You can help prevent a heart attack and lower your cholesterol naturally by eating foods that lower cholesterol. These should be used as part of a bigger picture plan to lower your cholesterol naturally with the guidance of your doctor or healthcare professional.
Kale helps with cholesterol in a few different ways. Like spinach, kale is high in lutein, and it also provides a good amount of fiber. Lutein has been shown to help lower levels of LDL cholesterol and stops cholesterol from building up in the body (4). Kale already provides so many healthy benefits, and its lutein content is just one more reason to start drinking green smoothies and getting more of it into your system.
Kale has received superstar status in the last few years, as the health benefits it provides hit mainstream consciousness. With a full day’s supply of Vitamin A and Vitamin C in a one cup serving of chopped kale, it’s clear to see what all the excitement is over.
There’s also plant protein and important minerals to help round out its nutritional profile.
Oatmeal gets the seal of approval from the American Heart Association for its cholesterol-lowering properties. The fiber in oatmeal has been described as acting like a sponge, helping to soak up excess cholesterol and carry it out of the body before it can do damage to arteries (1).
Choosing organic oats will help you reduce the amount of GMOs and chemicals you’re ingesting when you eat your oatmeal. Opt for plain instead of flavored oatmeal so you know you’re getting just the oats and no added sugars or artificial flavors and colors. This means avoiding some of the bigger brand names and going with some of the smaller sized companies that have a passion for providing organic, pure products.
Apples have long been recommended as a food you should eat each day, and the more studies that are performed on apples, the more this old advice seems to ring true. Apples have polyphenols and fiber in them, as well as vitamins and minerals that support the body in a number of ways. The polyphenols work as an antioxidant in the body, and the special fiber apples contain help to clear out cholesterol from the body.
Choosing organic apples is the only way to go if you’re going to up your apple intake. Conventional apples will have polyphenols and pectin, but this will be overshadowed by the large amount of chemicals applied to the fruit during the growing season, and the use of genetically modified seeds at the start.
Garlic has long been known as a cholesterol-lowering food, and it’s as simple as adding more garlic to your cooking. The allicin in garlic is what does the trick, and there’s some debate over which form of garlic contains the most allicin, fresh raw garlic, cooked garlic, garlic powder, or a garlic supplement. This is one food that likely won’t lower your cholesterol much all by itself, but can be effective when paired with other foods on this list on a cholesterol conscious diet.
If bumping up your garlic intake doesn’t sound appealing to you, either because of the taste or the bad breath it’s known to cause, you may be interested in taking a garlic supplement for similar benefits.
5. Dark Chocolate
Eating dark chocolate can help you reduce your cholesterol, as long as a few conditions are met. You can’t overdo it, as eating more dark chocolate will not help you lower your cholesterol even more. You want to take it in moderation and eat reasonable servings in one sitting. Procyanidins in dark chocolate have been shown to help reduce cholesterol when levels are high (2).
You also want to opt for the purest dark chocolate you can find. The higher the percentage, the more actual chocolate it will contain, and the more procyanidins you’ll get. Avoid milk chocolate, as it doesn’t have the antioxidants found in dark chocolate, and has added dairy and sugar.
Spinach is one of those healthy foods that just makes everything in the body better, including your cholesterol levels. Start eating more spinach, and all else being equal, you’ll start to see your cholesterol numbers drop. It’s the lutein in spinach that gives it its cholesterol-lowering effect.
Other foods high in lutein include kale, swiss chard, and turnip greens. These leafy greens are also known for their high vitamin and mineral content, making them great choices for a healthy diet, and to aid in weight loss if necessary. If you’re worried about your cholesterol it’s doubly important to keep fit and lose extra weight to reduce the chance of a heart attack and other diseases linked to being overweight.
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