ONE of Spain’s biggest exports, the avocado, is proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. 

A study involving more than 110,000 participants found that risk of coronary heart disease was cut by a fifth amongst those who eat at least one avocado per week. Those eating at least two a week had a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke or fatal coronary heart disease, regardless of other lifestyle factors such as weight and fitness levels. 

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association and led by Dr Lorena Pacheco of the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, examined the avocado consumption of participants every two years and tallied up their cases of heart attack and stroke after 30 years. 

Avocado
The hipsters favourite fruit has been proven to have great health effects.
Photo: Wikipedia.

Spain is the leading exporter of avocado in Europe, and most of the production is driven in Andalusia.

Malaga is the biggest area for avocado farming, contributing 60% of Spain’s total, followed by Granada at 22%, Cadiz at 10% and Huelva with 7%. Almost all Spanish avocados are exported to the European Union, with the largest amount (38%) ending up in France. 

Avocados are not the only Spanish export to be beneficial to cardiovascular health. Olive oil, of which Spain is the world’s biggest exporter, is found to lower risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and inflammation. Andalusia, principally in Jaen province, again leads the way, propping Spain up as the world’s centre of olive oil. 

Also amongst Andalusia’s top exports and promoting good health are peppers. The region exported €825m of peppers in 2020, which protect against heart disease and cancer, as well as lowering risk of anaemia and delaying age-related memory loss. 

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