The World Health Organization reveals that Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year.
Luckily, there’s good news. As much as 80% of heart disease (and stroke) can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle. This includes regular exercise, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and, of course, a healthy and balanced diet. This is where the longevity benefits of avocados weigh in.
Avocados for Heart Health
One standout food that should form part of a healthy and balanced diet is avocado. This is because avocados contain key nutrients that help improve the health of the heart. These include, monounsaturated fats, potassium, and fiber.
Avocados are also naturally cholesterol- and sodium-free, giving us many reasons to love an avocado this coming World Heart Day, 29 September 2021.
How do avocados help my heart?
Help manage cholesterol levels
According to a study published last year in the Journal of Nutrition, an avocado a day can help to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol.
What’s more, avocados have also been found to significantly increase HDL cholesterol, which is a good kind of cholesterol benefiting cardiovascular health.
Good for your gut, great for your heart
We all understand the influence that our guts have on our health, and keeping them happy can serve to keep other areas of our bodies happy, including our hearts.
According to a study published in Circulation Research that followed 163 overweight and obese subjects is divided into two groups, the group that included avocado in one of their three daily meals experienced a diversity of gut microbes.
As such, previous research has found that having a healthy gut can help lead to a healthy heart.
Avocados are incredibly rich in oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid. According to research, oleic acid can help to improve heart health by lowering inflammation.
It is clear that the variety of nutrients found in avocados offers a nutritional win that earns this amazing fruit a place on a heart-healthy menu. So go on, add an avo every day! To get you started, enjoy this delicious recipe, courtesy of the South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA).
Delicious avo recipe
Avocado Bagels With Furikake Seasoning
- 4 bagels
- 2 avocados
- Toppings of your choice — strawberries, radishes, micro greens, pickled red onion, pomegranate seeds, toasted seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower
For the Furikake seasoning
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds — toasted
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
- 1 sheets nori — torn into pieces
- Pinch sea salt flakes
- A pinch chilli flakes
- Pinch sugar
To make the Furikake:
In a mini food processor or spice grinder, whiz all the Furikake ingredients for a few pulses very quickly to combine and break up the nori. Make sure not to over blend, simply break up the seaweed and blend all the ingredients.
Assemble the bagels by slicing the avocado or cutting them into interesting shapes (with miniature cookie cutters). Top with toppings of your choice, and sprinkle with the Furikake. The remaining Furikake will remain stored in an airtight container for up to a month.
Read more about the power of avocados and longevity.