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Whether you’re spreading avocado on toast or dipping tortilla chips into it, you’re likely giving your heart health boost.

New data suggests that avocado eaters are less likely to get cardiovascular or heart disease than non-eaters. However, it is important to consider that the results are observational and do not prove that avocado improves heart health.

That said, avocado is known to feature compounds and nutrients that are vital for heart health. They are a great source of fiber and unsaturated fats, which can help improve circulation and limit inflammation. They are also a terrific source of vitamins A and E, among other vitamins and minerals.

The new data, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that people who ate an avocado twice per week had a 16-percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 21 percent lower risk of heart disease compared to those who rarely or never ate it.

The study looked at data from more than 110,000 men and women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

In more than 30 years of follow-up, more than 9,100 participants developed heart disease and more than 5,200 hundred suffered a stroke.

Those who reported eating avocado regularly were less likely to suffer this fate.

The study lends itself fittingly to the work that looks at the benefits of monounsaturated fats. You could likely expect a similar result by eating other plant-based fats like olive oil and nuts.

So, how can you include more avocado into your diet? It’s excellent in guacamole as a dip for chips. It also goes great on toast and can be mixed with hummus as a dip. You can also add it easily as a topping to sandwiches and salads.

For some, the soft texture can be a turn-off. If it is, look to get more plant-based fats from nuts and olive oil. You can get additional fiber from whole grains, legumes, fruit, and vegetables.

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