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Avocados May Help Improve Focus in Obese Adults

Body fat and an unhealthy diet may impair brain function and lead to cognitive problems. A recent study suggests that consumption of avocados may help improve focus in obese adults.

Eighty-four overweight or obese adults participated in the study. Half received a daily meal that included a fresh Hass avocado, while the other half received a calorie-matched meal without avocado. Cognitive function was evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study period using the Flanker, Oddball, and Nogo tasks. Serum and retinal lutein levels were measured at baseline and at the end of the study.

Participants in the avocado group showed improvements in the Flanker task, which measures the ability to maintain focus on the task at hand even when distracted. No difference was seen in the other two tests. Participants in the avocado group also improvements in serum lutein levels.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It was published online ahead of print on December 14, 2019 in the International Journal of Psychophysiology.

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