Bananas and avocados are two of the most popular fruits in the world. They are delicious and offer a variety of health benefits, and a recent study has found out that they can prevent heart attacks as well. The study conducted at the University of Alabama showed that both fruits can prevent atherosclerosis, a deadly condition which occurs due to accumulation of plaque in the arteries.
Both avocados and bananas are rich in potassium, an essential mineral that can relieve blocked arteries and vascular calcification as well, two of the major factors for kidney and heart disease. Eating potassium-rich foods can alleviate arterial stiffness and hardening which is often a precursor to cardiovascular disease.
What is arterial calcification?
As the name suggests, calcification of the arteries occurs due to calcium buildup in the blood vessels. When we’re young, the arteries are flexible due to the presence of elastin. However, as we age, they lose their elasticity, allowing calcium to build up in the arteries, obstructing the blood flow and causing a variety of cardiovascular problems. Cholesterol can buildup in the arteries as well, causing a deadly condition called atherosclerosis which is a precursor to heart attack.
However, recent studies suggest that it’s actually the arterial calcification responsible for aortic stiffening unlike what we all though previously. As a matter of fact, vascular calcification is now considered to be regulated by the osteochondrogenic differentiation of vascular cells.
How do potassium and magnesium affect our vascular health?
The National Academy of Sciences recently examined the role of different nutrients such as magnesium on our vascular health and discovered that lack of the mineral can raise the levels of intracellular calcium. Magnesium is a highly important mineral for our bones and heart, and lack of it can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, muscle cramps and cerebral vasospasms. Scientists have known for a long time that magnesium deficiency can reduce muscle contraction and harm our bones, which means that we must keep the levels of this important mineral intact.
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