Taking good care of your heart is critical, and it can often be challenging as well. After all, there are several factors such as physical inactivity, obesity, excessive alcohol and tobacco use, a poor diet, high blood pressure (or hypertension), and high cholesterol that can put your heart at risk. But of all these, one of the major risk factors is high cholesterol levels. This can raise the risk of heart attacks and coronary heart diseases. So, it is crystal clear that keeping your cholesterol levels in control is essential for your heart health. How do you manage it? Adding a few vegetables can help you to some extent.
Vegetables to control cholesterol
A diet that is heart-healthy is believed to be incomplete without vegetables. They are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and other vital nutrients that can help your cardiovascular system perform better. Moreover, vegetables are also low in calories, which is important for maintaining a healthy weight.
HealthShots got in touch with nutritionist and lifestyle educator Karishma Chawla, to find out the best vegetable for people with high cholesterol.
Chawla says, “You probably aren’t aware that pectin, a soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol and is also present in apples and oranges in addition to veggies, is particularly abundant in vegetables.”
Here are 5 vegetables that can reduce bad cholesterol:
Broccoli is high in soluble fiber, which works makes it an excellent food to deal with high cholesterol. It is loaded with many nutrients and a sulphur-rich compound called Sulforaphane, which also helps in reducing triglyceride levels. In the digestive tract, the fiber in broccoli binds with bile acids, making it simple for our bodies to expel cholesterol. Eating fiber-rich vegetables will also help us curb overeating and hence reduce the triglycerides level in the body.
Potassium, fiber, folate, and calcium are just a few of the heart-healthy components found in abundance in kale. By lowering LDL levels, it can minimize the chance of developing heart disease. In addition to having a lot of vitamins, kale has a lot of lutein. As a xanthophyll, lutein is known to lower blood cholesterol levels by preventing its accumulation in the body.
Cauliflower has lots of plant sterols, a type of lipid that stops the intestine from absorbing cholesterol. Sulforaphane, present in cauliflower, also helps to lower blood cholesterol levels, which will keep our arteries clear from fatty build-up.
Also read: Tired of eating boring salads? Give this creamy and healthy cauliflower soup a shot
An excellent source of anthocyanin that lowers our LDL level is radish. Additionally, it prevents inflammation in our veins and arteries. Being rich in minerals like calcium and potassium as well as antioxidants will assist our lower high blood pressure and minimize our risk of developing heart disease. Radishes include dietary fiber, which lowers harmful cholesterol levels and lowers the risk of heart disease.
Our heart benefits greatly from carrots. The body transforms the beta-carotene in it into vitamin A. Beta-carotene helps make BCO1 active, which lowers blood cholesterol levels and prevents cardiovascular disease. Carrot consumption alters bile acid excretion, cholesterol absorption, and antioxidant status, ultimately defending our hearts. Carrots mostly contain soluble fiber in the form of pectin. The blood cholesterol level is decreased by soluble fibers because they prevent our digestive tract from absorbing cholesterol.
Tips on how to eat cholesterol-friendly vegetables
At least 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber should be consumed daily in total, without supplementation. Currently, adults in the United States consume an average of 15 grams of dietary fiber each day.
2. Ways to consume these vegetables
Different ways to consume these vegetables to control bad cholesterol are in the form of vegetable juices, soups, steamed veggies, sauteed veggies, as rice preparations or even in a fermented form. Fermented carrots and cauliflower are loaded with beneficial bacteria that help to lower cholesterol and detoxification.