Cholesterol is a soft fat kind of substance that aids in the formation of new cells and also regulates other vital functions of the body. Our eating habits and unhealthy lifestyle do affect cholesterol levels badly. Saturated fats and foods high in sugar develop more cholesterol as 80% of it is produced by the liver and rest comes from what we consume daily. The high LDL level in blood increases the risk of cardiovascular ailments. However, in order to combat this problem, adapt some simple dietary changes that can be helpful to a great extent. In this article, we have listed 16 superfoods to lower cholesterol that can be excellent alternatives to medications.
Studies have revealed that half a cup of almonds per day helps reduce 10% LDL cholesterol. The richness of vitamin E and flavonoids in these crunchy nuts prevents the growth of artery-clogging plaque. Thus, lower down the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Note: Make sure that almonds are not salted.
Avocados contain a powerful punch of monounsaturated fats, and oleic acid helps prevent bad LDL and improves HDL. This fruit is a powerhouse of nutrition and is good for overall health. Besides, the high folate content keeps your heart healthy. Slice it up in your sandwiches or include avocado in your salad.
3. Oats and Barley
Since, barley and oats contain beta glucan – a soluble fiber when you eat this, a gel forms which prevents the absorption of cholesterol by binding it in the intestine. Thus, lower down bad cholesterol levels. Besides, both are excellent substitute of rice.
Add some fresh blueberries to your cereals or blend them with a smoothie to improve your cholesterol. This fruit is high in antioxidant and contains a compound called pterostilbene. It stimulates cells and helps break down cholesterol and fat, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
5. Beans & Lentils
This low-priced but highly nutritious super food is well off with soluble fiber, protein, mineral and vitamins. Include beans and lentils in your every day diet to cut down bad LDL and prevent risk of heart diseases.
Yes, a glass of wine or any beverage that contains alcohol along with your dinner can check your cholesterol level effectually.
Note: Over consumption of alcohol is not recommended as it may increase heart ailments.
Just 15 grams of soy in your daily meals can reduce bad LDL by 6%. Since, soy foods are low in saturated fat; it helps improve cholesterol levels. You can go for soya milk and yogurt, soy meat, soya dessert, etc., to obtain its health benefits.
Consumption of eggplant regularly for a month effectually improves the cholesterol levels. Juice it up or prepare luscious brochettes. Moreover, you can have it in other forms as well; for instance, roasted, stuffed, or grilled with a toast.
Dark chocolate that contain 60 percent of cocoa, proved helpful as it is packed with antioxidant that keeps the cholesterol problems at bay.
To protect your heart from any ailment, eat half a cup of spinach on a regular basis. Lutein pigment found in this dark green veggie prevents the build-up of cholesterol on the arteries wall.
11. Olive Oil
Monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil helps balance the cholesterol levels. Replace your cooking oil with this wondrous oil as it manages weight and keeps heart healthy. Make your salad dressings or roast your vegetables in olive oil.
Apart from adding great flavor to your meal, garlic wards off high cholesterol problem, blood clots and reduces blood pressure. You can gulp 2-4 cloves daily to obtain its benefits.
13. Salmon and Fatty Fish
The richness of omega 3 fatty acid found in salmon proved to be beneficial in combating cholesterol related issues. It also controls blood pressure and prevents development of blood clot. Have it twice a week to witness betterment.
14. Plant Sterol
Sterols or stanols are compounds found in plants that help reduce the absorption of cholesterol by the body. Margarine, orange juice, yogurt, etc., are some of the foods that are equipped with sterol. Consume them regularly to obtain maximum health benefits.
A powerful antioxidant called lycopene found in tomatoes averts the oxidation of LDL cholesterol that is caused by free radicals and lower down the amount of cholesterol found in blood.
16. Green Tea
Brew a cup of green tea that is full of antioxidants. It protects our body from free radicals and help lower down cholesterol. This grassy flavored tea relaxes body and also aids in weight loss.