Showing posts with label foods that help lower cholesterol. Show all posts
Showing posts with label foods that help lower cholesterol. Show all posts

Health Benefits of Zucchini

Zucchini is member of the gourd family which has a dark green color and is cylindrical in shape. They are available in a range of sizes but smaller variety of the vegetable is preferred. While each type of the vegetable has different color, size, shape and flavor. All parts of the vegetable such as the skin, seeds, and flesh are edible.

Nutritional facts about Zucchini
Zucchini is mostly water and are quiet low in calories. Here are some nutritional facts about zucchini; it has about 34 calories, 6 g of carbohydrates, 2 g of fiber and 2.36 g protein. Vitamin such as vitamin A and C are present in good amounts. Also essential mineral such as potassium, phosphorus etc, these mineral are essential for all the tissues, organs and cells in the body.

Health Benefits
  • Zucchini fruits have low amounts of calories and contains folates, Vitamin A, potassium etc. Although they are available throughout the year, the best season for zucchnni is the summer seasons and late spring.
  • It has low amounts of cholesterol which is great for heart patients and people with cardiovascular diseases. The vegetable is recommended by dieticians for reduction of weight and cholesterol.
  • The peels of zucchini contain high amounts of dietary fiber which is required for the proper functioning of the digestive tract. Also it reduces constipation and protects the colon against cancers.
  • The active compounds in the vegetable have the ability to scavenge for free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Reactive oxygen species and free radicals play a role in various diseases and aging.
  • Folates are required in the process of DNA synthesis and cell division. Zucchini contains this important vitamin in moderate quantities.
  • It is a great source of potassium; potassium is an important intra-cellular electrolyte. It reduces the blood pressure and heart rate by countering acting of the effects of sodium.
  • Fresh zucchini has the rich amounts of vitamin A which is essential for maintaining the health of the eyes. Also fresh zucchini is a good source of vitamin C which is required in a range of processes and functions in the body.
  • It also contains moderate amounts of vitamins of the B-complex group. These include pyridoxine, thiamine, and riboflavin. Zucchini also contains minerals like zinc, manganese, iron, and phosphorous which are essential for health and development.

Health Benefits of Almonds

#ayurvedafact: Almonds if eaten without soaking, they can aggravate Pitta in the blood. The best way to prepare them is to soak them overnight and peel the skin off in the morning. Then you can blend them with dates and raisins, which also reduce Pitta aggravation in the blood. Eat up to 10 almonds in the morning and evening.

Buy Good Quality Almonds
Almonds are a simple, convenient and delicious snack. It is one of the richest sources of health promoting compounds among nuts. Just a hand full of almonds will provide you with quite a bit of the daily recommended levels of vitamins, mineral and other nutrients. They have been cultivated for thousands of years and now in recent times reseach has shown that almonds possess a range of health benefits.

Here are some health benefits of almonds which you can reap by adding these wonderful nuts to your diet:
  • They are rich source of vitamin, minerals and fiber, also they are packed with phyto-chemicals which protect the body against cancers and a range of diseases.
  • The Vitamin E and the flavonoids found in the skin of the nut work together and protect the health of the artery walls. This in turn reduces the chances of developing heart diseases. Also vitamin E has the ability to maintain healthy mucus membrane and also protect the cell membranes.
  • The nuts provide the body with important B-complex groups of vitamins which includes niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic, vitamin B-6 and folates.
  • It also has the ability to reduce the blood cholesterol levels. Research has shown that consuming this nut regularly has the ability to reduce the risk of heart attacks to a great extent.
  • They also provide us with essential minerals as they are an incredible source of potassium, manganese, iron, zinc, selenium and calcium.
  • The phosphorus in the almonds has the ability to make bones and teeth stronger.
  • They also help you alkalize the body your body which is reduces the risk of osteoporosis, weight gain, low energy and poor immune function.

Ayurveda recommends sweet almonds instead of bitter ones. Because of their sweet and warming quality, they are best for pacifying Vata dosha. They lubricate the skin and the micro-circulatory channels and support all the seven dhatus (tissues), especially Shukra dhatu (reproductive tissue). Almonds are also good for Pitta, but people with Kapha imbalance should eat them in small quantities. Due to their heavy quality, you need a strong agni, or digestive fire, to metabolize them. If your agni is low, strengthen it first before you take almonds. The only people who should not consume almonds are those with high Pitta in the blood. An ayurvedic consultant can determine whether you have this condition and how to balance it.

Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil is the best massage oil for Vata people, or those with a Vata imbalance. As almonds balance Vata when you eat them, almond oil pacifies Vata when applied externally. It penetrates the skin easily and nourishes the deeper layers.

Recommended Product: Khadi Sweet Almond Oil

Healthy Diet for Cholesterol

By now, almost everyone know that fatty food, stress and lack of exercise are the main causes of high cholesterol. This is also a known fact that not all fats are bad- the low density lipoproteins or LDL is the bad cholesterol whereas the high density lipoproteins or HDL is the good cholesterol. When we talk about lowering cholesterol, we mean to say that we must reduce the bad cholesterol. At the same time we should also take steps to increase the good cholesterol which is beneficial for overall health.

The best way to lower your cholesterol is by eliminating bad fats and including the good fats in your lifestyle. Include healthier fats in your diet like:
  • Leaner cuts of meat, low-fat dairy and monounsaturated fats that are present in olive, peanuts and canola oils.
  • Eat whole grains- opt for grain breads, whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat flour and brown rice. 
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. They provide dietary fiber which lowers cholesterol. 
  • Have food items that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids- they lower cholesterol. Fish like salmon, mackerel and herring are good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Vegetarians can find omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts, almonds and ground flaxseeds. 
  • Exercise daily- even if for 30 minutes. There is no alternative to this. 
  • Quit smoking. 
  • Limit your alcohol intake.
Some of the recommended foods:
  • Soy: Soy is an important dietary change that helps to cut down the blood cholesterol. Soy is used as a replacement for meat and cheese. Soy food reduce cholesterol to a great extent. Saturated fat is bad for heart as saturated fat is converted in to cholesterol in the liver, hence if you eat too much of saturated fat cholesterol levels will get increased especially low- density lipoproteins which is the bad cholesterol. Saturated fats are found in the animal products like whole milk, butter, meats, beef, lamb and pork and plant sources of saturated fats are coconut oil and vegetable. Soy foods contain isoflavones that helps to reduce LDL cholesterol. What about soy supplements? Isoflavone supplements don’t work alone, to lower the cholesterol, you need the other unique proteins of the soybean including phytates, and isoflavones, all of them act together. According to FDA taking at least 25 grams of soy protein every day helps to lower the high cholesterol. 
  • Beans: Beans are having high fiber content. Beans are especially high in the cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. Eating a bowl of any types of beans in a day, particularly navy, pinto, kidney, chick pea, or butter beans helps to lower cholesterol by as much as 10% in 6 weeks. Soluble fiber that is present in the beans helps to bind cholesterol in the intestinal tract, and in turn prevents its reabsorption in the body. This is the reason why soluble fiber helps to lower the cholesterol level and hence in turn decreases the risk of heart disease. Eat beans five and more times a week. FDA recommends 25-30 g of fiber each da
  • Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids, that is found in salmon and other cold-water fish- helps to lower the LDL levels, and raise HDL level and lower the triglycerides level. Salmon is an excellent source of protein as it is high in omega-3 fatty acids i.e. EPA and DHA that are good for heart while low in saturated fat and cholesterol. American heart association recommends eating at least two servings of fatty fish every 7 days by far the richest sources of fish-oil omega-3s. 
  • Avocado: Avocado contains a type of fat that actually helps to raise the levels of HDL while it lowers the LDL. Avocado contains more amount of the cholesterol- smashing beta-sitosterol as compared to any other fruit. Beta sitosterol reduces the amount of the cholesterol absorbed from food. The combination of the bita-sitosterol and the monounsaturated fat makes the avocado an excellent cholesterol buster. American heart association recommends that you can get up to 15% of your daily calories from monounsaturated fats , but some heart specialist recommends even greater percentage. 
  • Garlic: The garlic is the herb used for thousands of years for lowering the cholesterol. Its flavor makes it a good kitchen spice. Inn Egypt people were used to eat the garlic for stamina, garlic lowers the cholesterol and also prevents blood clots, it reduces blood pressure, and protect against infections. It stops the artery- clogging plaque at the earliest stage called nanoplaque. It keeps the cholesterol particles away from the artery walls. To get the maximum benefits eat 2-4 cloves a day. 
