Scoop Health

Avocado Benefits for High Blood Pressure

Avocados are notably high in calories but are also highly regarded for their high content of monounsaturated fats and potassium thus making it one of the most beneficial foods for combating high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the measure of the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. The heart pumps blood into the arteries, which is the transportation highway responsible for distributing blood throughout the body. Blood pressure comprises of two numbers: Systolic, the first and higher of the two reflects pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and they are filled with blood, diastolic, the second number, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rests between beats.

A normal blood pressure reading varies from 90/60 at birth to 120/80 in a healthy adult. For seniors age 6o and older a reading of 150/90 is an indication of high blood pressure (hypertension). It’s important to note that a reading slightly higher than 120/80 in young adults indicates a risk of developing pre-hypertension.

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Having untreated high blood pressure makes the heart work harder and contributes to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). This in turn can lead to stroke, kidney disease, and to the development of heart disease. “Having high blood pressure puts you at risk of heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States. About 75 million American adults (32%) have high blood pressure-that’s 1 in every 3 adults. About 1 in 3 American adults has prehypertension” 1 A diet low in salt and high in vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products can help lower blood pressure. Highly valued for its blood pressure combating properties within the fruit family is the Avocado (aka. alligator pear) a fruit of the avocado tree native to the Western hemisphere.

Avocados are reputed to be high in fats, but since they are a plant food, the fat they contain is therefore considered an oil and not a solid fat. However it’s important to note that the majority of fat (77%) in the fruit is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid.

There is conclusive scientific evidence which points to the fact that diets rich in monounsaturated fats are great for improving your cholesterol and reducing inflammation thereby reducing the risks of heart problems and strokes. In fact “The American Heart Association recommends the consumption of MUFAs (monounsaturated fats) to improve your blood lipid profile.” “(Lipid profile or lipid panel is a panel of blood tests that serves as an initial broad medical screening tool for abnormalities in lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides.)”

 

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