What the heck’s a MUFA?

Other than all the obvious facts we know about Avocados’ did you know by eating avocados daily you are also consuming significantly more key shortfall nutrients compared to our non-avocado eating counterparts. Don’t worry, we don’t understand people that don’t eat avocados either. So what the heck’s a MUFA?

Avocado is a nutrient and phytochemical dense food that provides a substantial quantity of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).

We chatted with Arepa’s very own Neuro Scientist (fancy isn’t it) Sam Dodd and got the down low on how avocados are essential for the brain.

Here are some key highlights we thought you would find interesting about how the humble Avocado really is the gift that keeps on giving.

What the heck's a MUFA?

Q: Other that Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids what other essential vitamins do we get from Avocados?

Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This extensive nutrient profile supports a wide range of health benefits.

Q: What are MUFA’s and how do they support general well-being?

MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) are fat molecules present in a variety of foods, in avocados, these are present in a high quantity. MUFAs are healthy fats, as they can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by helping to lower levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood. Fat is essential for every single cell in your body.

Q: What role do MUFAs play in the brain?

Researchers from the University of Illinois found that higher levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) in the blood correlated with greater general intelligence in older adults. Their analysis revealed that general intelligence was associated with a brain region called the dorsal attention network, which plays a key role in problem-solving and goal-directed attention. Results revealed that adults who had higher MUFA levels in their blood demonstrated stronger neural connections in the dorsal attention network. This is the mechanism through which MUFAs can boost cognition. MUFAs also show protective properties for certain brain cells, helping to maintain the integrity of signalling pathways in the brain  [1].

Q: Are there any other essential nutrients in Avocados that support cognitive function?

Lutein is found at significant levels and is highly bioavailable in avocados. Lutein levels in the macula ( a region in the eye) are a biomarker for levels in the brain. Elevated quantities of this in the brain are related to better cognition.

So there you have it. Avocados have numerous benefits for general health and specifically support long-term brain health through anti-oxidant and inflammatory properties. This is key to slowing down neurological decline and maintaining optimal cognition throughout life.

Including them in your diet daily will boost cognition and support long-term brain health and function. Who doesn’t want that!

So folks walk, don’t run to your fruit bowl and get your daily dose of an Avo Tree Avocado. 

MUFA

[1] Johnson E, Vishwanathan R, Mohn E, Haddock J, Rasmussen H, Scott T. Avocado consumption increases neural lutein and improves cognitive function 2015;29:32.8]9\

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