  • Spinach: Spinach contains the lutein, which is a sunshine yellow pigment that is found in green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. Lutein guards us against the age related macular degeneration, which is a leading cause of blindness. Only a half cup of lutein rich food daily guards against heart attacks by helping the artery walls to remove the cholesterol. Eat half cup of spinach every day. 
  • Margarine: Two margarines every day are proven to lower the cholesterol levels. Margarine lowers the cholesterol by blocking the absorption of cholesterol that is contained in the food you eat. Margarine is made by the plant sterols that are proven to lower the LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol by upto 14%. Three servings a day of benecol helps to drop the cholesterol level by an average of 10% and LDL cholesterol by 14%. 
  • Walnuts, Cashews, and Almonds: A diet containing monounsaturated fats that are found in the nuts are actually twice as good as a low fat diet for heart. Nuts contain the nutrients like vitamin E, copper, magnesium and phytochemicals that are linked with the heart health. Walnuts are rich in omega-3. Eat nuts regularly to avoid heart disease and other illnesses than people who don’t. Monounsaturated fatty acids are also good for the joints. Eat at least 2 tablespoons ful of nuts five times a week. 
  • Tea: Tea contains a lot of antioxidant compounds. According to research on tea, it helps to keep the blood vessels relaxed and prevent the blood clots. Flavonoids are the antioxidants that are present in tea and it is shown to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol that lead to plaque formation on artery walls. These powerful antioxidants reduce cholesterol level and even lower the blood pressure. Both the green and black teas have the high antioxidants levels. Drink at least one cup of tea every day. 
  • Chocolate: Dark chocolates compared to milk chocolate, has 3 times more antioxidants. Flavonoids are the antioxidants present in the chocolate that keep the blood platelets from sticking together and it also helps to keep the arteries unclogged. Compared to dark chocolate, white chocolate don’t have any flavonoids. An ounce of the chocolates a day increases good cholesterol and prevents the bad cholesterol from oxidizing. 
Foods to be avoided:
  • Avoid foods like butter, lard, bacon drippings, coconut oil and lard that contain saturated fats and oils. Instead of using these saturated fats and oils use margarine or vegetable oils, like canola oil or olive oil. 
  • Limit the amount of trans fats or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. These oils become solid by going through a process. Trans fat are found in hard margarines, cookies, snacks crackers, chips, and shortenings. 
  • Limit the content of the meat and non-vegetarian you eat. Limit the amount of the meats such as pastrami, steak, corned beef, ground meat, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, and bologna- processed meat. Change skinless chicken, veal, lean beef, fish, and lamb with some meat less dishes like peas, rice or beans. 
  • Limit the quantity of the egg yolks you eat in a day. You should limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg a day. One large egg contains about 186 mg of cholesterol which is present in the egg yolk. 
  • Limit the quantity of milk fat in your diet. And avoid the milk product which contains more than 1% of the milk fat. Instead use the low-fat milk and low fat chesses. 
  • Limit the amount of the snack crackers, croissants, quick breads, and cakes made with the saturated fats, whole milk, or egg white. Try low- fat baked goods. 
  • Avoid eating junk foods like fries, tacos, ham burgers, and tacos. Go for broiled sandwiches or skin less chicken, salads with the low fat dressings, and the food they aren’t fried.

    Note: There are home remedies that will ultimately help increase HDL level.
    Give these home remedies a try as part of the cholesterol plan you've discussed with your doctor. - See more at:

    There are some wonderful herbs and natural herbal supplements which can be used for lowering the cholesterol naturally. - See more at:

Lower High Cholesterol Naturally with Herbs and Home Remedies

There are some wonderful herbs and natural herbal supplements which can be used for lowering the cholesterol naturally.

Some of the best herbs for high cholesterol are:

Artichoke Plant – The leaves of the artichoke contain a special type of fiber that will help to block the absorption of cholesterol in your body, and it helps to decrease the production of the nasty LDL cholesterol particles. You can stop your body from creating and absorbing the harmful lipoproteins, but it is not recommended to take this herb if you have problems with your gall bladder.

