Heart disease prevented by eating bananas and avocados

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Eating a banana with an avocado may go a long way in preventing the hardening of the arteries that can bring about heart disease and death as discovered by researchers. The study revealed that these foods that are abundant in Potassium go a long way to reduce calcification of the vascular tissues in an individual.

Calcification occurs when calcium accumulates in the body tissue, organs or blood vessels. This accumulation can disrupt a body’s standard processes. A diet rich in potassium will reduce the chance of aortic stiffness — a clear cardiovascular risk factor. Arteriosclerosis is term given for the stiffening of the arteries. The stiffness of arteries impacts on how hard the heart has to work to get blood pumped into one’s body.

“The discoveries have great translational potential, since they display the gains of sufficient potassium supplementation on the evasion of vascular calcification in atheroclerosis-prone mice and the bad effects of reduced or low intake of potassium.” Paul Sanders stated, a professor at the University of Alabama.

The team examined mice who are at-risk of the disease when they are fed a high-fat diet.

Results analysed

The mice were given diets of varying potassium concentration. The results showed that the arteries of mice that were fed a low potassium diet became noticeably harder, while others who were fed on a high diet of potassium had a clearly reduced hardening.

Reduced stiffness in the aorta was observed in mice who were fed potassium-rich food. This may be as a result of the low-potassium levels present in their blood preventing the manifestation of genes that ensure the flexibility of the artery.