The health benefits of avocados for the heart are numerous, and studies show that instead of contributing to heart problems, avocados can actually help to reduce the risk of many heart conditions. The average Western diet is high in saturated and trans-fats that have been linked to a wide range of diseases, including heart disease. As a result, most people are under the impression that all foods high in fat are bad for good health. But to the contrary, there are many healthy fats including saturated and monounsaturated fats, that are actually good for the heart and the overall health of the body. One of these fats is found in the avocado fruit.
In addition, avocados are a high-protein food, which means they can be substituted for meat and other animal foods, which have been linked to high cholesterol and heart problems.
One of the health benefits of avocados for the heart is the fact that they are able to lower cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels are one of the major risk factors for heart disease and circulatory problems. The nutrients responsible for lowering cholesterol are the oleic and omega 3 fatty acids that are found in the avocado. Another key nutrient is the beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol that stops the absorption of bad cholesterol within the digestive tract.
Reduce High Blood Pressure
Many of the studies that have been done on avocados and heart health show that avocados are able to reduce high blood pressure. This again, is due to the heart healthy oils that are found in the avocados. In addition, avocados also contain a good amount of potassium, which helps in maintaining healthy electrolytes. Electrolytes are able to regulate the blood pressure and thereby can help to protect the heart.
Atherosclerosis is a condition wherein the blood vessels become hardened due to the plaque buildup. This condition is caused by the high amounts of cholesterol because the cholesterol has no other place to deposit itself. According to medical findings, atherosclerosis is one of the greatest risk factors for developing heart disease and stroke.
Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke
Another benefit of avocados is due to the folate that it contains. Folate is also known as vitamin B9 or as folic acid, which is the synthesized version of folate. This vitamin has been shown to have the ability to maintain healthy levels of an amino acid known as homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine can potentially increase the risk of blood clotting and are damaging to the arteries, which both can cause many problems of the circulatory system and eventually lead to heart disease and stroke.
The best way to take advantage of the health benefits of avocados for the heart is by substituting the fruit for other fats that are not so healthy. For example, avocados are a good substitute for meat because they are a good source of protein. In addition, they also contain healthy fats as opposed to unhealthy saturated fats that are found in most meats.
As with most meats, avocados go with a variety of dishes and can be eaten raw or lightly grilled in salads and other dishes. They can also be cooked in soups, or consumed raw in green smoothies as well as in fruit smoothies. Another use for them is to substitute them for mayonnaise on sandwiches or for cream cheese on bagels. And instead of that empty calorie chip dip, avocados can be used to make a delicious guacamole that goes great with corn chips.