The foods you eat play a vital role in your cholesterol levels.
If you suffer from high cholesterol, as more than 120 million North Americans do, certain foods can help you naturally lower cholesterol and protect your heart.
Top 5 Foods to Help Lower Cholesterol, Protect Heart
Nuts: Numerous studies have shown that eating as little as 2 oz. of nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, pistachios, and macadamia nuts have a beneficial impact on cholesterol.
Loma Linda University researchers found eating nuts daily increased the ratio of HDL (“good” cholesterol) to LDL (“bad” cholesterol) by 8.3 percent.
Nuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids that promote healthy cholesterol levels. Nuts are high in calories, so just a small handful will suffice, or you can add them to you salad.
Dark Chocolate: A 2008 study in the Journal of Nutrition reported that consuming dark chocolate daily resulted in a 2 percent reduction in total cholesterol and a 5.3 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol.
When the dark chocolate contain cocoa flavanoids (natural chemicals with antioxidant properties) there was also a decrease in blood pressure.
Seek out dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. The higher the cocoa count the better. A tip: if you bit into dark chocolate, you may find it bitter, try not to chew it , rather let it melt in your mouth.
The experience is far more enjoyable. Milk chocolate, is mostly that, milk with a lot of sugar, with very little, if any, real cocoa. Stick to the dark for the health benefits.
Oatmeal and High-Fiber Foods: A bowl of oatmeal in the morning (or any time of day) can provide you with 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber reduces LDL (low-density lipoprotein), the “bad” cholesterol. Beans, apples, pears, barely, and other whole grains also contain soluble fiber.
If you are eating cereal in the morning, switch to oatmeal, not only will it help your cholesterol levels, its fiber content will keep you fuller longer, avoiding the need for the mid-morning snack that may add to your waistline.
The American Heart Association recommends you eat a 3.5 oz. portion of fatty fish (high in omega-3s) two times per week. The fish with the highest omega-3 fatty acids are: mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tune, salmon, and halibut.
In addition to protecting your heart, omega-3 fats have been shown to reduce the risk of dementia, arthritis and other inflammatory disease, depression, anxiety, and many other diseases.
Fruits and Vegetables: Naturally high in fiber, numerous studies have shown that fruits and vegetables have an excellent cholesterol-lowering effect. Examples include: apples, avocados,berries, citrus fruits, eggplant, spinach to name just a few are good choices.
Try to eat a minimum of 5 serving of fruits and vegetables per day, but strive for 7 to 10.
They are generally low in calories (avocados with their high monounsaturated “good” fat count in an exception) and are extremely nutritious. You will be doing your heart and overall health a favor by eating more items from the produce aisle.
Natural Supplements to Help Protect Your Heart
Cardio Support contains ingredients that affect different aspects of cardiovascular health, including arterial integrity, blood health, heart muscle strength and better blood flow.
Additionally, the ingredients in Cardio Support overlap their abilities, to enhance one another’s effects, increasing long-term heart health and protection against degenerative disease.
Cardio Support is the only natural supplement that we are aware of which utilizes enteric coating technology to safely release the active ingredients in the stomach. This delivery method not only protects the enzymes such as Nattokinase but also greatly enhances the efficacy of other ingredients present such as Resveratrol and L-Glutathione. No other formula covers so many ‘angles’ to manage and protect your cardiovascular system, and yet Cardio Support is still natural with no known side effects.
About the Author:
Evan Apostolakis, BA, MA, ND, CNHP, is a naturopathic and preventive medicine consultant, author, and speaker with a specialty in cardiovascular health.
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