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Bananas, avocados might prevent heart disease, says study

Chicago Sun-Times

10-25-17

Enjoy a banana or slice of avocado toast for breakfast? You might be helping out your heart.

A study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham found the more potassium in your diet, the less likely your arteries will harden.

The study involving mice found ones with a diet lower in potassium had elevated hardened arteries compared to mice consuming a normal amount.

Potassium can be found in foods including potatoes, bananas, avocados and spinach.

Results of the study could lead to “uncovered mechanisms that offer opportunities to develop therapeutic strategies to control vascular disease,” reads an excerpt from the paper appearing in the November issue of the JCI Insight.

In the study, groups of mice were fed low, normal, and high levels of potassium. Results showed mice with low levels of potassium had increased vascular calcification and hardened arteries, while mice fed high levels of potassium showed less stiffness.

Heart disease is the top cause of death among men and women in the U.S., according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. One in every four Americans die of a heart attack every year.

Brett Molina, USA TODAY Network

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