“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
– Hippocrates, father of medicine
1. Oats for breakfast
Oats contain a substance called beta-glucan which absorbs bad cholesterol which is then excreted by the body. Just two servings of oats a day can lower bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) significantly over the course of 6 weeks. The tip here is keeping up with regular oat intake. I love me some porridge in the mornings, especially in colder months.
2. Snack with nuts
So many diets suggest a handful of nuts as a snack alternative, and for good reason. Not only are they a great source of nutrients, fibre and energy, but according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating just a handful of walnuts 6 days a week lowers LDL cholesterol by almost 10% in one month!
3. Fatty fish for your lunch dish
Studies show that the omega3 fats found in salmon, sardines and herrings work to raise good cholesterol (HDL). This cholesterol actually helps to remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries, scouring it out and bringing it to the liver to be broken down. It’s important that we have a healthy level of HDL cholesterol in our blood to protect against heart attacks and strokes. It’s also vital for brain function and promotes healthy, glowing skin.
4. A side of beans to keep lean
Arizona State University Polytechnic conducted research which found that simply adding ½ a cup of beans to soup lowered total cholesterol by 8%. This is due to the abundance of fibre found in beans such as black, kidney or pinto. The fibre works by slowing the rate at which cholesterol is absorbed, as well as reducing the amount.
5. Tea break
Tea is packed with antioxidants that keep cells young and defend against LDL. Black tea, such as English Breakfast tea, has been shown to reduce blood lipids and decrease the risk of coronary heart disease. There’s also nothing like a nice cup of tea!
6. Dine with red wine
It seems everyday scientists are coming up with new reasons to encourage that glass of red in the evenings. We’re certainly not objecting, and it turns out that the Tempranillo red grape used to make wine like the delicious Spanish Rioja can majorly lower cholesterol levels. Just don’t overdo it, listen to your body.
7. Spruce up some spinach
Spinach is rich in lutein which research suggests helps the artery walls ”shrug off” cholesterol which tries to stick around and clog things up. Baby spinach leaves are recommended, perfect for a salad or fancy side-dish.
8. Yet another advantage to eating avocados
Packed with monounsaturated fat, which sounds weird, because why would you want to eat something full of fat? This fat however, actually helps raise the HDL cholesterol in our blood whilst lowering LDL levels. It’s a double whammy, in fact a triple whammy, as it also helps reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed from foods in the first place. Read our recent blog Amp up Your Avocado intake.
9. Grill some garlic
Found to prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure, protect against infection and of course lower cholesterol. I’m not a huge garlic fan myself, but some grilled garlic with hearty evening meal is so good it should be a delicacy. Recent research has now found that garlic actually stops plaque forming in the arteries, keeping the nasty particles from sticking to our precious artery walls.
10. Ode to olive oil
Mediterranean cuisine would be nowhere, if not for your oily dressing. You make our sizzling dishes, salads and toast, taste like a heavenly blessing. Brimming with monounsaturated fats which lower our bad cholesterol, I’m surprised that some cultures in this world barely use you at all.
Get qualified in nutrition
At The School of Natural Health Sciences we are actively aware of the role that nutrition plays in our lives. If we do not properly nourish our bodies, they quickly start to deteriorate, leading to an array of physiological complications which can be devastating. Among our 57 holistic therapy courses, we offer 4 nutrition based ones: Clinical Nutrition, Advanced Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, Child & Adolescent Nutrition. Nutrition courses enable our students to expand their CVs, direct their professions and increase their overall knowledge for a future filled with opportunities. Please contact us with any questions, we’d be delighted to hear from you!