Celery – Celery is a vegetable that has its place in just about every dish that you can make, but the leaves and stalk both have a very specific effect on cholesterol. You can seriously lower your LDL cholesterol by eating lots of celery, so fill your lunch box with celery sticks instead of potato chips if you want to deal with your cholesterol effectively.

Skullcap – Skullcap is a unique plant that has been used for a number of herbal remedies, but a Japanese study showed that the plant can help to increase your body’s natural production of the beneficial HDL cholesterol. This means that taking skullcap will help your body to more naturally get rid of the cholesterol on its own.

Soy – Japanese love all things soy, and this is one of the main reasons that they have one of the lowest cholesterol levels in the world. The FDA has stated that nearly any food containing soy products can help to decrease cholesterol, but it is food like tofu and soy protein that will be the most effective at helping you to control your cholesterol levels.

Turmeric – Those who like a bit of Indian or Arabian cooking will know exactly what turmeric is, but this orange root is more than just a good taste in your meal. The root can actually help to decrease the cholesterol levels in your body, thus helping to decrease the risk of serious heart problems. Eating more chicken curry is a great idea, thanks to the health benefits of this amazing herb.

Ginger – Ginger is an herb that is used in many an Asian dish to add a bit of flavor and tang, but it will help to cut back on your cholesterol levels as well as make your food taste great. You can take ginger tea to help fight sore throats and control cholesterol, or you can add it to your food to obtain the same cholesterol lowering effects.

In addition to all the cholesterol lowering herbs, there are a number of cholesterol lowering supplements that you can take as well.

If you are looking for ways of lowering cholesterol naturally, these herbs may be exactly what you need. They are all made with natural ingredients, thus sparing you many of the side effects of medication. There will be no side effects, but you might be surprised to find that there are many great supplements that can help you to deal with your high cholesterol levels:

Niacin – Niacin is a B-vitamin (B3) that is given as a supplement to deal with cholesterol, and it has proven to be one of the most effective. In fact, many doctors prescribe it along with medications, as the effects it has are more effective than most medications. What it does is increase the levels of the good cholesterol in your body, thus helping it to naturally fight the bad cholesterol on its own. There are a few negative side effects like pain, muscle breakdown, and a few others, so it is important that your use of the supplement is closely monitored by a doctor.

Soluble Fiber – Soluble fiber is one of the most important things that you can give your body, as it is one of the things that will help to win the “War on Cholesterol Terrorism”. What it does is absorb a good deal of the bile that turns into cholesterol, and it helps to send the bile out the digestive systems waste disposal rather than spread through the body. It acts like a sponge, and thus is one of the most effective cholesterol prevention options. You can usually find soluble fiber in most whole grains and vegetables, but taking it in supplement form will make it even more effective.

Plant Stanols – Plant stanols can usually be found in certain types of margarine, and this compound can help to cut down your cholesterol levels by as much as 10%. This doesn’t sound like much, but it can be very effective if combined with other supplements or medications. They are not usually used in the place of medications, however, but are simply an addition to the medications used. Herbal medicines have been around for millennia, as the ancient peoples of the world found that there were many plants, roots, and leaves that had amazing healing effects on the body. The herbal medicines below are all great cholesterol lowering herbs, and you may find that they can be very effective if taken in the right form:

Chicory Root –
Chicory root is often used to make a coffee-like brew, but the Chinese have used this root for years as a treatment for high cholesterol. The reason the herb works is that it helps to regulate the body’s natural metabolism of the cholesterol, thus stopping the high production of LDL cholesterol.

Fenugreek – Fenugreek is an herb that has been used for millennia as an aid to digestion, but it can help to cut back on the sugar in your blood and reduce the amount of cholesterol in your body.

Hawthorn Berry – Hawthorn berries help the stomach to work properly, and it will also have a positive effect on your spleen and liver. It will help to boost your body’s natural circulation, and will help to lower the levels of cholesterol in your body.

Holy Basil -- This herb may sound absolutely divine, but the effects are much more mundane. The herb is native to the Indian subcontinent and Suriname, and it is one of the natural herbal remedies that help to control cholesterol levels. It can also help to reduce your blood sugar, and will counteract stress.

