Both bananas and avocados are powerhouse fruits, containing large amount of vitamins and minerals. They are known for their wide range of health benefits, but not long ago scientists have revealed yet another- their ability to prevent heart attacks. The study was done at the University of Alabama and published in journal JCI Insight. As a matter of fact, the researchers revealed that eating a banana and an avocado daily protects against heart disease, specifically against atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
In addition, it might also reduce the risk of arterial blockages, which often seek surgery. The potassium content in these fruits relieves huge part of the burden, the study points out. The animal study also revealed that it reduces vascular calcification, one of the complications of cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. When you eat foods containing potassium, symptoms like pliable arteries are alleviated, particularly the stiffness seen as precursor to cardiovascular disease.
Calcification and What It Means for Your Arteries
Calcification is an accumulation of calcium in the tissues, organs, or blood vessels. According to Difference Between, “Arteriosclerosis is a defect occurring in the artery (blood vessels carrying oxygenated blood) walls. It refers to hardening of the normally flexible walls due to loss of elasticity of the arterial musculature. When young, the arteries are flexible due to the presence of a protein called elastin.
As age advances, there is loss of this elastin causing thickening of the arterial walls. Atherosclerosis is another condition that refers to the deposition of fat plaques and cholesterol globules within the arteries causing narrowing of the lumen of the arteries.” As the scientists explained, vascular smooth muscle cells, or VSMCs, lead to vascular calcification in atherosclerosis and “Arterial stiffness has become an independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, representing an important health problem for the nation as a whole.”
This research suggests that vascular calcification could be a more significant contributing factor to aortic stiffening that it was thought earlier. As a matter of fact, a 2009 study is titled “Vascular calcification: the killer of patients with chronic kidney disease.” It noted, “Previously considered a passive, unregulated, and degenerative process occurring in the arterial media, vascular calcification has now been demonstrated to be a highly regulated process of osteochondrogenic differentiation of vascular cells.”
Magnesium and Potassium: Interrelationships in Regard to Health
The National Academy of Sciences investigated the role of various nutrients, including magnesium, and observed, “Magnesium has been called ‘nature’s physiological calcium channel blocker.’ During magnesium depletion, intracellular calcium rises. Since calcium plays an important role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, a state of magnesium depletion may result in muscle cramps, hypertension, and coronary and cerebral vasospasms.
Magnesium depletion is found in a number of diseases of cardiovascular and neuromuscular function, in malabsorption syndromes, in diabetes mellitus, in renal wasting syndromes, and in alcoholism.” Symptoms of low magnesium include irregular heart rhythms, anxiety, eye twitches, unexplained fatigue, and muscle spasms. It has been scientifically shown that problems like osteoporosis and asthma might also occur, along with symptoms that indicated potassium deficiency.
Bananas: An Example of the Adage ‘You Are What You Eat’
Bananas have a robust nutritional profile! When eating this fruit, it is important to watch you sugar intake, as it is packed with sugar ( natural fructose). But, the potassium content is more than good for you. Here are some of the reasons to choose small banana as a snack option:
- Bananas help balance blood sugar levels as they don’t raise your glycemic index
- Unripe bananas are beneficial for people with insulin sensitivity as they contain 15 to 30 grams of digestive-resistant starch
- Eating bananas helps maintain a healthy blood pressure level
- High-potassium foods like bananas can help lower the risk of developing kidney stones
Avocados: Impressive Nutritional Profile
Avocados provide amazing nutrients which positively affect every part of the body, particularly the arteries and the heart. Some of them include vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and fiber. To see how much you need to provide you with the optimal amounts. Nutrition Data gives data on the major nutrients one avocado contains and the percentage of daily values:
- Fiber- 54%
- Folate 41%
- Vitamin C-33%
- Vitamin B6-26%
- Vitamin K- 53%
- Pantothenic acid-28%