As the end of summer creeps in, many of us wonder how we will get our brains in gear to return to office life or get our children excited for their new school year.
All the fun under the sun tends to turn our brains to jelly, but most of us need a boost to embark on new challenges in the workplace or the classroom right now.
But did you know that the food you eat can greatly impact your mental performance? This year, make a new addition to your toolkit for success – throw in an avocado!
Green brain power
Avocados have long been cherished across the globe for their unique taste and versatility, but their remarkable impact on our health is taking centre stage recently. Zac Bard, chairman of the World Avocado Organisation, says: “Not only is the avocado a tasty fruit that can be enjoyed in sweet and savoury meals, but it also has a big positive impact on our overall health and wellbeing, including our brain and its functioning”.
For decades, scientists have been studying the relationship between foods that contain certain vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and B vitamins, and the effect that they can have on our brains.
Harvard nutritionist, Dr Uma Naidoo, released a book, “This is Your Brain on Food”, in which she lists the best foods for brain power. Among them is avocado, a superfood that is good for your heart, blood pressure, skin, eyes, digestive system and more and your brain too!
But what is the reason for this? Avocados contain B vitamins essential for healthy brain functioning and can help boost our brain energy, cell growth, communication capacity and even disease resistance. Half of an avocado contains about 2.7 mg of B vitamins alone, including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9 (folate).
Half an avocado also has a whopping 19.5 mg of magnesium, which Naidoo states is important for proper cognitive functioning. This means that if you want to increase your brain performance and be in your top form, avocados are a good ally to have.
Also, avocados contain an antioxidant called lutein (0.5 mg lutein per avocado), which a range of scientific evidence has shown to play a significant role in our cognitive and visual functioning throughout our lifespan from childhood to adulthood.
Indeed, most experts agree that we should improve our brain cognition from a younger age to impact our cognitive functioning in later life positively. A recent study found that avocado consumption was associated with improved performance in memory and cognitive tests in older adults. So get eating avocados sooner rather than later!
Add more green to your diet
So when it’s time to get our heads back in the game, consider adding this green superfood to your packed lunch in the following ways:
- Sliced avocados as the perfect mid-day snack or topping.
- A quick and easy spread on bread or crackers.
- Throw half an avocado into your next smoothie for an extra boost of vitamins and nutrients.
World Avocado Organisation
The World Avocado Organisation is a non-profit organisation founded in 2016 whose members are avocado growers, exporters and importers from around the world – including the top four grower supplier countries to the EU and UK.
The World Avocado Organisation promotes the consumption of avocados based on their nutritional value and recognised health benefits. It also shares information and insights on avocado production, supply chains and sustainability with the public.