Scientists have found that foods that are high in potassium protect the arteries against calcification or hardening. Those beneficial foods include both bananas and avocados.
It is undeniable that the avocado has become trendy. Earlier in 2017 health professionals warned those who love avocados of a condition known as avocado hand, in which individual sustain injuries to their hand from preparing the healthy fruit improperly.
However, new research has found that the avocado and other food items high in potassium might be beneficial to our hearts.
University of Alabama Birmingham researchers found that increased consumption of potassium protects against aortic stiffness and vascular calcification or hardening of the arteries in the heart.
To gather findings, researchers used mice that were apoliprotein E-deficient or mice that were prone to contracting cardiovascular disease when fed high-fat diets.
Researchers fed the mice with normal-, low- and high-potassium diets. The results showed that mice fed with diets that were low in potassium yielded a significant amount of calcification and higher aortal stiffening in comparison to mice that were fed with diets normal in potassium.
However, the mice fed diets high in potassium showed substantial inhibiting of aortal stiffness and vascular calcification.
Essentially, mice that were fed low-potassium diets resulted in harder arteries, while those fed diets high in potassium had arteries that remained more flexible.
This is important because a study of more than 4,000 people, both men and women, resulted in almost 80% of the people 65 years of age or older developing arterial calcification, which is a predictor to cardiovascular events.
Heart disease in the U.S. is the leading cause of death in both men and women and each year over 600,000 people will die from it.
The study’s results show increasing or maintaining an amount of potassium considered healthy in the day to day diet could play an important role in preventing any vascular complications.
In addition, it could also prove to be useful in possible therapies and in treatments for atherosclerotic vascular calcification.
When taking about high-potassium foods the first to come to mind for most people are bananas. One banana has approximately 423 mg of potassium. Avocado has a large potassium count as well for each serving.
Nevertheless, many other foods have high counts of potassium. Artichokes and seedless raisins are two, as well as fat-free milk and baked potatoes.