An avocado and banana a day keep heart disease away!

A bunch of bananas

Researchers have discovered a new way of keeping heart disease at bay.

Regularly eating bananas and avocados can do wonders for your heart and arteries, scientists say. This is major risk factor for. They said the hardening of the arteries is significantly correlated to a diet based on potassium.

The research team - led by Yabing Chen, Ph.D., a professor of pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) - recently reported their in JCI Insight.

As humans get older, arteries stiffen and can cause heart problems. In atherosclerosis, deposits of fat, and other substances accumulate in the arteries, forming what is referred to as "plaque".

The new research from Prof.

"Reduced dietary potassium intake has been linked to the pathogenesis of a variety of human diseases, including atherosclerosis, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease", the study said.

The vital mineral - which spuds, broccoli and sprouts are also rich in - was found to aid blood flow to the heart and brain and reduce the risk of clots, reports The Sun.

Spinach and other leafy greens, as well as potatoes, carrots, oranges, and grapefruit, are just some of the fruits and vegetables that are good sources of potassium.

The UAB researchers also found that increased dietary potassium levels lessened vascular calcification and aortic stiffness.

They conducted a study on mice, who were at-risk of heart disease were fed a high-fat diet. The first group received a high-potassium diet, the second one a menu with a medium quantity of potassium, and the third one had to consume low-potassium foods. In contrast, the mice fed a high-potassium diet had markedly inhibited vascular calcification. Thus, autophagy plays an important role in mediating calcification of vascular smooth muscle cells induced by the low-potassium condition.

The researchers believe potassium regulates genes that maintain artery flexibility. Increasing potassium levels, however, could reduce these effects. According to Paul Sander, the co-author of this study, their "findings have important translational potential".

The researchers performed the tests on mice to find which levels of potassium such as high, normal and low were good for them.

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