Consuming One Fresh Avocado a Day May Lead to Improved Cognitive Function
Consuming one fresh avocado per day may lead to improved cognitive function in healthy older adults due to increased lutein levels in the brain and eye, according to a study released by Tufts University. The research tracked how 40 healthy adults ages 50 and over who ate one avocado a day for six months experienced a 25 percent increase in lutein levels in their eyes and significantly improved working memory and problem-solving skills.
Lutein is a type of antioxidant commonly found in fruits and vegetables already widely accepted to have a role in preserving eye health and now increasingly thought to have a positive impact on brain health as well. As study participants incorporated this into their daily diet, researchers monitored gradual growth in the amount of lutein in their eyes and progressive improvement in cognition skills as measured by tests designed to evaluate memory, processing speed, and attention levels. In contrast, the control group experienced fewer improvements in cognitive health during the study period.
“The results of this study suggest that the monounsaturated fats, fiber, lutein, and other bioactives make avocados particularly effective at enriching neural lutein levels, which may provide benefits for not only eye health, but for brain health,” said Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D., lead investigator of the study from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, at Tufts University.