A team of researchers at the Tufts University’s Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging noted that ating avocados may help boost eye health, memory and attention. These beneficial effects were largely in part to the fruit’s high lutein levels. According to the experts, both the eyes and the brain selectively incorporate the essential carotenoid.
To carry out the study, the research team examined 20 healthy men and women who were randomly assigned to eat one avocado or either one cup of potatoes or chickpeas daily for six months. The avocado provided a daily lutein dose of about 0.5 mg.
The scientists said that daily avocado consumption for six months resulted in a significant increase in lutein levels in plasma and in the macular of the eyes at about 25 percent, compared with only 15 percent in those who ate either potatoes or chickpeas.
Likewise, the scientists also found that only the participants in the avocado group exhibited a marked increase macular pigment density after six months. According to the research team, this effect may serve as a biomarker for lutein levels in the brain.
The health experts also noted that while both groups showed improvements in memory and spatial working memory, only those in the avocado group exhibited significant improvements in sustained attention.