When the samosas and pakodas you enjoy on rainy days start showing in your blood reports, you know it is time to take stock. High cholesterol is a major risk factor for developing heart disease which kills three times more people than breast cancer and twice as many as lung cancer. Popping pills is easy but being dependent on them for the rest of your life is not ideal. Including these super foods in your diet – along with not smoking and exercising – can help you keep your cholesterol level under control.
Start your day with two to four fresh cloves of garlic. Research has found the ancient herb helps lower cholesterol and stops artery-clogging plaque at its earliest stage — it keeps individual cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls.
Half cup of spinach a day can keep heart attacks away. The leafy green is a rich source of lutein, a yellow pigment that is known to help artery walls shrug off cholesterol deposits which cause clogging.
Oats and barley
A daily bowl of oats or barley can lower your cholesterol level by 5-10%. These grains are packed with a soluble fiber called beta glucan which forms a gel that helps bind the cholesterol and triglycerides in the intestines and prevents it from being absorbed by the body.
All nuts are good for the heart but pistachios in particular are a great way to keep your cholesterol levels in check. That’s because the green nuts are rich in phytosterol, the natural plant compounds that block absorption of dietary cholesterol.
The juicy fruit contains pectin, a soluble fiber which forms a gooey mass in your stomach. This mass traps cholesterol and carries it out of the body before it can be absorbed into the blood stream.
Your mother’s home-cooked rajma-chawal is not only tasty, it’s healthy too. Kidney beans are loaded with cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. They’re also a good low-fat replacement for non-vegetarian fare which is full of saturated fat.
The next time you feel like indulging in chocolate, pick a dark one. The bittersweet variety contains flavonoid antioxidants which prevent blood platelets from sticking together and also helps keep arteries unclogged.
Olive is loaded with antioxidants that lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while keeping good cholesterol (HDL) untouched. Experts recommend cooking one’s food in two tablespoons of olive oil a day to enjoy maximum benefit without consuming too many calories.
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