High cholesterol: 8 seasonal vegetables to lower bad cholesterol levels
Modifying our diet is one of the ways to tackle unhealthy cholesterol levels. Instead of going for 'instant foods', one can plan their meals ahead and include these seasonal veggies to their meals.
Our eating habits over a period of several decades have undergone a sea change. As we are spending less time at home and even lesser in our kitchens due to our fast-paced lifestyle, our reliance on packaged products has invariably increased. The trans-fat in the cookies, mayonnaise, crackers, and namkeens are all adding up to bad cholesterol levels and in turn increasing our risk of heart attack and stroke. Our activity time on the other hand is going down and even though some of us try to take out time for morning workouts, most of our waking hours are spent on a couch or working desk sitting and not moving. This is affecting several aspects of our health including bad cholesterol levels. (Also read: High cholesterol: Effective lifestyle changes to lower cholesterol in winters)
Modifying our diet is one of the ways to tackle unhealthy cholesterol levels. Instead of going for 'instant foods', one can plan their meals ahead, to make sure fresh, seasonal and warm foods can nourish your overall health and cut risk of several chronic diseases.
According to studies, soluble fibre helps reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Plant-based foods or vegetables are low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol; they also are rich in soluble fibre which can help lower cholesterol. Soluble fibre can slow absorption of cholesterol and can reduce the amount of cholesterol liver produces.
Preety Tyagi, Lead Health Coach, Nutritionist and Founder of MY22BMI, suggests 8 seasonal vegetables that can help to cut down the high cholesterol in the body.
Including green leafy vegetables in your diet is a must. Spinach is a perfect seasonal vegetable, not only because it is full of essential vitamins and minerals but also because it helps in eliminating bad cholesterol levels in the body. When followed with an active lifestyle, it can really prove to be an excellent vegetable to bust the bad cholesterol. Consume it raw as well as in cooked form. Raw baby spinach salad is an excellent addition to your diet for this purpose.
Broccoli being a high-fibre vegetable and a storehouse of vitamin C and calcium helps in maintaining a good heart health. Its high fibre content helps in sticking the bad cholesterol to it and removing it from the body. Include broccoli in cooked as well as in raw form in your diet.
Carrots are very fibrous and are an excellent source of beta carotene which helps in prevention of oxidation of LDL in our body. It also promotes great heart health as well as helps in blood purification.
Beets are root vegetables that provide a great source of fibre - both soluble and insoluble. It’s also a great source of nitrates which help in widening the blood vessels and reduce the blood pressure levels in the body. It helps in cutting down bad cholesterol in the body.
Asparagus, just like the above-mentioned vegetables is a great source of essential vitamins and minerals, especially folate. This helps in eliminating the bad cholesterol, improve blood circulation in the body and promote a healthier heart.
Cabbage is a very fibrous vegetable, full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which can help in prevention from heart diseases. An excellent source of Vitamin C as well, it not only helps in eliminating bad cholesterol but also regulate the blood pressure levels in the body.
7. Brussels sprouts
Coming from the same cruciferous vegetable family, Brussel sprouts are excellent in lowering our cholesterol levels and promoting a healthier heart. Not only a healthier heart but a healthier gut, and a healthier body.
8. Bitter gourd/Karela
Bitter gourd helps in purifying the blood and promoting heart function. It even helps in cutting down cholesterol and sugar levels in the body. A small amount of bitter gourd juice, taken to detoxify one’s body is an excellent way to enhance one’s health.