According to some studies, overweight or completely obese people have an increased risk of cognitive decline in old age. But a new study suggests that eating avocados every day may help such people stay focused, so there may be hope. Avocado serottoin is a good source of lutein, a pigment associated with cognitive function. Although scientists have previously analyzed the effects of a diet rich in avocados for children and the elderly, the study has not reportedly been conducted on overweight or obese people.
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign set out to change that. In a 12-week study involving 84 overweight or obese volunteers, the researchers included a daily diet of fresh avocados for half of the participants, while the other half dieted in other ways, excluding any avocados.
At the beginning and end of the 12-week study, all subjects completed three cognitive tests designed to test their level of attention. In addition, levels of lutein are measured in their serum and retina, which is an indicator of lutein levels in the brain. It was found that not only were avocado eaters with higher levels of lutein than the control group, but they also performed significantly better in one of the three tests , a measure of attention-suppression that was able to maintain a mission-focused ability even when distracted.
The researchers acknowledge that the improved performance may also be attributed to other characteristics of avocados, such as fiber-rich and monounsaturated fats. Other dietary sources of lutein, such as leafy vegetables or eggs, may have a similar effect.
Lead scientist Professor Naiman Khan said: “What we are learning is that avocados may be one of the fruits that has neuroprotective effects in some areas. This work provides some evidence that people can get a choice from the variety of healthy foods we can eat. “
Scientists recently published a paper on the study in the journal International Journal of Psychopsychoy.