These 2 Everyday Foods Can Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke

In the U.S., 1 in every 4 people die from a heart attack each year, and over 140,000 die from stroke. How can this be prevented?

The University of Alabama at Birmingham discovered a significant link indicating that the foods in your pantry may be able to help. Up ahead, we reveal the everyday foods that could improve your heart health, and save your life.

But first, here’s a little bit of information on the study used

Mouse eating food

The study wasn’t conducted on humans, but the results are still notable. | Pixabay

Researchers examined mice to understand the effects certain minerals have on their cardiovascular health. They gave all of the mice a high-fat diet; the variable was the amount of potassium each mouse received.

The study’s results showed how powerful potassium really is

Doctor drawing ecg heartbeat chart

Eat more potassium — your heart will thank you. | iStock.com/BrianAJackson

The team analyzed the results and found that the mice that consumed the least amount of potassium had harder arteries, while those who had been given more potassium had more flexible arteries.

Your arteries stiffen overtime, which is why you’re more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke as you get older.

Potassium can help with more than just heart health

diabetic man testing his insulin levels

Inadequate potassium intake may be linked to diabetes. | iStock.com

The study found that, “Reduced dietary potassium intake has been linked to the pathogenesis of a variety of human diseases, including atherosclerosis, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease.” WebMD also has a list of how low potassium levels can harm your body.

Want to know the best sources of potassium? We have them up ahead and how they can improve the health of your arteries.

Food No. 1: Bananas

Bunch of Bananas

Bananas are the perfect fruit to eat more of. | iStock/Getty Images

Bananas are notorious for their high levels of potassium; just one packs around 422 milligrams. The researchers recommend eating bananas daily to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

The fruit battles more than just heart disease, however. Bananas can lower blood pressure and reduce cancer risk. Bananas are also high in fiber and can lower your risk of colorectal cancer according to Medical News Today.

Food No. 2: Avocado

avocados and avocado toast

Avocados contain a surprising amount of potassium. | Locknloadlabrador/iStock/Getty Images Plus

According to Medical News Today, the stone fruit can improve digestion, protect against cancer, and even decrease your risk of depression. There are about 975 milligrams of potassium in one avocado.

Avocados are full of healthy, good fats that are essential for your body’s cells. They also benefit your skin and hair health and may even boost your immune system.

These other common foods could also benefit you

baked potato on a table

Potatoes are also full of potassium — just skip the sour cream. | iStock.com

Other foods you have laying around could contribute to your daily potassium intake. The UAB study also recommended filling your quota with baked potatoes, spinach, and raisins.

People who smoke or have digestive absorption-related health conditions are more likely to be potassium-deficient. Counteract these conditions by eating a potassium-heavy diet and supplementing with potassium tablets like Nature Made.

Heart attack and stroke wreak havoc in the U.S.

Woman having heart attack symptoms

These two diseases are a few of the biggest killers in the U.S. | iStock.com/Tharakorn

Heart attack is the leading cause of death in both American men and women. Stroke is the third.

People who suffer from heart failure should pay special attention to their potassium levels. Low potassium levels can cause muscle weakness and heart rhythm disturbances. The University of Alabama Birmingham determined a safe limit of potassium for heart-failure patients.

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