Green tea--
 it is one of the few drinks that doctors will recommend patients due to its incredibly high antioxidant content. The polyphenols (the antioxidants) in the green tea help to prevent the cholesterol from oxidizing (hardening into plaque) on the walls of your arteries, thus preventing atherosclerosis and heart problems. However, does green tea help to lower cholesterol levels? The answer is: yes, but not as much as you might like.

Cinnamon is one of the many natural remedies that have been used to treat cholesterol. Cinnamon, when taken in small amounts, can help to lower your triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and even your blood sugar. It won’t do anything to increase your HDL cholesterol, but it will reduce the bad stuff and help to keep your cholesterol levels regulated.

Make sure to take the spice in moderation, as it is very strong and can have serious side effects if you take too much.

Cholesterol Lowering Herbs:
Garlic-  is one of the most unique of the herbs in the world, as it has many amazing properties. Garlic doesn’t only make your food taste absolutely divine, but it also helps to kill a lot of the fungi and bacteria in your body thanks to its production of allicin. It can help to relieve some of your digestive problem, and it also reduces the risk of your blood forming dangerous clots. For those with high cholesterol, the prevention of blood clots is great, as the clots caused by the cholesterol near the brain and heart can be fatal.

However, when it comes to lowering cholesterol naturally, the jury is still out on whether or not garlic is one of the effective cholesterol lowering herbs. Studies have shown that garlic can help to reduce cholesterol, both triglycerides and total cholesterol. HDL cholesterol usually remained unchanged despite the garlic, while LDL cholesterol was only slightly lowered.

In addition, some researchers found that the dose of garlic was directly related to the reduction of cholesterol, i.e.; the more you take the more your cholesterol goes down. Some long term studies found that garlic only had a temporary effect on cholesterol levels. In the end, it has been concluded that garlic can help to lower cholesterol, but it will not be the most effective of the cholesterol lowering herbs. It is recommended that garlic consumed along with other supplements and herbs, as the more you consume, the more effective it will be. Garlic is also very strong, and it is recommended that you check with your doctor before taking any garlic supplements or eating more than a few cloves of garlic per day. Garlic can harm your liver and make your breath quite unpleasant, so make sure that you know what you are doing if you are going to take garlic to lower cholesterol.

Apple Cider Vinegar--contains a lot of pectin, and pectin is one of the many things that can help to lower cholesterol. The way apple cider vinegar works to lower your cholesterol is by filling your stomach with soluble fibers. As you can read above, soluble fiber helps to absorb all the cholesterol and prevents it from spreading around your body. When the fiber bonds with the cholesterol, your body sees it as something that needs to be eliminated rather than circulated around the body. Your digestive system then proceeds to send it out the waste chute, and your cholesterol is lowered effectively. Another amazing thing about this soluble fiber found in apple cider vinegar is that it helps you to feel more full, as the soluble fiber absorbs water and fills your stomach. This means you will be much less tempted to eat, and the reduced desire to eat decreases your chances of snacking or stuffing the wrong high cholesterol foods in your mouth.

Apple cider vinegar is also believed to help neutralize the cholesterol in your body, as it contains lots of amino acids that stimulate the body to naturally get rid of the LDL cholesterol on its own. Even just taking one tablespoon of this amazing vinegar a day is enough to help you control your cholesterol.

Flax Seed-- is another one of the amazing cholesterol lowering herbs, and you will find that the benefits are three fold: First, flax seed is rich with lignans. Lignans help to promote a healthy digestive tract, decrease blood cholesterol, and prevent heart problems. Second, flax seed has lots of fiber, which is one of the main nutrients that help to fight the production and absorption of cholesterol by your body. Third, flax seed contains lots of Omega 3 fatty acids, which is one of the best things you can take to help prevent cholesterol from building up on the walls of your arteries. It can help to cut down on the LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol, and lower your total cholesterol. These simple seeds pack a punch, and you may find that taking flax seed to lower cholesterol is the way to go.

Red Yeast Rice- is an amazing Chinese herb that has been used both for its medicinal and food coloring properties for more than 1,000 years. It works just like a statin works, and helps to prevent the liver from producing cholesterol. (If you want to learn more about red yeast rice, check out the Red Yeast Rice Cholesterol page to get all the information on this useful Chinese supplement)