Many people may be tired with high-cholesterol food like fish, oatmeal, red wine, olive oil and beans; and looking for heart healthy nutrients that can lower bad cholesterol (LDL) level in their blood. So here is the list that can meet your expectations.
#1: Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry, also called alma, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. This specie is popular in India, the Middle East, and some south-east Asian countries. Its fruit has a round shape, green color and sour, bitter flavor.
This fruit was proven to reduce cholesterol levels, which includes the fatty acids without diminishing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. A 12-week study published in the Journal of Medical Food showed that participants who were given an extract of Gooseberry remarkably reduced their bad cholesterol levels.
We normally hear about health benefits of oatmeal to help reduce blood cholesterol levels, but we rarely know about a same heart-healthy grain called barley. This fruit is rich in soluble fiber, which can lower bad cholesterol levels in the blood.
You can add olive oil, fresh herbs and lemon juice into a cold barley salad for a cholesterol-lowering lunch. It can also be cooked as soups for breakfast together with milk and honey.
This fruit was proven to help reduce blood cholesterol levels by Penn State University researchers. In the study, participants in the group which were given one avocado a day had their blood cholesterol levels lowered while this didn’t happen for the other group even they consumed the same amount of fat. Avocado can be mixed with mayonnaise on your sandwich, added into your omelet or guacamole.
A study published in Journal Nutrition showed that three and a half cups of fresh strawberries three times a week showed a remarkable reduction in blood cholesterol levels by week four of the study. Strawberries can be picked in the summer, when they are at their peak of freshness, then stored as an affordable substitute for all year long.
Results of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that blood cholesterol levels of women who consumed a yogurt with probiotic properties were lower than those of women who consumed a regular low fat yogurt over 12 weeks. It is because probiotics contained in yogurt can help lower cholesterol levels; these properties are also similar to live microorganisms in the gut as they have beneficial effects on gut health.
Another study published in Clinical Nutrition which compared fermented milk without probiotics to fermented milk containing probiotics showed a significant cholesterol reduction in the sixth week. Probiotics are commonly found in yogurt, kefir, and other fermented foods such as tempeh, sauerkraut and pickles.
Grapes are certainly good for the heart, as the heart-healthy polyphenol, which is found in red wine and resveratrol, is also found in grapes of all colors. Additionally, fresh grapes are a great source of heart-protective nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, flavonoids and potassium. Grapes also can promote healthy blood pressure, provide anti-inflammatory effects and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol. ¾ cup of grapes contains just 90 calories, no cholesterol, no fat and no sodium. You can enjoy grapes by adding them to your salad, wrap, or smoothie every day.