When you think about what you should be eating or drinking to prevent aging, you may already be aware of the best nut to slow aging as well as the best tea to fight aging. However, what about the best fruit?
You might be surprised and delighted that avocados (yes, avocados are a fruit) can help to keep your brain sharp.
Research by Tufts University that appeared in the journal Nutrients broke down the results of a randomized trial that saw participants eating an avocado every day for six months while others ate either one potato or one cup of chickpeas. At the end of the trial, those who were eating avocados had increased levels of lutein, which is related to cognitive function and memory.
“This research is very exciting and shows great promise for healthy aging,” Courtney Bliss, MS RDN, and owner of Feeding Bliss tells Eat This, Not That! “As our population ages and is paying more attention to health, this simple dietary addition can be a great part of nutrition for all ages.”
Related: The #1 Best Juice to Drink Every Day, Says Science
Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD tells to Eat This, Not That! that avocados are so beneficial due to the amount of magnesium they contain.
“Magnesium is vital to life as it is contained in every cell of the body and is important for carrying out many bodily functions,” Best says. “One avocado contains nearly 60 milligrams of magnesium, which is 15% of the daily recommended value of this nutrient.”
Best adds that magnesium “not only works within the brain for mood and cognitive support, but also outside of the brain in the blood vessels. It acts as a vasodilator to dilate the vessels, which increase blood flow to the brain.”
When it comes to making a list of foods that boost brain power, omega-3 containing foods are generally at the top, Best says. In addition to being magnesium-rich, avocados are also high in omega-3 fatty acids.
“Roughly 60% of the brain is made of fat, and half that amount is omega-3 type fats,” Best says. “It has been found that omega-3 rich foods can help prevent cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s and slow mental decline. The brain requires omega-3 fat to make nerve cells, which are vital to memory and one’s ability to learn.”
To find out more about what you can eat to keep you looking and feeling younger for longer, be sure to read The Best Anti-Aging Diets, according to Science.