Avocado or Avocardio? Eat this SUPERfood often for Heart Health
People ask us all the time the best foods for heart health. Fortunately, there are many different options to satisfy every palate.
But this article is about one of my personal favorites, the avocado. I call it the Avo-Cardio. This green orb packs loads of vitamins, minerals, fiber and healthy fats. Improves blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Skip the banana for potassium. It pales in comparison to the avocado. Need magnesium? Eat avocados.
I try to eat 3-4 per week. The avocado is easy to travel with and is perfect for airplane food. More on how to get this into your diet later.
The National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) studies found that the Hass avocado (the post popular avocado sold on the market) is loaded with healthy fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, choline, antioxidants and more (Dreher et al., 2013).
There are several preliminary clinical trials that are revealing the ability of avocado consumption to aid in maintaining overall cardiovascular health (Dreher et al., 2013). One reason for its protective benefits is that the oil of avocados is full of “healthy” fats. This means that the avocado has a higher combined ratio of monounsaturated fats (71%) and polyunsaturated fats (13%) as compared to saturated fats (16%), which helps to stimulate healthy blood lipid profiles and also make the nutrients within the avocado more available to the body (Dreher et al., 2013). The Drs. Wolfson are from the school of common sense and do not see saturated fat as a problem, when from a quality source. Any oil can be problematic when modified from its original form, especially when processed through dangerous chemical means.
Furthermore, the consumption of the avocado is linked with a lowered risk of developing Metabolic Syndrome (Met S), a known risk factor for cardiovascular pathologies such as heart disease and stroke (Fulgoni et al., 2013). Metabolic syndrome is defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP III) panel as a cluster of physiological risk factors for a patient that must include at least three of the following: low HDL cholesterol, a large waistline (abdominal adiposity), high blood pressure (hypertension), high triglycerides, and high fasting blood sugar (glucose) (Grundy et al., 2004). These risk factor conditions all share common physiological pathways and biochemical mechanisms, revealing their inter-relatedness and ability to cause chronic disease (Huang, 2009).
Metabolic syndrome has been found to be a preliminary indicator of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and Diabetes development in both females and males (Wilson et al., 2005). Interestingly, Met S was found to be significantly associated with one third of CVD cases in men (Wilson et al., 2005).
This is where the star player, the avocado, steps in. Avocados can help to attenuate the risk for Met S and therefore cardiovascular disease-related conditions. In fact, a slew of studies have indicated that the avocados are a beneficial food that protects against Met S and CVD due to their anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-hypertensive, anti-thrombotic, and cardioprotective properties (Tabeshpour et al., 2017).
Here are the top reasons why you should think of the avocado as an AvoCardio (or otherwise known as protective superfood for your heart):
Overall, avocados help to protect against Met S and CVD, further elucidating their cohesive cardio-protective effects (Dreher, 2013).
Avocados should be thought of an avocardio superfood meaning it is protective for the heart. Along with its cardiovascular benefits, there are a many other health benefits to be obtained from this fruit as denoted above. When you want health, think Avo-Cardio.
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