A recent study found that consuming avocados and bananas on a regular basis may reduce the risk for heart disease, as the potassium in these fruits keep arteries in good shape as years go by.
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham explained that the potassium content in these widely popular foods can lower the risk of vascular calcification, which is risk factor in many cases of heart and kidney disease.
Past studies have shown that hardened arteries are associated with a higher risk of having a heart disease or stroke. The permanent state when arteries are stiff or hardened is commonly known as arteriosclerosis. This condition forces the heart to exert itself as it is increasingly harder to pump blood through arteries.
Potassium is believed to have a positive impact on the genes that keep arteries flexible.
The latest research involved only laboratory animals, and the theory hasn’t been tested on humans. During the research, lab mice were kept on a low, normal, and high potassium diets.
Researchers found that the mice whose potassium intake was reduced developed higher aortic stiffness, which was lower in mice kept on a normal or high potassium diet.
Avocados and Bananas Can Reduce CV Risk
Aortic stiffness is one of the first telltale signs of heart disease and death from cardiovascular risk. The condition affects a large proportion of the population in the Western world.
Co-author Prof. Paul Sanders noted that the study results indicate that potassium can play an important part in preventing vascular calcification, heart disease, and stroke.
The findings appeared in the biomedical journal JCI Insight.
With 485 mg of potassium per 100 g, avocadoes are the richest fruits in potassium. Next in line are guavas (417mg per 100 g) and bananas (358mg per 100 g). Other fruits rich in the mineral include the passion fruit (348mg), kiwi fruit (316mg), and Cantaloupe melon (267mg).
Potassium deficiency can lead to fatigue, mood swings, and high blood pressure. In chronic kidney disease, potassium intake should be lowered.
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