What half an avocado a day does to your blood pressure

When it comes to health, avocados have fallen into the superfood category.

Yes, they are high in fat and calories. But a good chunk of that fat is of the heart-healthy variety. And they contain specific nutrients that should promote healthier blood pressure.

It’s this last bit that grabbed the attention of a group of scientists in Mexico. They decided to put the blood pressure-busting effects of avocados to the test. And what they found is pretty amazing…

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Avocado lowered blood pressure in women

The researchers examined a cohort of female Mexican teachers who were more than 25 years old and free from hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at the beginning of the study. The study population was about 13 percent postmenopausal, 78 percent premenopausal and 9 percent unknown.

Dietary data was collected from more than 67,000 participants four times over one year. The frequency of avocado consumption was categorized as one serving, which equaled one-half of an avocado. Results were grouped into five categories: less than one serving a month, two to three servings a month, one serving a week, two to four servings a week and five or more servings a week.

Ultimately, they found that women who ate 5 or more servings (or 2.5 avocados) per week had a 17 percent lower rate of hypertension than those who ate fewer servings.

And just as the researchers suspected, the avocado’s nutrition came through…

The women with the highest intake of avocados had increased levels of:

  • heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs);
  • fiber than those who ate lower amounts of avocados;
  • magnesium and potassium as well.

The bottom line: All of these components improve lipid profiles in the bloodstream.

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It’s all in the superfood nutrition

Just one-half of an avocado contains 4 to 6 grams of fiber. Women who eat 25 grams of fiber a day have been found to have lower heart disease risk, including lower blood pressure. Plus, avocados contain lots of magnesium and potassium, and people who are deficient in these minerals have a higher risk of hypertension.

The researchers suggest that clinicians should consider adding half an avocado five times a week to a heart-healthy diet. That may sound like a lot of avocados, but there are plenty of ways you can add them to your diet.

They also noted that avocados are rich in several phytonutrients that could provide protective effects for heart disease, including antioxidants and phytosterols.

A 2019 study showed supplementation with phytosterols reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with high cholesterol levels, but much higher amounts were used in the study than what you might gain from consuming avocados.

Another plus… It just may jumpstart your journey to better health outcomes in more ways than one.

The researchers found that the avocado-loving women in their study had other healthy characteristics…

They were not current smokers, and they were less likely to be obese — and more likely to have a high-quality diet, be physically active and take multivitamins.

Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!

Sources:

1. Avocado Intake Associated With Less Hypertension in Women — Natural Medicine Journal

2. Avocado consumption is associated with a reduction in hypertension incidence in Mexican women — British Journal of Nutrition

Carolyn Gretton

By Carolyn Gretton

Carolyn Gretton is a freelance writer based in New Haven, CT who specializes in all aspects of health and wellness and is passionate about discovering the latest health breakthroughs and sharing them with others. She has worked with a wide range of companies in the alternative health space and has written for online and print publications like Dow Jones Newswires and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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