Are your cholesterol numbers sky high? Is the fear of a heart attack giving you sleepless nights? Well maybe it’s time to try and lower your cholesterol.
Our culture is a pill popping culture, so it is really no surprise that the primary method of lowering high cholesterol is by medicines and clinical approaches. Drugs are readily available from almost any doctors office, they’re effective and let’s be honest they require very little effort on your behalf to get that cholesterol under control.
However it’s always best to try and treat any health issues naturally and studies have shown that simple lifestyle changes and improvements in your diet can be as effective and even more powerful than many drugs.
Controlling and lowering your cholesterol naturally is easy when you know how. Regular workouts can be the start you’ve been looking for in your fight against a heart attack combined with a controlled diet is going to be the best solution.
Foods That Naturally Lower Cholesterol Levels
So don’t worry anymore, start to eat your way to a healthier heart with these 12 delicious superfoods that will naturally lower cholesterol.
1. Salmon and Fatty Fish
Salmon and other fatty fish are packed full of Omega-3 fats that have been shown to help ward off dementia, heart disease, as well as many other diseases.
Omega-3 fats are also a great natural way to lower your cholesterol and according to recent research from the Loma Linda University by simply replacing unhealthy saturated fats with healthy Omega-3 fats can raise good cholesterol in your body by as much as 4%.
Even small changes in your lifestyle and diet can reap huge rewards, for example simply changing your breakfast can help to lower your cholesterol.
Try switching up your breakfast to contain at least two servings of oats, by doing this you can lower your LDL cholesterol by roughly 5.3% in just 6 weeks.
What makes oats a superfood for lowering cholesterol is the beta-glucan found in the oats which naturally absorbs LDL, which your body then excretes.
Try adding some beans into your diet, by adding roughly 1/2 cup of beans to a soup lowers total your cholesterol, including LDL, by up to 8%.
What makes bean so effective is the abundance of fiber which has shown to help reduce the amount of absorption of cholesterol in certain foods.
Yes we know “it just doesn’t taste the same” but try to make the switch from butter over to margarine to get the benefits from the plant sterols, such as benecol or promise activ to help lower your cholesterol.
The plant sterols are natural compounds that help to reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the body. A recent study by AJCN showed that women could lower their cholesterol by 3.5% when eating a higher plant sterol–based diet.
5. Red Wine
If you love a glass of red wine, good news is that it could actually help to lower your cholesterol levels by have a glass of red.
The tempranillo red grapes, used to make red wine like Rioja are high in fiber and can have a positive effect on the body’s cholesterol.
Studies out of Spain have shown that you can lower your LDL levels by at least 9% by drinking red wine.
Spinach is an excellent superfood that contains lots of lutein which is the yellow pigment found in egg yolks as well as dark green leafy vegetables.
Lutein is already known to help guard against macular degeneration which is a leading cause of blindness but new research suggest that just 1/2 cup of a lutein-rich food added to your diet each day can help ward of heart attacks by reducing cholesterol buildup on the artery walls that cause clogging.
Nuts like walnuts are a great source of Omega-3 fats which help to reduce cholesterol levels naturally.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that showed that people who ate around 1.5 ounces of whole walnuts 6 days a week for 1 month managed to lower their LDL cholesterol by 9.3% and their cholesterol by 5.4%.
If you are not a fan of walnuts cashews and almonds are other good options.
If you don’t mind the stinky breath, garlic really is a great way to lower your lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, prevent blood clots, as well as protect against other infections.
Garlic works by helping to stop artery-clogging plaque building up by preventing unwanted cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls.
Tea has gained popularity recently due to its cancer-fighting antioxidants but tea is also a great natural defense against high LDL cholesterol levels.
The USDA conducted research that showed black tea helped to reduce blood lipids by up to 10% in roughly 3 weeks. Larger studies also showed that tea might also help to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in adults. Why not try Matcha green tea for added health benefits.
When it comes to superfoods avocados are at the top of the list. Avocados are an excellent natural source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats which help to lower LDL cholesterol levels but at the same time raise the good HDL cholesterol.
On top of that avocados also contain beta- sitosterol which is a cholesterol-smashing plant-based fat that helps to reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food.
Believe it or not but there are a lot of health benefits associated with chocolate especially dark chocolate. When it come to heart health and cholesterol levels chocolate can prevent blood platelets from sticking together and can even keep arteries unclogged.
Chocolate is a powerful antioxidant that helps to build healthy HDL cholesterol levels. A study by AJCN showed that people who consumed cocoa powder had a 24% increase in HDL levels over a 12 week period compared to only a 5% increase in the control group.
For health benefits always choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate simply because dark chocolate has over 3 times to amount of antioxidants.
12. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a great healthy option for frying, using as salad dressings or even marinating chicken and fish. Olive oil contains an abundance of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which help to reduce and lower unwanted LDL cholesterol.
Controlling and lowering your cholesterol naturally isn’t as hard as you probably first thought it was. All it takes are a few small lifestyle changes and you can have your cholesterol levels under control in no-time. If you think your family and friends can benefit from reading this article why not share it with them?