The health benefits of avocados are virtually endless. One recent American study into this incredible superfood shows that just one avocado a day can dramatically improve a person's macular pigment density and brain health.
A team of researchers at Tufts University's Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging observed 40 adults over the age of 50 with no major health issues. The nutritionists asked half of the participants to eat one avocado per day, and they asked the second group to eat one potato or a bowl of chickpeas once a day.
The reason researchers asked the control group to eat either potatoes or chickpeas is because both of these foods have the same calorie content as avocados. However, both potatoes and chickpeas lack the high levels of lutein and healthy monosaturated fats found in fresh avocados.
Every participant in this study that ate avocados experienced a 25 percent rise in their ocular lutein levels. Not only that, doctors found that the avocado group had sharper memory and better problem solving skills than people in the control group.
In case you haven't heard, lutein is actually in all of our eyes and functions somewhat like a light filter. Some doctors call lutein the "eye vitamin" because it has so many healing properties for the eyes. High lutein levels are extremely important for warding off diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts. Besides avocados, a few foods that are high in lutein include kale, zucchini, and grapes.
Some of the other impressive nutrients that are in avocados include potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, and vitamin B6. Avocados are also a great source of dietary fiber, which also makes it a great food for anyone interested in losing weight.
This Tufts University study was published in volume 9, issue 9 of the journal Nutrients. You can find this study under the title, "Avocado Consumption Increases Macular Pigment Density in Older Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial."