Lutein is a naturally available carotenoid antioxidant produced only by plants. Major sources of lutein include avocado, potato, and various fruits and vegetables. This lutein commonly accumulates in the blood, eyes, and brain and acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent.
A research article has been published in the journal Nutrients, saying that consuming one avocado a day had improved cognitive functions in older adults. This study includes 40 people who were above 50 years old, and were asked to add one avocado in their regular daily food for about 6 months. After completion of six months, all the people showed 25% increase in lutein levels in their eyes and significantly improved the memory and problem solving skills.
Tufts University another research “Avocado Consumption Increases Macular Pigment Density in Older Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial,” was conducted in support with Hass Avocado Board. Results from this study are based on consumption of one whole avocado every day which is equivalent to 369 mcg of lutein.
Elizabeth Johnson, lead scientist of the study says that, avocados’ capacity of enhancing the eye health and cognitive skills comes from its nutrients such as monounsaturated fats, lutein, fibre, and other bio actives. This study also revealed that, greater levels of lutein were observed in people who consumed fresh avocados when compared to direct supplement.
Nikki Ford, Director of Nutrition of the Hass Avocado Board, says that fresh avocados may be an effective solution for cognitive health.