing up your night’s well-needed sleep?

“Aubergines, avocado, nuts and soy sauce all contain an amino acid called tyramine. This amino acid may inhibit sleep as it causes the release of a hormone called norepinephrine that stimulates the brain,” nutritionist Rob Hobson told the U.K. Express in a story that has been picked up by several other outlets. “Try limiting or avoiding these foods if you're finding it hard to sleep.”

Does that mean we all have to swear off avocados or sacrifice our hard-earned zzz’s? What a horrible choice!

Now, now. No need to panic, Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It - Taking You from Label to Table, reassures Healthy Eats.

“Unless you’re downing a crate of avocados before hitting the hay, you shouldn’t have to worry about avocados wrecking your sleep. In fact, avocados provide multiple benefits,” Taub-Dix says.

About one-third of a medium avocado – a good serving size -- contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K (11mcg), folate (45 mcg) and vitamin B5 (0.7mg), and is a good source of fiber (11% of the Daily Value) as well, she notes.

So your modest avocado habit is a) healthy and b) probably not to blame for your insomnia.

“If you’re having problems with getting enough sleep, you may want to take a closer look at portion sizes of your dinner, screen time before bed or that cappuccino you had with dinner,” Taub-Dix says.

Spread that on your toast, avocado alarmists.

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